Aspire Defence Capital Works: Help Royal Engineers Gain Civilian Construction Experience

Students from the Royal Engineers (RE) have gained valuable first-hand construction management experience with Aspire Defence Capital Works (ADCW), enabling future RE support of military operations and training exercises worldwide.

Sgts Anton Bakeberg, Alex Hunter and Robert Stephenson were hosted at Larkhill and Perham Down in the ADCW modular and utility teams during May and June.

The students took up their placements at the request of the Corps of Royal Engineers, the British military construction agency which supports all three Services.

High-grade Non-Commissioned Officers are selected by the Corps to study a two-year Foundation Degree in Construction Management at the Royal School of Military Engineering in Kent. The course covers groundworks through to full design, health & safety and build management.

The aim of the ADCW secondment was to give the students experience in construction management, reinforcing their training and preparing them for life after graduation, when they will become military Clerks of Works. This role provides technical advice and management in support of military operations and training exercises worldwide.

The attachment also enabled the students to develop their technical skills and experience current practices in civilian industry.

During their secondment, the soldiers lived in one of the Single Living Accommodation blocks completed by ADCW under Project/Allenby Connaught, so were able to appreciate first-hand the Aspire ‘customer focus’ value.

Richard Tindal, Project Manager (ADCW) Larkhill, says,

“We were delighted to host our secondees and give them an insight to daily working life across our complex construction programme. The work we are doing is particularly relevant to their specialism, so we hope they gained some valuable experience and ‘real-life’ skills practice to apply in their regimental roles.”

Who are Aspire Defence Capital Works

Aspire Defence Capital Works (ADCW) is a construction management business that was formed in 2006 as the Building Contractor responsible for delivering new and refurbished living and working accommodation for the Army across Salisbury Plain and Aldershot. This formed part of the Project Allenby & Connaught (PAC) PFI Contract with the MOD.  ADCW is a 50/50 unincorporated Joint Venture between Carillion and KBR. It isn’t an employing entity, so nearly all of its 300 employees are secondees from one of the parent companies.

Together, MOD and Aspire manage and deliver a modern, flexible living and working environment for soldiers in the Aldershot and Salisbury Plain area that will support the military, enhance UK defence infrastructure and provide long-term value for the MOD.

At ADCW, there is a culture which is built on its strong set of core values which are at the heart of everything they do. Safety First – Always; Customer focus; A challenging but supportive culture which values and develops people; A fulfilling and enjoyable place to work; Openness and honesty at all times.

These drive ADCW’s commitment to delivering safe, sustainable and effective solutions for the Army and creating positive legacies on behalf of the MOD.

First building complete under the Army Basing Programme

The construction programme to prepare a new home for troops resettling on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, under the Army Basing Programme reached a key milestone this week, with the official handover of the first completed building to Larkhill Garrison.

The Officers’ Single Living Accommodation (SLA) was handed over by Aspire Defence and Aspire Defence Capital Works to representatives of Larkhill Garrison on Monday 19 June. It is the first of around 130 new buildings being delivered by Army Basing through the amendment to the 35-year Project/Allenby Connaught (PAC) contract with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

Following the announcement in November 2016 by the Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon that over £1.1 billion will be invested in new single living and working accommodation and technical facilities for troops on Salisbury Plain and at Aldershot, construction has been progressing at pace.

The new infrastructure will support forces returning from Germany and relocating within the UK under the Army Basing Programme which aims to bring all military units back from Germany by 2020. The construction programme is on schedule to enable units based in Germany to return to the UK by 2019, resulting in savings to Defence of up to £240 million per year by 2022/23.

The arrival of the first SLA ‘Modular Units’ (bedrooms) took place at Larkhill Garrison in November 2016. Just seven months later, the new build 24-bed space Officer SLA block has now been completed, handed over and is available to be occupied.

In addition to the SLA, new and improved technical, office, catering, retail and leisure facilities are being provided across five garrisons, to ensure soldiers work and live in the best possible environment. Health and education facilities will also be completed outside the barracks for military and civilian use.

The construction programme is being carried out by Aspire Defence Capital Works and once completed the new assets will be maintained under the facilities management services contract held by Aspire Defence Services Limited, until the PAC contract ends in 2041.

Lt Col David Penniall, Deputy Garrison Command said:

“The building is the first of many new buildings at Larkhill under Army Basing – The completion of this 24 man Officers “Z” Standard accommodation is very welcome. The building offers the very latest building enhancements and modern en-suite facilities for all our living in Officers.”

Mark Duddy, ABP Programme Director said:

“It’s exciting to see the handover of the first asset so early after the signing of the contract variation at the end of 2016. This is a brilliant example of how we are investing in infrastructure across the UK. I am delighted with the provision of modern, fit for purpose SLA delivered by our trusted and valued contractors in support of the Army Basing Programme and of our Service personnel.”

Allan Thomson, Chief Executive of Aspire Defence Ltd added:

“We are delighted to have reached this key milestone in our construction programme, validating the confidence placed in us by the MOD to deliver on this major contract and provide a first-rate home for British troops.”

Rebasing the Army from Germany to Salisbury Plain

Today, ADCW is focused on working with the Army and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) on a £1.1bn variation to the original PAC contract as part of the Army Basing Programme (ABP), which will ultimately enable the troops currently based in Germany to rebase to Salisbury Plain in 2019. The new infrastructure under development will support both soldiers returning from Germany and Army units moving within the UK under the ABP. ABP was set up to deliver Army 2020 as part of the Government’s 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) commitments. The ABP construction programme is scheduled for completion by 2020, with key ‘eat and sleep’ assets completed by summer 2019.

Over the next four years under the ABP contract variation, ADCW is building on a decade of successful delivery under PAC, through provision of new and enhanced single living and working accommodation across four garrisons on Salisbury Plain (Tidworth, Bulford, Perham Down and Larkhill) and at Aldershot.

Assets include officers’ and junior ranks’ single living accommodation, messes, diners, sports facilities, technical stores, armouries, garages, offices and regimental headquarters.

ADCW works flexibly and responds to the needs of the MOD and the Army. In all, around 129 new buildings will be delivered, alongside more than 100 alterations, extensions and refurbishments. Over 150 small and large scale demolitions will be completed, with materials reused and recycled wherever possible.

By 2020, over 2,600 additional bed spaces for single soldiers will be created. At peak construction under ABP, ADCW will see an estimated daily workforce of over 1,200 operatives on site. Outside the garrisons, new medical/dental centres will be built at Larkhill and Bulford and in Tidworth and Bulford, two early years’ facilities will be established.

By the end of 2017, ADCW will have delivered over 560 of the 2,600 single bed spaces across the project footprint. Other completed assets at Larkhill, Bulford, Aldershot and Perham Down garrisons will include vehicle garaging/workshops, armouries, regimental headquarters and offices.

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