FORT IRWIN, California (Dec. 4, 2015) -- Members of the 724th Contracting Team traveled Oct. 19 to the National Training Center to establish base life support contracts prior to 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division's arrival for Rotation 16-02 at Fort Irwin, California.The 724th CT is assigned to the 918th Contracting Battalion and supports the 2/4 IBCT at Fort Carson, Colorado.Rotation 16-02 presents a unique opportunity for both the 724th CT and 2/4 IBCT. Both units worked together during garrison operations, pre-deployment site surveys, and collective training exercises prior to participating in the Decisive Action Training Exercise conducted at the NTC. A decisive action rotation at the NTC focuses on a combined-arms maneuver -- the ability to strike, seize, hold and end conflict quickly. The expeditious nature of this training exercise stresses the importance of the contracting team being well integrated with the IBCT leadership.One way the contracting team was able to stay abreast of the training requirements was by providing input about operational contract support during the combined arms rehearsal and participating in the brigade's daily logistics synchronization meeting. The 724th CT worked with Maj. James Farmer, the 2/4 IBCT executive officer, and Maj. James Acevedo, a 2/4 IBCT logistics officer, to ensure that tailored OCS was nested with the brigade's scheme of maneuvers during all phases of the operation.Officials from the 724th CT acknowledged that it has proven quite advantageous that they have been integrated with 2/4 IBCT prior to arriving at NTC. An understanding of all aspects of decisive action and unified land operations requires the contracting team and the unit have a shared knowledge of what it takes to sustain the fight on the go. If the contracting team and the supported unit are not integrated prior to arriving at the NTC, it could have led to a failure in the sustainment plan.The 724th CT has obligated more than $440,000 in contracted support for 2/4 IBCT during NTC Rotation 16-02. During 2/4 IBCT's last NTC rotation, their supporting contracting team obligated more than $700,000. The significant cost savings was not only due to a change in the way units conduct their training, but also because of the early integration of the contracting team. The team was able to provide sound business advice early into the planning process and clearly understood the unit's capability gaps."The 724th CT's integration with 2/4 IBCT will serve as proof of concept that contracting teams providing early OCS during unified land operation can be executed smoothly," said Lt. Col. Thomas McFall, the 918th CBN commander.This early integration is a 418th Contracting Support Brigade and Mission and Installation Contracting Command initiative, which is made possible by providing divisional commanders dedicated OCS with geographically aligned contracting battalions. Supporting 4th ID's mission sets and Fort Carson tenant units is the responsibility of the 918th CBN."I'm proud of the support that 724th CT is providing to 2/4 IBCT, NTC Rotation 16-02, and I am positive that the 724th CT will continue to perform with excellence during their upcoming deployment," McFall said.The 918th CBN is subordinate to the 418th CSB at Fort Hood, Texas. The MICC is headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and is made up of more than 1,500 military and civilian members assigned to the 418th CSB as well as two additional contracting support brigades, one field directorate office and 32 field offices responsible for contracting for Soldiers. In fiscal 2015, the command executed more than 36,000 contract actions valued at more than $5.2 billion across the Army, including $2.25 billion to American small businesses. The command also managed more than 600,000 Government Purchase Card Program transactions in fiscal 2015 valued at an additional $747 million.Editor's note: Maj. Rory Foster is the team leader for the 724th Contracting Team during the National Training Center rotation 16-02 at Fort Irwin, California.