By Mary Godie, WBIR —
For the next two years, a local defense company will supply materials and support to the troops in Afghanistan. Vanquish Worldwide is under a $983 million defense contract. By the time it’s up, they’re hoping to stimulate the economy right here in East Tennessee.
The President and CEO of the Friendsville company Vanquish Worldwide, Eric Barton, is a former Marine.
“It’s a good feeling to have been a part of the military in uniform,” said Barton. Now, he’s aiding troops in Afghanistan.
The company recently signed a contract with National Afghan Trucking, and one of their most important roles is providing fuel services. They pick it up and take it to other bases. Since all the bases run on generators, the fuel is necessary for electricity.
Through other contracts, the government supplies food, clothing, building supplies, and vehicles. Through National Afghan Trucking, Vanquish transports it.
“Everything that you can imagine that we would go in the store and buy or we would drive down the street to get, we deliver on trucks to them,” said Vanquish Worldwide Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tiffany Midyett.
The team even provides counseling for the troops as the prepare for the 2014 withdrawal.
“As the military focuses its effort on training and reconstruction by allowing contractors to pick up some of the other support functions it can focus more of an effort for the actual soldiers and marines,” said Barton.
He said at this point he thinks the military already has the majority of these private contractors in place for the withdrawal period.
“While there are always opportunities for new companies to come in, I think most of the work is at this point has been kind of divided up,” said Barton.
“A lot of the big contractors have already positioned themselves and do already have a presence,” said Midyett.
Once their contract is up, Vanquish plans on bringing their skills right back to East Tennessee.
“We are wanting to expand, and we’re developing relationships with other companies here in East Tennessee,” said Midyett.
Vanquish Worldwide has already worked in Uganda, Iraq, and right here in the U.S., but the trucking service contract in Afghanistan has been their biggest job yet.