FORT STEWART, Georgia -- (May 18, 2017) Soldiers from the 611th Contracting Team leveraged their recent deployment to the National Training Center by operationalizing contracting and increasing readiness to underscore Army Materiel Command and Army chief of staff priorities.The 611th CT, subordinate to the 904th Contracting Battalion at Fort Stewart deployed to Fort Irwin, California, as part of NTC Decisive Action Rotation 17-05 in support of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from March 14 to April 25. The team's NTC tasking allowed its aligned mission partner to prepare to deploy in the coming months."We were extremely excited and accepted this arduous task with great enthusiasm," said Capt. Richard Ricketts, 611th CT team leader.At the onset of the mission, the contracting team strategically planned its concept of support to this operation by dividing its lines of effort into four distinct phases. During Phase I, the most integral part of the operation, Soldiers engaged the armored brigade combat team early and often. It was during this phase that team members assisted Col. Phil Brooks, 1st ABCT commander, with building his operational contract support cell and provided business and contracting advice where necessary.In Phase II, 611th CT Soldiers assisted the OCS cell with identifying and defining requirements for nine mission essential contracts. In Phase III, the contracting team synchronized the unit's required period of performance and the procurement action lead time. Finally, in Phase IV, contracting Soldiers performed contract administration and ensured the commander's desired end-state of uninterrupted life support to the 1st ABCT throughout its NTC rotation."Planning, integration, synchronization and initiative were the key intangibles that afforded our CT to be extremely efficient and exceptionally successful," said Sgt. 1st Class Daryl Slate, who deployed as a contracting officer during the rotation. "While supporting this NTC rotation we essentially answered to several key stakeholders that supported combat operations, logistical operations and training operations."Those key stakeholders included leaders from the 1st ABCT, 418th Contracting Support Brigade, 419th CSB, 916th Support Brigade, Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Irwin, and 904th CBN."The contracting team strategically impacted our stakeholders by executing contract actions and providing business advice to meet all operational needs and reduce risks," said Staff Sgt. William Greenier, a 611th CT contract specialist.As a non-kinetic combat enabler, the 611th CT awarded and administered contracts that supported more than 3,000 Soldiers conducting combat operations through 1st ABCT's four lines of effort: planning; reception, staging, onward-movement and integration; tactical assembly area combat training; and regeneration of combat power and redeployment.Additionally, the contracting team reduced risk to funds by using only 41 percent of the originally forecasted funding. Soldiers from the contracting team have since worked with all contractors and the 1st ABCT resource manager to close all contracts in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation.Editor's note: Capt. Kevin M. Barnes is a contract management officer with the Mission and Installation Contracting Command's 904th Contracting Battalion at Fort Stewart Georgia.