By Ed Marcum, Knoxville News Sentinel
Vanquish Worldwide has secured three military contracts totaling $200 million, as it works to grow its presence in the U.S..
The Maryville-based company announced Wednesday that the contracts, which are to provide U.S. Army Logistics Readiness Center support at five locations across the country, will expand the company’s presence at military bases in the United States.
Eric Barton, Vanquish CEO and president,said the company, which does a lot of contracting with military and government clients, has done much of its work overseas for the last 10 years, but that is changing as U.S. military missions in Iraq and elsewhere have been winding down.
“Because of the draw down, we wanted to win more contracts stateside so we could do more work here,” he said.
The contracts will include work as a subcontractor for SENTEL Corp. of Fort Bragg, N.C., and as a prime contractor at both Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., and at Joint Base Fort Rucker, Ala., and Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
Vanquish will provide maintenance support on vehicles and equipment, operate facilities for central issue, retail supply warehousing and ammunition supply, maintain property accountability, manage fuel labs and hazardous materials, conduct operations involving freight movement, personal property, container yard, rail head and unit movement and operate transportation motor pools.
The contracts are not the largest that Vanquish has been awarded; in 2011, the company held a $985 million military contract for logistics, maintenance and base support services in Afghanistan. However, that sort of work is decreasing. The latest contracts are not the largest but will move Vanquish in the direction it wants to go, Barton said.
“From 2005 to 2013, most of the work was overseas and in war zones. Into 2012 and 2013, we started working on being a contractor more for the domestic side,” he said.
Vanquish put about two years of thought and research into making its bids for the current contracts, Barton said. He said he is hoping the effort will continue to pay off.
“We are looking forward to winning more of the set contracts over the next few years because of the work we have done so far,” he said.
The company has other domestic operations going for it. Vanquish formed a relationship with FedEx and now handles more than 40 percent of packages shipped and received through the FedEx terminal in Nashville. In 2014, Vanquish began providing FedEx line haul services, delivering loads between terminals.
An 11-year Marine Corps veteran, Barton founded Vanquish in 2007. Though headquartered in Maryville, it also has offices in Afghanistan, Uganda, Iraq and throughout the United States. The company, which has 145 employees, provides logistics maintenance, supply, transportation, security, training, facility and life support, manpower/staff augmentation, information technology and construction services.
Vanquish is among about 20 business ventures that Barton owns. In 2014, he ventured into real estate, acquiring four Dollar General store locations in East Tennessee in what Barton said was part of a plan to broaden the growth strategy for Vanquish Worldwide.