Supporting more than just the warfighter
December 8, 2011
Civilian and military contracting specialists are increasingly in demand to support critical contracting requirements around the world.
Whether it's military operations, counterinsurgency, life support systems or emergency disaster relief, contracting specialists will always be needed. As these requirements increase, the Army Contracting Command is poised to provide critical support.
The ACC Contingency Support Center was established in April 2011 to resource and coordinate command support for contingency operations within the U.S. and overseas.
"ACC has been increasingly asked to provide contract management support for the warfighter and the Army in missions that are beyond the scope of the command's day-to-day mission and operations," said Jack Cunnane, director, ACC Contingency Support Center.
The ACC CSC is the command's resourcing focal point for all contingency operations overseas and natural disaster relief in the U.S. The backbone of the CSC is the Deployable Cadre Program whose mission is to provide the immediate capacity to deploy contract management personnel support when needed. "The command must be prepared to respond quickly and effectively with highly qualified personnel at a moment's notice. These people must be ready to deploy when called," said Cunnane.
To establish a standing roster of personnel, the center actively promoted the benefits of serving in the DCP through Army command information and social media outlets and channels.
"The most successful endorsement of the program has been the sincere pride of service for ACC employees currently serving," Cunnane said. "Program members' stories were featured in the ACC Spotlight and publicized throughout the command and on Facebook. Employees described their experiences, challenges and unique situations encountered in a contingency environment. Most notably, they described what it was like to work and serve alongside the warfighter," Cunnane continued.
"The program has offered me an opportunity to take risk and develop my skill set in a contingency environment. I was ready to explore another facet of the 1102 (contracting specialist) career field and the cadre program helped me take that first step," said Kathy Valentine, contracting officer, serving with ACC in Afghanistan.
"The Soldiers we work with as cadre members versus permanent party civilians appreciate that we do and understand what they are dealing with here in Kuwait. We are a part of getting the mission done and ensuring the warfighters get what they need here and downrange, "said Deborah Doyle, division chief, special projects, serving with ACC in Kuwait.
""I have the deepest respect and admiration for the warfighter. Working alongside them in a contingency environment has given me a new perspective on their day-to-day job," said Lynn Roberts, contract specialist, serving with ACC in Afghanistan.
In less than six months, the ACC Deployable Cadre Program developed a standing roster of ACC qualified employees ready to deploy at a moment's notice. Due to this overwhelming response, ACC was able to support more than just its initial requirements. ACC reached out to the Defense Contract Management Agency to provide deployment opportunities for ACC acquisition personnel to support DCMA's burgeoning operational contracting mission. DCMA Director, Charlie Williams accepted ACC's offer of support.
ACC and DCMA signed a memorandum of agreement in late April 2011 citing ACC will support seven DCMA Afghanistan positions on an enduring basis as volunteer pools and Army contingency tasking allows. The seven positions will consist of three contract specialists, two property specialists and two quality assurance specialists for 179 days to perform duties in DCMA Afghanistan. As of September, ACC provided DCMA with 11 employees currently performing contingency contracting duties for DCMA as well as supporting ACC contingency requirements.
The ACC Contingency Support Center continues to recruit for the Deployable Cadre Program. For more information go to www.armyhire.com/volunteer.