Members of the 409th Contracting Support Brigade headquarters deployed in support of Saber Guardian at the Novo Selo Training Area in Eastern Bulgaria, March 21- April 4.

A U.S. Army Europe and Bulgarian land forces-led exercise, Saber Guardian involved approximately 700 military personnel from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Turkey and the U.S., as well as representatives from NATO. In conjunction with contracting support to SG14, the 409th, located in Kaiserslautern, Germany, deployed its headquarters to execute contingency capabilities.

"A big part of our mission is contingency contracting, and we are exercising our ability to deploy in a moment's notice," said Col. William J. Bailey, 409th CSB commander.

According to Bailey, SG14, is a multinational military exercise designed to strengthen international agency and military partnering. It also fosters trust and improves interoperability between NATO and partner nations involved with U.S. forces in foreign consequence management and peace support operations.

The 409th deployed 18 military and civilian personnel, including personnel from both the 903rd Contingency Contracting Battalion and the 928th CCBn, who were on hand to write and execute contracting needs in support of the exercise.

"More than supporting SG14, the 409th is testing our ability to operate and execute our day-to-day operations in an austere environment," said Bailey.

SG14 is the first time 409th headquarters has deployed outside of Germany.

"SG14 provided an opportunity for contingency contracting officers to collaborate with NATO and partner nations as well as embassy representatives and nongovernmental organizations during the exercise." said Lt Col. Alex Ayala, 409th CSB, plans and operations officer. "Additionally, 409th CCOs trained with multiple forms of reach back communications that allow their teams to operate in contingency environments."

During the exercise, personnel also conducted site surveys for two humanitarian civil assistance projects including the renovation of a kindergarten gym and a school in Sliven, Bulgaria. Renovations will begin in July and the 409th will provide contract support for building materials.