MTRC Portable Welder
Evaluation (CV)
$200,000 Challenge
20-22 October 2020
Submissions Closed 03 September 11:59 PM ET

SOFWERX, in concert with USSOCOM Program Manager Expeditionary Support (PM-ES), will conduct a Combat Evaluation (CV) Challenge for the USSOCOM Mobile Technology & Repair Complex (MTRC) to address known operational deficiencies with current welding technologies employed in support of Overseas Contingency Operations. PM-ES is looking for relatively mature welding systems and capabilities to reduce the overall number and types of welding systems from over 5 systems to less than 3 systems per each MTRC Team location, while concurrently reducing the logistics footprint and supporting the existing operational requirements.

MTRC provides critical support to and servicing for Special Operation Forces (SOF) equipment, foreign equipment, vehicles, facilities, and other operational assets within the constraints of austere operational environments, limited logistics support, and immediate support timelines. MTRC meets SOF Commanders’ urgent requirements for forward deployed maintenance activities and rapid repair turn times by providing specialized personnel, capabilities, and equipment in engineering support, 3D printing, Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), welding, machining, manufacturing, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) support, general construction, electrical support, generator repair support, thermoplastics accessory fabrication, sewing repair and fabrication, night vision equipment repair, and weapons repair – at SOF point of need.

This challenge is specifically targeted at known operational deficiencies that exist in currently fielded welding systems.  Current commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) welding equipment that comprises MTRC welding systems includes but is not limited to: Miller 212, Miller 252, Miller 255, Millermatic 200, Millermatic 220, CST 280, and various ‘stand-alone’ TIG welders.

Why You Should Participate
USSOCOM PM-ES will utilize the Combat Evaluation to inform the acquisition process for the purposes of understanding what welding systems/equipment are available to be purchased, modified, and/or fielded in support of SOF Overseas Contingency Operations. In addition, USSOCOM PM-ES will collaborate with Industry, Academia, National Labs, and Non-Traditional Attendees, provide direct SOF Operator feedback on known operational conditions, and share the technical challenges contained therein.

Winners of the Portable Welder Combat Evaluation Challenge will receive awards of the following:

  • 1st Place: $77,000
  • 2nd Place: $57,000
  • 3rd Place: $37,000
  • 4th Place: $17,000
  • 5th Place: $7,000

Event Timeline
Completed Phase 1 – 30 July 2020 to 03 September 2020 Submissions Open for Combat Evaluation:
Interested respondents who could potentially provide solutions that meet the needs of USSOCOM are encouraged to submit their solution in order to participate in the Phase 3 Combat Evaluation. Please follow the submission instructions at the bottom of this webpage.

Phase 1b – 20 August 2020 Q&A Telecon: Interested offerors may participate in a virtual Q&A session to better understand the intent of the Combat Evaluation by USSOCOM. The telecon will take place on 20 August from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST. Click Here to RSVP and Submit Questions (NLT 19 August) 

Completed Phase 2 – 04 September 2020 to 08 September 2020 Downselect: USSOCOM will downselect those respondents with the submissions they feel have the highest potential to address their known operational deficiencies. Favorably evaluated submissions will receive an invitation on or around 08 September to participate in the Combat Evaluation.

Completed Phase 3 – 20 October 2020 to 22 October 2020 Combat Evaluation: Respondents will be required to address four distinct welding challenges in a limited physical space in an open-air environment. 20 October 2020 will be allocated to set-up, 21 October 2020 will be allocated towards the welding challenges, and 22 October 2020 will be allocated to tear-down. The four welding challenges on 21 October will consist of: (1) MIG aluminum welding challenge; (2) MIG mild steel welding challenge; (3) TIG aluminum welding challenge; and (4) ARC steel welding challenge. USSOCOM PM-ES will provide the physical materials to be welded and general instructions with regards to the method(s) of welding to be used. The respondents will be limited to a 14’x14’ space outside and subjected to any of the environmental conditions during the Combat Evaluation (i.e. wind, rain, sun, dust, etc.). The respondents will bring all associated welding systems, equipment, power, supplies, material, gasses, consumables, etc. to execute the four welding challenges in an eight-hour period within the allocated 14’x14’ space. The respondents will have approximately one hour of time to conduct each welding challenge, with one hour of reset, and will be actively evaluated throughout the three days of the Combat Evaluation.

Phase 4 – Path Forward: USSOCOM PM-ES reserves the right to purchase all, some, or none of the systems, subsystems, and/or individual pieces of equipment presented during the Combat Evaluation for immediate deployment in support of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). USSOCOM PM-ES may also elect to pursue other acquisition pathways if technology readiness levels within the welding systems presented during the Combat Evaluation do not facilitate immediate fielding.

For event-related questions, please contact Kinsey Crim, at
For technical questions, please contact Jason Schroeder, at