Odyssey News and Awards

Tom Kulesz Has Joined Odyssey as Corporate Facility Security Officer

Tom Kulesz has joined the Odyssey Wakefield office as the Corporate Facility Security Officer (FSO). Tom brings 30 years of leadership experience with security operations, regulatory procedures, and customer compliance within the Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) environments.

Prior to accepting the position at Odyssey, Tom honed his skills at Raytheon, Textron, and L3/Harris where he managed both physical and personnel security operations, IT Security, and application of the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM).

Tom will be working with our FSO in Colorado Springs, Alice Spivey to ensure Odyssey compliance across our contact base, and will be instrumental in helping assess our future needs as Odyssey prepares for meeting our $500M in 5 years goal.

A New Way to Win

There is a new way to win contracts in the DoD world, and it is changing how not only Odyssey submits proposals, but also how we document our work for the Government. Since 2018, many of Odyssey’s larger customers have started to use Highest Technically Rated Offeror (HTRO) Requests for Proposal (RFPs) to measure which company will be the best fit for their contract.

What is an HTRO Proposal?

Instead of asking companies to write dozens or even hundreds of pages of narrative text along with pricing, now we are being asked to submit hard, documented evidence to prove across a wide variety of non-technical and technical categories that we have the right experience to perform. The reason for this new approach is to try and take any subjectivity out of the selection process and instead measure a black-and-white score based on evidence. The company with the highest score is vetted, and if they are not decremented points based on poor evidence, then pricing is analyzed. If it falls within the right range, we win!

As an example, our recent Reaper win included more than 1,500 pages of annotated evidence (contract documentation, MSRs, employee rosters, PWSs, etc.) and a few hundred pages of pricing documentation. It’s no small feat to submit, let alone win!

We have submitted HTRO efforts for AFLCMC at both Hanscom and Wright Pat, and soon we will submit for new work and customer at Eglin, as well as for a new federal-level purchasing program called GSA ASTRO. HTRO proposals are here to stay!

Positives and Negatives

The positive is that on paper, it should be easy to pick a clear winner—the company with the highest score. Unfortunately, it’s never that easy, and contracting offices across the DoD are, just like us, learning as they go. In addition, we now don’t have a chance to focus on compelling writing and we lose the ability to sell our soft skills, like our skilled and passionate workforce. It’s all about points now.

What does this mean to me out in the field? 

Well, in some ways, not much, and in others, it could! If you submit info each month to be included in MSRs, you might be asked to include more detailed information. And, if your contract or you personally don’t deal with MSRs right now, you might have to start! The better evidence we have, the more points we can get, the greater our chance to win!


Odyssey, as a subcontractor to Quantech is on the winning team for the SAFS-2 RN project, awarded in the fall of 2019. Under this contract, Odyssey will help the team provide A&AS services for SMC/EC in Los Angeles.


Odyssey was part of the team that won a contract in late 2019 for AFLCMC/EB at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. We are a subcontractor to the winning prime, Credence Management Solutions. The team will help manage and sustain all pistols, machine guns, shotguns, rifles, carbines, grenade launchers, ceremonial weapons and mortars used by individual members of the USAF.

Hawaii Department of Human Services Policy Federal Grant Training

Odyssey was recently awarded a task order to provide federal grant regulations training to the Hawaii Dept of Human Services. The task order was issued under an IDIQ that Odyssey won last year for providing acquisition subject matter experts (SMEs) to dozens of states. it represents Odyssey’s first attempt and win at the state government level.

Air & Space Expeditionary Force (AEF)

us space force sealUnder a five-year contract to support the Headquarters United States Space Force (HQ USSF), formally HQ Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) in Colorado Springs, CO, Odyssey will deliver highly qualified personnel, experience, and processes along with our teammate, SA Analysis LLC, in support of A3/6 Air and Space Expeditionary Force (AEF) II missions. The Odyssey team developed the first version of Deployment Comparison and Management Program (DCoMP) software nearly two decades ago, which quickly expanded from standalone, executable software to the current suite of web-based tools that provide users with unparalleled deployment management capability.

MQ-9 Reaper (EPASS)

MQ-9 ReaperUnder a five-year task order supporting the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s (AFLCMC) Medium Altitude Unmanned Aircraft System (MAUAS) Division (AFLCMC/WII) under the Center’s Engineering, Professional, Administrative, and Support Services (EPASS) program, Odyssey will expand our full-spectrum advisory and assistance (A&AS) acquisition lifecycle support services to advance WII’s mission responsibility of arming the warfighter with timely UAS solutions. “The opportunity to support the MAUAS Division is tremendously exciting,” said Odyssey CEO Tom Portlock. “The importance of the MQ-9 Reaper to the U.S. Air Force and our warfighters is unparalleled, and we will make every effort to ensure the continued success of the close air support, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities of the platform.”


Under a four-year task order to provide acquisition management support services to USAFE-AFAFRICA, Odyssey efforts will augment organic capabilities at the program management office (PMO) at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and will include a broad range of professional acquisition, financial, and administrative capabilities to support effective and responsive management of the USAFE-AFAFRICA mission.

EPASS Mobility

KC-46 PegasusOdyssey is part of a team that will support the U.S. Air Force’s Mobility and Training Aircraft Directorate (AFLCMC/WL), the Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate (AFLCMC/WV), and the Tanker Directorate (AFLCMC/WK) within the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center in a subcontracting capacity. The work supports the U.S. Air Force Mobility and Training aircraft fleets, the new Presidential Airlift Recapitalization (PAR) program and the Executive Airlift fleet, as well as the entire Tanker fleet (including the new KC-46 aircraft).

Do you have ideas or suggestions for content you’d like to see in The Journey?
Please let us know: catherineemond@odysseyconsult.com.