FORT BRAGG, N.C.--For the military, contingency contracting tends to reference combat operations or natural disasters, but in reality, they can occur anytime, anywhere and sometimes for positive reasons such as preparing for a visit from the president of the United States.

A Dec. 14 short-notice visit to Fort Bragg by President Barack Obama to announce the end of the war in Iraq set the wheels in motion for the 905th Contingency Contracting Battalion, Fort Bragg, and Mission Contracting Office-Fort Bragg to jump into action.

The 905th CCBn is a U.S. Army Expeditionary Contracting Command unit and the MCO-Fort Bragg is part of the U.S. Army Mission and Installation and Contracting Command.

The contracting office received notification of the event on a Friday at 5 p.m. with execution being the following Wednesday. Because of the historical significance of the event and the nationwide attention from both the media and the public, there was no room for failure.

In order to execute such a task and ensure complete follow through, the 905th and MCO-Fort Bragg offices called on Uche Washington, chief, contracting branch, Mission Installation Division, MCOFort Bragg, along with Maj. David Weese, and Sgt. 1st Class Kelvin France, of the local 717th Contingency Contracting Team to ensure mission success.

All three contracting professionals worked closely with members of the White House, Secret Service, and the 18th Airborne Corps command and staff to ensure planners and coordinators had everything required to ensure the commander in chief's historic visit went off without a hitch. The 905th CCBn personnel embedded themselves with the planners from the start, attended coordination meetings as members of planning cells, met with White House staffers and key corps personnel throughout the mission.

"During the execution of the short-notice mission to enable the president's visit, Ms. Washington, Maj. Weese and Sgt. 1st Class France demonstrated all of the MCO's values: agility, commitment, competence, diligence, initiative, timeliness, teamwork and even fun at work. They were and continue to be a great team," said Lt. Col. Dennis McGowan, 905th commander.

In order for the speech to be successful, all had to be perfect. That meant confirming the location
had all the necessary equipment available and ensuring transportation efforts were synchronized.

"Although the majority of the event was supported by the Fort Bragg Public Affairs Office and the 18th Airborne Corps command and staff, Fort Bragg has a limited inventory of staging, lighting, and audiovisual systems, and therefore had to contract certain items through nationwide vendors to make this magnitude of an event possible," said Jon Woolfolk, plans and operations specialist for the Directorate of Plans, Training, and Mobilization Office.

"The 905th and the Mission Contracting Office -- Fort Bragg answered the call, and with minimal notice, went to work conducting market research and competitive negotiations."

The contracting professionals held fast to fair and reasonable pricing and competitive source selection. Through effective market research and determination of fair and reasonable pricing, two separate contracts were awarded to two separate vendors who provided staging, lighting, sound, electrical, and sign language interpretation for the event.

The end result: competition, fair and reasonable pricing, mission success for the command and improved government-contractor relations for future contingencies operations if and when they occur.

Page last updated Fri March 23rd, 2012 at 00:00