ERBIL, Iraq -- (Aug. 10, 2015) Soldiers at the regional contracting office here conducted the first in-theater vendor training day to cultivate the critical relationship between local vendors and U.S. forces in Iraq.Topics discussed with potential vendors ranged from the solicitation process to reading and understanding what is required in military contracts. Since the regional contracting team's arrival in Erbil, it has executed contracts totaling more than $2.8 million supporting the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command-Iraq mission.Coordinating the event were Maj. Larry Epps, Sgt. 1st Class Mark Wirtz and Staff Sgts. Raul Medina and Matthew Dickson, all of the 709th Contracting Team deployed from the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Fort Lee, Virginia."It is evident that this day marks the beginning of a relationship forged in trust and mutual understanding of U.S. government contracting personnel and local vendors in Iraq," said Epps, the Erbil team chief.In the coming months, the Erbil team will continue building on its relationship with vendors in order to expedite the acquisition of their customers' requirements.