By Ryan Mattox, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs OfficeApril 8, 2013
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Members of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., played a critical role in meeting an expedited need to establish a comprehensive training and support program for Iraqi defense forces.
Iraqi government officials requested assistance from the United States through foreign military sales with obtaining goods and services in support of their defense forces personnel. The U.S. Army Security Assistance Training Management Organization at Fort Bragg is responsible for the requirement for support, personnel, facilities, transportation, supervision and non-personal services items to perform training services in support of the Iraq International Academy in Iraq.
Due to the nature of their mission, SATMO officials needed it quickly and turned to a team of contracting experts at MICC-Fort Bragg to develop the $45 million requirement for the academy. The academy will be the centerpiece for professional military education of Iraqi senior leadership within its ministry of defense.
MICC-Fort Bragg officials said the estimated time frame for an award with a value of $45 million, such as the Iraq International Academy contract, is typically 280 days from the date of involvement.
"Through coordination and a group effort with all key players, we were able to award this requirement in 34 days," said Anne Talbot, chief of the installation pre-award division for the MICC-Fort Bragg.
According to Talbot, there were a few obstacles they needed to overcome during the process.
"Personnel resourcing is always challenging," Talbot said. "We shifted workload from the assigned contract specialist to ensure the Iraq International Academy was her sole focus. This caused a shift in additional work to other contract specialists within the division. As the division chief and awarding contracting officer, I also had to frequently shift focus to ensure the award time was completed while juggling management of the division."
Additionally, MICC-Fort Bragg contracting officials were in constant communication with the principal assistant responsible for contracting through the MICC field director office at Fort Bragg to ensure all necessary reviews and approvals were accomplished and allowed the team to meet the expedited award date.
As difficult as it was to shorten this process to 34 days, the contracting officer still felt the process was the same as with any other award process; however, meeting the expected Feb. 28 award date would be a challenge. The MICC-Fort Bragg team was able to meet the customer's expedited needs by shifting resources and priorities and effectively communicating with each other.
"Everyone involved from the MICC-For Bragg, MICC-FDO Fort Bragg and PARC had to shift resources to focus on this award to ensure success," Talbot said. "One difference between this award and other awards was the level of detail in reporting our milestones during the process. Because of the level of visibility for an expedited award like this one, we were required to report to the PARC through the MICC-FDO our timelines and challenges twice a week."
MICC personnel are responsible for providing contracting support for the warfighter across Army commands, installations and activities located throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico. In fiscal 2012, the command executed more than 58,000 contract actions worth more than $6.3 billion across the Army, including more than $2.6 billion to small businesses. The command also managed more than 1.2 million Government Purchase Card Program transactions valued at an additional $1.3 billion.