FORT IRWIN, California (October 22, 2015) -- Members of the 612th Contracting Team are providing operational contract support for National Training Center rotation 16-01 at Fort Irwin, California.The 612th CT, assigned to the 901st Contracting Battalion from Fort Hood, Texas, was tasked to support the 1st Cavalry Division's 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team during its Decisive Action rotation at the NTC. The 612th CT works closely with the unit, consisting of approximately 5,000 Soldiers, to provide a wide range of supplies and services not available through normal supply channels as well as train and educate the brigade on operational contract support in order to maximize the overall training experience."Additionally, training conducted at NTC provides contracting teams the opportunity to operate in an environment that closely mirrors the conditions that they would face in a real-world contingency or operation. The team is observed by trained observer coach trainers who coach, teach and mentor throughout the rotation," said Lt. Col. Michael Christiansen, observer coach trainer to rotational contracting teams at the NTC.Members of the 612th CT began coordination and planning with the brigade in early May when the team's leadership attended the pre-deployment site survey with key leaders of the brigade in order to identify shortfalls where contract support would be required to bridge gaps.Immediately following that survey and upon return to Fort Hood, operational contract support planning and coordination began between the unit and contracting team. Personnel from the 1/1 ABCT received training from the 612th CT in areas including building contract requirements packages, performance work statements and the contracting officer representative program.Once the contracting team had complete packages, the contracts were solicited at Fort Hood and awarded immediately upon the team arriving at the NTC Sept. 15. For the remaining three weeks at the NTC, the team will focus on contract administration and follow-on contract support requirements from the supported unit.To date, the 612th CT has awarded and are administering eight contracts valued at more than $391,000, and have saved the rotational unit more than $97,000 by increasing competition through extended solicitation. Leaders within the MICC are confident that aligning contracting teams to NTC rotations definitely adds value for both the rotational unit and contracting team."NTC rotations with our aligned warfighter are a critical part of the contracting commander's road to war assessment, validation and certification of contracting teams identified to deploy downrange," said Lt. Col. Robert Mathews, commander of the 901st CBN. "More importantly, it gives these CTs an opportunity to build rapport with the warfighter while educating them on operational contract support. NTC is a means to an end for demonstrating how each organization has a vested interested in each other's mission success while enforcing good stewardship of the taxpayer dollars."The 901st CBN is subordinate to the 418th Contracting Support Brigade at Fort Hood. The 418th CSB is one of three contracting support brigades and a field directorate office making up the Mission and Installation Contracting Command. The MICC is headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas.The 612th CT is comprised of Sgt. 1st Class Dontrell Brown and Staff Sgt. Reginald Alexander. Staff Sgt. Damon Belanger of MICC-Fort Riley is augmenting the team as a contract specialist.Editor's note: Maj. Jon Gardner is the team leader for the 612th Contracting Team during the National Training Center rotation 16-01 at Fort Irwin, California.