Staging large-scale military exercises for more than 15 thousand Soldiers throughout Europe cannot be done without critical support from outside agencies -- and a small team of military professionals specifically dedicated to securing vital resources.
928th Contracting Battalion from the 409th Contracting Brigade provides Soldiers taking part in major exercises like Saber Guardian 17 the utilities they need to get the mission done. They facilitate contracts for tents, dining facility support, portable latrine facilities and other essential utilities that Soldiers need to sustain themselves.
"The 928th Contracting Battalion did all of the contract administration for Saber Guardian 17," said Maj. David Delassus, forward contract element team leader from the 928th Contracting Battalion.
Maj. Delassus and Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Winstead, the contracting specialist are part of the closing crew, which ensures contractors return the land they used back the way it was when they first received it or better, and that contractors close out properly.
"We're making sure the contractors are doing the right thing," said Delassus. "We do inspections, supervision, and we are making sure that they are honoring their contract they signed with the Government."
If there is an environmental accident during training, for example an oil spill, they are the ones that handle the situation by confirming the contractor cleans it up. A part of their battalion's job is examining the safety of the training area before Soldiers go out. In addition, they facilitate contracts for bus transportation and cranes.
"We can use a 10k forklift to pick smaller storage containers," said Maj. Mihails Ovsijenko the 173rd Airborne Brigade's Support Operations Officer discussing the support efforts of the 928th Contracting Battalion. "We do not have the equipment at the Brigade to pick up a 20 or 40 foot storage container, so we utilize special army units, transportation units or we have to use contractors in order to contract support cranes."
The forward element contract team from 928th Contracting Battalion, covers 15 countries throughout Europe, ranging from Norway to Slovakia. They work tirelessly to ensure that U.S. Army Soldiers and Paratroopers have the necessary support to get their mission done anywhere, and anytime.