JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- (Feb. 17, 2017) Final coordination is underway for the 2017 Operational Contract Support Joint Exercise at Fort Bliss, Texas, as many uniformed and civilian members from across the Mission and Installation Contracting Command prepare to take part in the annual training event in March.

OCSJX-17 is an Office of the Secretary of Defense-sponsored training exercise focused on the integration of all aspects of operational contract support across the joint operational force and individual contracting officer deployment readiness. It is conducted at the tactical through strategic levels using a U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility scenario and products with multinational, interagency and vendor participants.

Led by the Air Force this year, the exercise also incorporates Army Contracting Command concepts. Serving as the Army exercise director this year is the 418th Contracting Support Brigade commander, Col. Lynda Armer, from Fort Hood, Texas. She is responsible for implementing ACC concepts into the exercise planning and execution.

The exercise is accomplished in three phases. The first phase got underway last spring and involved a number of pre-exercise planning meetings to develop both tactical and operational scenarios as well as identify exercise support requirements. Phase I concluded with a final planning event Jan. 30 - Feb. 3 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph AFB.

"OCSJX-17 is the culmination of 11 months of exercise planning by a team of more than 50 representatives from across the joint services and DOD agencies," said Lt. Col. Stephen Thorpe, a member of the MICC-Fort Riley, Kansas, who is serving as the Army officer in charge of OCSJX-17.

With Phase II final coordination underway, site setup begins the first week of March with the exercise scheduled to begin March 14 at Fort Bliss with an overarching objective of increasing the readiness of service members capable of providing operational contract support for combatant commanders.

The third and final phase follows the conclusion of the exercise at the end of March and consists of the collection of comments and feedback to develop after-action reports for use in planning the 2018 joint exercise. The lead agency for the exercise shifts to the Army for 2018.

The MICC is made up of about 1,500 military and civilian members 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.