Army contracting supports development of Taqaddum
By Courtesy storyAugust 10, 2015
AL-TAQADDUM AIR BASE, Iraq -- Developing a new military site at Al-Taqaddum Air Base was a mission originally given to the U.S. Marines. And through their mission analysis, the Marines identified various services that would be required to sustain life at the remote site, which is located roughly 40 miles west of Baghdad in the Al-Anbar province.
The Marines recognized contracted logistical support would be imperative to mission success as it would allow them to focus on their mission to train and advise and assist the Iraqi army and security forces in the region.Coordinating the contracted support became the mission of the 408th Contracting Support Brigade. As the lead service for contracting coordination, the CSB provides direct support contracting for U.S. forces on behalf of U.S. Army Central.Maj. Jason Hulsey, a contracting officer with the 900th Contracting Battalion, 408th CSB, assisted the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force planners with developing their concept of support. Critical services such as bulk water, wastewater disposal, and trash collection needed contracts with local nationals. The Baghdad contracting office reached out to vendors in the area, outlining the immediate need for services.
On June 20, the contract went to a small, local business that was given notice to begin work."The contractor mobilized his workforce and equipment started to flow into Taqaddum over the next 14 days," Hulsey said. "The contractor faced many unknowns as some assets had to travel from a great distance to Anbar province."
Freedom of movement quickly became the biggest obstacle the contractor encountered with numerous civilian and military checkpoints along the route. By coordinating with the Government of Iraq and Iraqi army officials, the contractor was able to secure clearances and move the equipment and resources to Taqaddum.At Taqaddum, Marines and the small business owner worked together to make something out of nothing. Maj. Michael Kaniuk the contracting officer representative from the II MEF Advise and Assist Team said the Marines couldn't have done it alone.
"This business, in concert with the herculean efforts of our multi-service personnel, was integral to the buildup of Taqaddum," Kaniuk said. "Their employees have been phenomenal, accommodating, hardworking and understanding of the needs of the camp."
Lt. Col. Amanda Flint, 900th Contracting Battalion commander, commended the efforts of her Soldiers.
"The life support services at Taqaddum are just one of many success stories happening in the region resulting from the dedicated efforts of deployed contracting personnel in the 408th Contracting Support Brigade," she said.
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