JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- (Dec. 13, 2016) An agreement between the Army Contracting Command and 377th Theater Sustainment Command is increasing mission readiness with Reservists now lending acquisition support to the Mission and Installation Contracting Command.

Officials from ACC and the 377th TSC, higher headquarters to the Army Reserve Sustainment Command, signed a memorandum of understanding in May 2016 allowing the integration of ARSC Soldiers in the 51C military occupational specialty into ACC units.

"The MICC and other ACC subordinate organizations will use this opportunity to strengthen and challenge Army Reserve acquisition professionals through a meaningful contracting workload," said Col. Catherine Lassiter, the director of Reserve operations for the MICC. "When we are called upon, the goal is to complement our active-duty mission partners and prepare ourselves to be ready."

Through a phased-in approach that got underway in October, the MICC began integrating Reserve Soldiers with the 915th Contracting Battalion in Baltimore and the 917th CBN at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. As a total and operational force, the battalions are providing Soldiers to the MICC. The Army Total Force Policy directs active and Reserve component forces to integrate their Soldiers and unit capabilities into pre-deployment joint training events to maintain Army readiness standards; provide predictable, recurring and sustainable operational force capabilities; and prepare for deployment as multicomponent expeditionary forces.

These Reserve Soldiers are part of a first phase to provide the MICC with recurring and sustainable capabilities to build a bench of available contracting professionals to support contingency operations. The Reserve Soldiers are assigned to MICC offices: MICC-Fort Hood, Texas, MICC-Fort Sam Houston and MICC-Fort Eustis, Virginia.

The three Soldiers working at MICC-Fort Sam Houston are Maj. Jason Brotherton, Sgt. 1st Class Juan Juarez and Staff Sgt. Dawn Rogers. These 51C Soldiers are assigned to the 917th CBN but also perform contracting duties at the MICC-Fort Sam Houston contracting office as Reservists and civilian employees. At MICC-Fort Eustis, Master Sgt. Luciana McCann, a 51C Soldier with a Level III contracting certification, is identified to arrive in the coming weeks.

"This is the best part of the agreement," Lassiter said. "The Army Reservist hones their contracting skills and maintains proficiency, and the MICC receives the support of its mission and support for its deployed support missions. This is a win-win situation for everyone involved."

In January 2017, phase two of the integration effort will begin by adding MICC-Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and MICC-Fort Drum, New York, to the list of units receiving support from the Army Reserve.

According to the memorandum agreed upon between the two units, the agreement identifies the arrangement of responsibilities in these units. The ARSC will provide administrative support duties to Army Reserve Soldiers while ACC will provide operational guidance. The ARSC formally stood up the Army Contracting Command-Army Reserve Element in October at the ARSC headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. The ACC-ARE is commanded by an Army Reserve colonel located at the ACC headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, and is the focal point for coordination of the Army Reserve 51Cs across the ACC.

Lassiter said the ARSC's objective is to plan, prepare and provide a pool of acquisition professionals from the ACC-ARE to work at MICC locations during their training periods, typically one weekend a month, and annual training of up to 29 days throughout the year. Army Reserve 51Cs may support missions within the continental United States and in various worldwide contingency operations as needed.

Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, the MICC is made up of about 1,500 military and civilian members assigned to three contracting support brigades and a field directorate office throughout the United States who are responsible for contracting good and services in support of 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. The command also managed more than 585,000 Government Purchase Card Program transactions in fiscal 2016 valued at an additional $741 million.