With billions of dollars in service contract activity involving more than 200 contracts in support of programs and projects throughout the AMCOM enterprise, providing contract visibility on the right contracts at the right time for the right reasons can be a challenging proposition.

In 2015, then AMCOM commander Maj. Gen. Jim Richardson established the AMCOM Acquisition Requirement Cell, a four-person team of experienced contracting and budget officials who work to align contracting requirements, increase standardization, streamline processes, and provide strategic oversight to minimize contracting costs and maximize contracting effectiveness.

"AMCOM has advisory and assistance service contracts, and direct and indirect maintenance contracts that involve not only hands-on maintenance but also overhaul, repair and rebuild activities. Those contracts involve everything about AMCOM," said Stan Crittenden, director of the AARC.

The AARC provides oversight of service contracting requirements planning, milestone execution and reporting, providing guidance, review, approval and tracking of service contract approval requests.

"It really is a good example of Unified Action. AMCOM is reaching out to ACC-Redstone and AMRDEC to ensure the right service contract oversight is provided in support of its programs," Crittenden said.

"Because of Unified Action, it is easier for us to establish service contract oversight so that the best aviation and missile systems are delivered to the Soldier at the best cost for the Army."

As the AARC was established, the first objective was to conduct a service contract approval review.

"The review established a baseline for the number of service contract actions across the command," Crittenden said. "All AMCOM organizations briefed the commanding general on their service contract actions and the service contracts they intended to execute in the fiscal year.

"The review gave us visibility of those areas where we needed to take a closer strategic look and, in the spirit of Unified Action, find places where we could make some consolidations and create more efficiencies."

In fiscal year 2016, the AARC reviewed $1.2 billion in service contract actions.

"During our reviews, we meet with contracting officer representatives to discuss the contracts they manage as well as their training and certificates," Crittenden said.

"We gather information that will allow us to get a strategic view of our service contracts. We look for areas where we can combine multiple contracts and activities, and areas where we can streamline the scope of work based on the workload."

The AARC also assists with contract requirement package development, provides guidance and advice in contract solicitation and award, coordinates AMCOM's annual contract obligations and prioritizes service contract listings. The team also is the lead planner for AMCOM's annual Industry Days, set for June 13-15. It is also making plans to host the first Team Redstone-wide contracting officer and contracting officer representative training session this year.

"At the end of the day, we are working to put in place strategic contracting vehicles that will work best for potential contracts. Our goal is to obtain the best service for AMCOM at the most fair and reasonable price by providing contract visibility across the command," Crittenden said.

Crittenden, who worked for ACC-Redstone for 28 years before taking on the AARC mission, leads a team that includes contracting professionals Donna Pearson and Freddy Rodriguez, and AMCOM Resource Management (G-8) employee Michelle Cobb, who is co-located with AARC.

"This type of service contract oversight didn't exist at AMCOM before the AARC was established," Crittenden said.

"I knew this work would be a good fit for me because it's an area where I believe I add value. I wanted to be involved with initiating this group and its mission to better track and report on AMCOM's service contracting activity. The execution and visibility of service contracts has been growing emphasis during the past four years, and the need to know where our service contracts dollars are going is of increasing importance."