411th CSB Provides Support to Operation Tomodachi
April 20, 2011
The main island in the country of Japan experienced one of its worst earthquakes in history March 11. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake lasted several minutes and was followed by a tsunami that devastated the countryside in the vicinity of the city of Sendai.
The 411th Contracting Support Brigade, Yongsan Garrison, South Korea, responded almost immediately. Consisting of one senior contingency contracting team and three contingency contracting teams in Korea and two CCTs in Japan, the brigade was in the perfect position to provide on time contracting support to the affected commands.
Liaison officers were sent to meetings in Korea and Japan. As the only CSB responsible for operational contracting support on the Korean peninsula, the 411th interfaced with 8th Army and U.S. Forces Korea. Meeting with logistics and operations planners, members of the 411th provided on time business advice and greatly assisted in the planning for immediate response.
As the situation developed, the 650th CCT at Yokota Air Base, Japan, proved its worth by effectively contributing to the efforts of the U.S. Air Force's 374th Contracting Squadron. The squadron, which was designated the lead contracting activity in Japan, was responsible for chairing and running the joint contracting support board, as well as placing a non-voting member on the joint requirements review board. The JRRB was created to prioritize requirements destined to support the humanitarian assistance mission in Japan.
The second 411th team in Japan, the 680th CCT, Kadena Air Base, provided personnel to the stand-by team created by the Kadena-based U.S. Air Force 18th Contracting Squadron. In Korea, the balance of the 411th, Soldiers and civilians alike, leaned forward to provide reachback support to the contracting efforts in Japan. In a joint effort, market research on sources available to support were requested by Air Force contracting activities and sourced by Army units in Korea.
Not only were the 411th fully supporting requests from Japan, it also continued to provide planning assistance to the USFK, 8th Army, and 7th Air Force planners. The instability of the nuclear power plants in Japan added to the crisis as radiation levels on the island ebbed and flowed.
Thousands of Americans were still in Japan who would need a safe location from which to continue their movement out of the area. USFK made plans to receive them at five locations; at each, contract support would be instrumental to success. 411th planners made themselves available during non-duty hours to answer questions and provide relevant information as to the capabilities of the local vendor base.