BAASS For those of us who have been waiting patiently since 2018, for the U.S. Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) to process our FOIA requests regarding the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP) and Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) […]
For those of us who have been waiting patiently since 2018, for the U.S. Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) to process our FOIA requests regarding the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP) and Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) documentation, there is now a glimmer of hope.
U.S. researcher Jack Brewer, has just advised of some documentation recently received from the DIA regarding the BAASS contract for AAWSAP. Please take a look at Jack’s 21 March 2022 blog post for more details, and to download copies of the actual documents.
Below is my take on the released documents, with comments as appropriate.
1. File named Contract-FY10 7 pages
Contract No. HMM402-08-C-0072 shows that the successful bidder was indeed BAASS.
As noted by Jack in his post, item 8 shows:
“Payment will be made by NSA Finance and Accounting Office, PO Box 1685 Attn: DF2111, Ft. George E. Meade, MD.”
Now, previous efforts, by myself and others, to locate who the actual AAWSAP contract was awarded to, by searching the “contract awarded to” for 2008, sections of various U.S. government websites, failed to locate any details of a contract awarded for AAWSAP. Here in this document, it is stated that the money will be paid to BAASS by NSA. Given the initials, and the address shown on the document, this is presumably the National Security Agency. There has always been speculation that the money for this program came from a “black budget” source. The document seems to confirm this, as the money did not simply come through the DIA.
Section 6 of the document “Solicitation issue date” shows a date of “Sep 01, 2008” and section 9 “Offer due date” has a date of “Sep 10, 2008.” These dates are slightly diffferent from the ones shown on the original solicitation issued 18 September 2008; which are 18 Aug 2008 and 5 Sep 2008 respectively.
2. File named Contract status 24 Aug 2009 6 pages
“Aerospace Contract Status” reports that BAASS’ performance “…has been excellent…Review of reports has been overwhelmingly positive…12 million for the continuation of this contract by DIA/DI has been submitted in the FY10 defense budget; funding likely to be approved.”
Page 3 is titled “Technical Report Review Results” and lists 26 reports (which later became Defense Intelligence Reference Documents.) The “Review Organization” column, has labels “Exchange;” and “Sandia.” Under the “Exchange” column, ten papers are rated as “positive.” Under “Sandia”, one paper is listed as “positive,” one as “missing” and one as “Understanding.” A fourth is redacted.
So, some of the listed documents were peer reviewed. However, “Exchange” reviewed only 10 out of the 26; and only four were apparently reviewed by “Sandia.”
Page 6 is titled “Program Management Issues” and in part, states “Program will most likely become SAP by June 2010.”
As we know from other sources, the program never achieved a “Special Access Program” status despite the best efforts of former Senator Harry Reid.
3. File named Contract Status Briefing 8 pages
A briefing for someone, about the program.
Page 5 is titled “Technical Reports Review Results.” Of the 26 listed documents, no actual ratings of them are shown despite a note to the effect “Red -independent review. Green – Sandia National Laboratories.”
Page 7 is titled “Option Year 1 (FY10) deliverables.” These deliverables include “`4-6 Classified Technical Reports.” As has been subsequently revealed, only one of the total of 38 DIRDs was classified; and even then, an unclassified version was issued as a seperate DIRD.
Page 8 is titled “Future Program Issues” and includes “If project continues past FY11 [redacted word] recommends that the contract be moved out of DIA.”
Which we now know, never happened. The program within the DIA was terminated, after two years. This was despite the efforts documented in the book “Skinwalkers at The Pentagon” to establish an AAWSAP-like program, within an alternative U.S. government agency.
4. File named SOW Aerospace 7 pages
This document appears to be a draft of the contents of the AAWSAP solicitation, as it cites the Federal Business Opportunity website, where the solicitation was issued on 18 August 2008. It is noted that due to privacy reasons, the DIA AAWSAP Manager’s name is redacted, although we know this to be James T. Lacatski.
6. File named U429.09 DWO IM
Dated 30 October 2009, this internal DIA memo for [redacted] DIA from [redacted] DIA, has a subject of “Review of Advanced Aerospace Contract Deliverables.” It states that [redacted] was asked to “…review the quality and value of the first-year techncial reports.” The actual reports reviewed are redacted. All we know, is that “Eight reviews were performed by other authorities listed in the table; five were performed by outside reviewers; including three research staff at Sandia National Laboratories.”
Whowever redacted the names of the authors of the technical reports, missed redacting two of the names. However, via other DIA documents we have learned the names of all the authors of these technical reports.
Jack Brewer is to be congratulated for his persistence in obtaining these documents which fill in yet another piece of the overall puzzle.
Jack Brewer also submitted a request for one of the more than 100 reports BAASS submitted to the DIA. This one was titled “Utah Ranch Investigation: August 2009 – February 2010.” It was listed in the rear of the “Skinwalkers at the Pentagon” book, by Lacatski et al, who should know what reports were sent to him at the DIA, where he worked. The DIA response to Jack’s request was “…no responsive documents” were found. Which is a puzzle. No doubt we shall learn more as DIA continues to slowly process the rest of the 2018, and subsequent, FOIA requests relating to BAASS and AAWSAP.