Message from George
Part and parcel with RQ’s strategy to grow our markets is the concept of planting the RQ flag. We actually don’t have an RQ flag, but we have the concept of having one, and when we plant it in a location it means something. We started with the flag planted in Southern California, and for the longest time this was the only place that RQ did work. Then along came the Archer Western/RQ JV in which we won a large series of BEQs at Camp Lejeune. We decided that we would “plant the RQ flag” there, and we have been committed to growing our mission and vision there, while living our values with near a $400 million backlog. We won a job or two in Virginia and made the decision to plant the RQ flag there. Then came GTMO and the Pacific NW where the RQ flag flies proudly. You see, we don’t go to one-off projects that don’t support our planted flag strategy. Of course there is the occasional outlier project that we occasionally do, like the Flight 93 memorial. But discipline requires us to limit our work to areas of the country that RQ has sustainable work that meets our criteria.
One such area is the Silver Strand portion of Coronado. First, some RQ trivia: Our first job, won in February of 1997, was the SEAL Team 1 Operations Building in Coronado, and RQ went on to build numerous SEAL projects there. But with a new Campus planned just to themselves, we made the decision that we needed to plant the RQ flag there. Well, we did, and we have ended up doing more work there than any other contractor. Planting the flag isn’t just about winning work. It is working toward our mission of being the first choice of our stakeholders, especially the owner. I believe that we are being successful in that endeavor, at the new SEAL complex and everywhere else we have planted the flag. I listen carefully to government representatives and they confirm that we often set the standard for other contractors.
Our success with the Navy SEAL campus, overseen by our Regional Business Leader Kevin Kurz and his incredible team, is the model for future RQ endeavors, such as Camp Lejeune and the incredible success that we have had there to date. What an honor it is to serve those who serve us. Never think what we do is just a job. It is serving our SEALs and other special operators in the defense of our country. The fact that we can take care of ourselves and our families while serving them makes this just an awesome profession. Thank you all.
George H. Rogers, III
PRESIDENT AND CEO
RQ’s Jobs at Silver Strand
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Thank You To Our Project Team Members
Randy Van Nuis
Kirk Van Cleave
Why Silver Strand
By: Eric Taylor
It always dumbfounded me to watch depictions of the Revolutionary War where rows of soldiers line up facing one another in bright uniforms, taking turns firing muskets and canon balls at each other. Such was warfare back then. And yet even then, the colonials were known to fight in unconventional ways. Today it is known as guerrilla warfare. Many years later, in the same vein, the Navy SEALs were a special forces group established for guerrilla and counter-guerrilla warfare. They got their name precisely because these elite units would be fully able to operate from SEa, Air or Land. The SEALs.
The first two teams were formed in January 1962. Team One was stationed at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in San Diego while Team Two was stationed at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach – two bases that RQ knows well. In 1983 the SEALs had grown, and a reorganization saw Coronado house SEAL teams One, Three, Five, and Seven while Virginia Beach took on teams Two, Four, Six, and Eight. The SEALs had grown. There is a lot of fascinating history surrounding the SEALs, but that history is not the point of this article. I’d encourage you to google it and learn about the history of the special forces that RQ has been able to support from our very early days until today.
RQ’s support of the SEALs today is what this article is about. To understand why the Navy decided to build the new SEALs’ base on Silver Strand (which RQ has designed and built the vast majority of) takes understanding Naval Amphibious Base Coronado and the needs of the SEALs.
NAB Coronado is a Navy shore command that supports over 30 tenant commands. The on-base population today is about 5,000 military personnel and 7,000 students and reservists. The land mass of the base stretches about 1,000 acres, including the main base, training beaches, a preserve, a recreation marina, enlisted family housing, and even a state park. That is a good enough picture of NAB Coronado. 12,000 people on a limited-size base.
The Navy decided recently that the SEALs at NAB Coronado needed their own space. Why? Not only had the use and number of people of NAB Coronado grown since the first SEAL Team One’s arrival in 1962, but so too had the needs of the SEALs. My son played soccer with the son of a SEAL. When I asked him about the new base RQ had just been awarded, his words were: “Finally… a place for our guys to put their stuff!”
The “stuff” these guys need for their proverbial lockers is vast. I got a pretty good list from an article by Lee Ann Obringer called “How the Navy SEALs Work.” For clothing, a SEAL needs clothing for varying temperatures and tasks. For swimming to shore for example, a SEAL needs gear for extremely cold water temperatures as well as warmer land temps. Because deployment is worldwide, and these guys operate from sea, air, and land, these guys need quite a few wardrobe changes!
The “stuff” includes weapons too. SEALs use handguns such as the 9mm SIG Sauer P226 and the MK23 MOD 0 45-caliber offensive handgun with a suppressor and laser-aiming module. They use rifles such as the AK-47 and M4A1 5.56mm. They use shotguns like the MK43 and M2HB and HK MP5 9mm submachine gun series (among others). Then there are also the sniper rifles like the M88 .50 PIP and M-14 sniper rifle along with grenade launchers, mortars, and AT4 anti-tank rockets. And…the SEAL gets any other weapon necessary for any particular specific task. And because the SEALs need to be experts in handling their weapons, RQ was given the task to build them a Shoot House to practice.
The “stuff” for SEALs includes vehicles too. Much could be said about all the types of vehicles the SEALs use, my kids’ favorite. LEGO should start making SEAL vehicles. They have the SEAL Delivery Vehicle that operates below the surface of the water. They have surface watercraft like the CRRC, the SOC-R, the 11-meter RHIB, and the MK V. The MK V Special Operations Craft (SOC) is the most versatile, high-performance combatant craft in the Naval Special Warfare inventory. The SEALs use the NSW Rigid-hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB), the Special Operations Craft-Riverine (SOC-R), and the Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC). In other words, the SEALs needed a very, very big garage (and maintenance facilities)!
The “stuff” for the SEALs’ scuba needs include an open-circuit system, a closed-circuit system, and a closed-circuit mixed gas system. That kind of equipment/wardrobe will fill your locker in a hurry all by itself. If you ever surf, you know how much space you need just for a dry suit or wet suit, let alone the flippers and tanks if you want to scuba.
The “stuff” needed for jumps, when the SEALs arrive somewhere from the air, includes even more gear. They need specific equipment for free-fall techniques, high-altitude jumping, HAHO jumps (where chutes are deployed just a few seconds after the jump), as well as fast-rope and rappelling equipment (which also require helicopters by the way).
The “stuff” for the land includes a broad range of clothes (already mentioned) and equipment. Examples include mountain climbing gear, snow shoes, navigation equipment, and the right vehicles for every occasion. It’s not just Ken and Barbie that need the right vehicle for every occasion! The list of needs also includes camouflage netting, water packs, dust goggles, machetes, special netting and hammocks, etc., etc., etc.
The list of “stuff” goes on and on and on and on. To be able to go into any situation on sea, air, or land – to be a SEAL – you need gear and equipment for any situation. The crowded NAB Coronado did not allow the space for the SEALs to house all their “stuff” in one spot. A lot of things had to be stored off-site which logistically was not efficient for maximizing training. Imagine the days when you had to drive to Kinkos to print out your drawings. Inconvenience means being less productive. We’ve put all the SEALs’ printing needs (so to speak) right in their job trailer (so to speak). We have been able to design and build for our country’s SEALs a new home on the Silver Strand. Welcome home Teams One, Three, Five, and Seven!
Mon – Fri : 8am - 4:30pm
Sat - Sun : Closed