Air Force Base Prepping for EMP Vulnerability Tests


In response to a Trump administration executive order, Joint Base San Antonio is getting ready to test its infrastructure against a simulated electromagnetic pulse attack.

An Air Force base in Texas is getting ready to test its infrastructure against an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, attack and needs to do preliminary site surveys to design future tests.

Officials at Joint Base San Antonio in Lackland, Texas issued a request for quote for an EMP-tailored survey of the Petroleum, Oil and Lubrication, or POL, complex, which consists of multiple buildings in two areas of the base connected by an underground pipeline.

The Air Force is conducting this test, and others, in adherence with a Trump-era executive order requiring the military and key agencies involved in securing critical infrastructure to put more resources into defending against EMP attacks, in which an electromagnetic wave could potentially knock out all electronic components in its wake.

“This will ensure critical fuel infrastructure remains operational, as well as contributes to a national Dissuasion Strategy intended to preclude adversarial use of EMP as a weapon,” according to the performance work statement.

The initial tests won’t include actual electromagnetic waves, but rather a review of “engineering plans, relevant schematics and other applicable documentation to locate, identify and quantify infrastructure potentially vulnerable to EMP waveforms.” That work will be wrapped into a report used to inform the next stage of EMP vulnerability testing.

“This field survey is necessary to develop the project scope and cost estimates for an upcoming EMP vulnerability assessment of the JBSA-Lackland POL complex,” the solicitation states. “Without the results of this project, subsequent phases will not be planned efficiently which could lead to cost overruns or inadequate funding leading excessive time delays and potential mission failure.”

The winning contractor will be expected to conduct the field survey and submit a final report to the Air Force within 60 days of award.

Responses to the RFQ are due March 19.

Vendors interested in doing a site visit before submitting a bid must submit a request by March 2. Site visits are being scheduled for March 3.