Lending a helping hand
A U.S. Army Soldier watches as locals unload supplies from a CH-47 Chinook in Khyber - Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The flood affected nearly 20 million Pakistanis, forcing many from their homes.

The Expeditionary Contracting Command exercises its expeditionary capabilities in support of humanitarian relief efforts. Recently the command deployed its contracting warriors to support military operations assisting Pakistan since devastating floods there have displaced millions of Pakistanis.

The 408th Contracting Support Brigade, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, quickly responded to the call for contracting capability and deployed two contracting officers from the ACA-Kuwait office. The 408th CSB provides contracting support in the Central Command area of responsibility.

This mission is the pinnacle of events for contingency contracting officers - a real- world contingency mission. Maj. Reese Hauenstein and Maj. Ron Blanch received the call just 72 hours prior to their required departure. This represents the new paradigm shift in the expeditionary nature of Army contracting, which now provides contingency contracting teams in response to contingency missions versus the world-wide individual augmentation method.

The 408th CSB team continues to provide the day-to-day sustainment support for the Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that are fulfilling vital humanitarian assistance support to Pakistan. They will remain in the region until the crisis response effort is complete. This initial response capability is vital to the forces enabling humanitarian assistance efforts because units in support of crisis events rarely deploy with all their organic assets to sustain themselves. Essential resources such as food, water and hygiene maintenance, if not taken care of, can quickly incapacitate personnel and hinder the vital support they provide, making the unit operationally inefficient.

The 408th CSB will continue be on the leading edge of these missions in the future and continues to posture itself for full spectrum contract support by remaining "focused and determined."

(Lt. Col. Americus Gill, 408th contracting support Brigade, Maj. (P) Maria Schneider, Headquarter, Expeditionary Contracting Command, and Maj. Ryan Ocampo, 904th Contingency Contracting Battalion contributed to this article.)

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16