By Maj. Rory Foster, 724th Contracting TeamOctober 24, 2016
PINON CANYON MANEUVER SITE, Colorado -- (Oct. 24, 2016) Members of the 724th Contracting Team traveled to the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, Colorado, to provide assistance and operational contract support for the Warhorse Strike exercise in support of the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division's collective training event.
The 724th CT is assigned to the 918th Contracting Battalion and supports the 2/4 IBCT at Fort Carson, Colorado.
The Warhorse Strike exercise presents an opportunity for both the 724th CT and 2/4 IBCT to train. Both units have worked together in the past in multiple iterations of training exercises as well as at National Training Center rotations at Fort Irwin, California; however, this time, 2/4 IBCT requested the 724th CT to include scenarios into its master scenario event list to test the capability for planning in different types of contracted support events.
"The 2/4 IBCT is not matched on the modified tables of organization and equipment with an operations contracting support integration cell, but I understand the importance of OCS planning and decided to not only invite the 724th CT but have it play a critical role in the training exercise to ensure that my unit understands the importance of contract support integration actions during military operations," said Col. Matthew Cody, the 2/4 IBCT commander.
Warhorse Strike exercise officials said a critical aspect to the success of this exercise was ensuring the 724th CT understood 2/4 IBCT's scheme of maneuvers. Multiple rehearsals were performed, and with each rehearsal, the contracting team refined its OCS to match the brigade's plan. Acquisition officials said this tailored OCS proved instrumental, and it has shown that early integration of the contracting team with its assigned brigade was the key in building that partner capacity.
The training at Pinon Canyon Maneuver also benefited the 724th CT. It gave team members an opportunity to train their military occupation specialties in a harsh environment and served as another validation exercise for their upcoming mission. The 2/4 IBCT was also able to provide instructors and trainers for some of the 724th CT's pre-deployment, theater-specific individual readiness training, which culminated into both units participating in the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle Egress Assistance Trainer rollover training.
"Time and time again, the 724th CT has proved that early integration with their aligned BCT is invaluable," said Lt. Col. Thomas McFall, the 918th CBN commander. "Both units came out of this exercise with a greater understanding of what it takes to provide operational contract support during unified land operations, and it solidifies a strong working relationship with the 4th ID and other Fort Carson units."
Contracting units are integrated at various levels within the Army to provide OCS. Contracting support brigades are aligned to Army service component commands and corps, contracting battalions are aligned to division headquarters, and contracting teams as assigned to support brigade combat teams and other units for identified missions. This integration allows for planning, requirements development, and supporting contact execution with the appropriate capability at the appropriate level.
The 918th CBN is subordinate to the 418th Contracting Support Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas. The MICC is headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and is made up of approximately 1,500 military and civilian members assigned to the 418th CSB as well as two additional contracting support brigades, one field directorate office and 31 field offices responsible for contracting goods and services for Soldiers. In fiscal 2016, the command executed more than 32,000 contract actions valued at more than $4.6 billion across the Army, including $2.1 billion to American small businesses.