Brigade activation strengthens contracting capability
June 7, 2013
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (June 7, 2013) -- Officials from the Army Contracting Command activated the 419th Contracting Support Brigade during a ceremony June 7 at Fort Bragg, N.C., in a continuing effort to provide installation and operational contracting support to Army commands.
The activation follows attachment of contracting Soldiers to the Mission and Installation Contracting Command in April as part of their integration with contracting centers and offices throughout ACC and the MICC that began in March.
"Establishing this brigade provides the MICC headquarters the capability to enhance core customer support through improved strategically aligned support to commands and installations," said Col. Antonio Brown, 419th CSB commander. "The brigade also provides the opportunity to strengthen contract compliance and oversight as well as ensure a core balance between horizontal and vertical span of control."
Like previously established contracting support brigades aligned to an Army command with a geographic area of responsibility, Brown said the 419th CSB also possesses an expeditionary mission.
"The 419th CSB fills a capability gap by serving as the global response force for contracting operations," he said.
He explained that this allows the brigade to provide operational contract support to the XVIII Airborne Corps and eight continental United States-based divisions as well as tailored contracting support to the Army or joint warfighter.
With its activation, the brigade assumes an initial operational capability and will work with MICC officials this summer to fill several key positions with military personnel who will help lead the unit to full operational capability over the next two years.
"These individuals will play a key role in quickly implementing the requirements for full operational capable status," Brown said.
The 419th CSB will be made up of more than 250 Soldiers assigned to one of six contingency contracting battalions. In addition to the 900th Contingency Contracting Battalion at Fort Bragg and 902nd CCBN at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., four battalions are planned to be activated in 2013. Those include the 922nd CCBN at Fort Campbell, Ky.; 918th CCBN at Fort Carson, Co.; 919th CCBN at Fort Bliss, Texas; and 925th CCBN at Fort Drum, N.Y.
Aligned under the battalions will be contingency contracting teams and senior contingency contracting teams. Training and accomplishing contracting operations alongside MICC civilian contracting members day to day, these teams are also called upon to perform all contracting in a contingency environment including military and stability operations as well as natural disasters and humanitarian events.
"There is still much work to achieve full operational capability status by the beginning of fiscal 2015," Brown said. "With adequate resources, we will meet all objectives to become the Army's first contracting support brigade capable of deploying anytime, anywhere the Department of Defense needs us."
The 419th CSB is one of two brigades being activated as part of the integration of Soldiers with the MICC. The 418th CSB will be activated at Fort Hood, Texas, in a ceremony on July 10 and will also be attached to the MICC.
The activation ceremony was officiated by Maj. Gen. Camille Nichols, the ACC commanding general, who helped uncase the organization's colors with Brown. Brown also serves as the director of the MICC field directorate office at Fort Bragg.
The MICC is responsible for providing contracting support for the warfighter throughout Army commands, installations and activities located throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico. In fiscal 2012, the command executed more than 58,000 contract actions worth more than $6.3 billion across the Army, including more than $2.6 billion to small businesses. The command also managed more than 1.2 million Government Purchase Card Program transactions valued at an additional $1.3 billion.