ACC commanding general visits Fort Sam Houston
September 13, 2012
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The commanding general of Army Contracting Command visited members of the Fort Sam Houston community, and gave insight to the future of Army contracting Sept. 6 and 7 here.
Maj. Gen. Camille Nichols spoke to officials from the Mission and Installation Contracting Command, 410th Contracting Support Brigade and 412th Contracting Support Brigade.
She also visited leaders of Army North and Installation Management Command as well as taking time to talk to wounded warriors at the San Antonio Military Medical Center. While at the MICC, she visited with Brig. Gen. Kirk Vollmecke, the MICC commanding general, and talked to the staff about the transfer of field offices from the MICC to the Expeditionary Contracting Command. Those include contracting offices at Fort Wainwright, Alaska; Fort Dix, N.J.; and Miami.
To be successful, she said the organizational transfer of offices and human capital planning requires buy-in at the point of our contracting spear from both the headquarters and contracting centers.
"Full integration should be seamless because it is a workforce that wears all kinds of suits," Nichols said. "You need to know where your pockets of brilliance are and … leverage that to fill the gaps throughout the MICC. A talent management strategy will help you become a more integrated command."
She also discussed ACC's efforts to develop a knowledge acceleration program.
"You cannot buy time. Time is set," the general said. "Nothing I can do can help people migrate through a time defying process of experiential learning except to bring them tools that give the ability to accelerate their learning. This can help us deal with (a) potentially inexperienced workforce.
"It is talking about taking your community of practice concept to the next level," she said. "If we have a list of things we know we are weak in, let's look at the list, prioritize it, find the best people, and then from every center and command -- wherever the pocket of brilliance is -- move it to work the issues and come up with a strategy for ACC."
The ACC commanding general said her deputy's top two priorities will be process improvement and knowledge acceleration.
Also discussed at the MICC was the realignment of field directorates, workload analysis, and end-of-fiscal-year contracting operations.
"The realignment looks all about the customer, but it really is a restructure for process improvement, transparency and consistency," she said. "Honing our craft and making us the premier contracting focus of all (the Department of Defense) is about process and talent management. Our output isn't a contract. It is a capability. That is the struggle we have in trying to measure what we deliver."
Nichols also addressed personnel issues during her visit as she reassured MICC members that everyone currently working for the ACC has a job.
"We need to get our manpower folks to adjust the (table of distribution and allowances) so we actually capture all our folks and not leave them in over-hire status. Before we cover any new positions, we need to cover what we already have."
Nichols leads ACC, which is a major subordinate command of Army Materiel Command. ACC includes two subordinate commands: the MICC and ECC, and six major contracting centers that support AMC's other major subordinate and life cycle management commands.