JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- (Sept. 27, 2017) Every time a bell rings at the Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Dugway Proving Ground office, an acquisition personnel awards a requirement to ensure organizations it supports is ready to carry out their mission.

Located approximately 80 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, the MICC-DPG contracting office staff supports one of the nation's major range and test facility bases that provides chemical, biological and nuclear readiness capability, equipment testing, clothing, detection systems and training for our nation's Soldiers and civilians.

"We strive to recognize success and have hung a ship's bell in the hallway to be rung each time a contract is awarded," said Jim Keetch, the director of MICC-DPG. "The resonating sound and immediate acknowledgment by one's peers, at the completion of a contract award, signifies a job well done."

In fiscal 2016 that bell rang 361 times resulting in contract actions totaling $53.3 million in obligations and an average of 40 completed requirements per acquisition-categorized employee. The staff ensures the execution of critical test programs at DPG that provide essential data, equipment, and results to installation's external customers. Keetch said these efforts have saved lives, answered fundamental questions in real-world scenarios, and provided needed results for the warfighters and other federal agencies.

The contracting mission is unique in many ways, and their customers rely on a responsive, innovative and proactive approach to the execution of contracting actions to meet their requirements. Those customers include the Installation Management Command, Army Test and Evaluation Command, Program Manager Unmanned Aircraft System, Network Enterprise Technology Command, and Army Sustainment-Logistics Readiness Center.

The contracting support by the MICC-DPG staff directly impacts the performance of tests on the nation's chemical, biological and nuclear readiness capability. Results of these tests are seen across the Army, demonstrating the effectiveness of this installation and its commitment to the nation.

The contracting staff works hand-in-hand with the IMCOM Garrison Resource Management office ensuring that the base operations support services contract is funded per fiscal regulations. This interaction provides that Army Family Housing, Sustainment-Reliability-Modernization and other types of resources are correctly obligated against the contract.

"Our installation would quickly close without the base operations support services contract. The contract provides engineering, facilities management, water purification, wastewater, electrical, and Army housing services," said Monty Kurtz, a contracting officer with MICC-DPG. "Without these services, we would not have the capability to continue the mission at DPG."

ATEC West Desert Test Center customers require testing results that hit the field in a matter of weeks. Without the field test support contract, this testing could not occur; thereby, reducing readiness in the field.

"DPG's requirements are complex and unique; plus, the different requirements require a particular skill set. We have unique abilities to source the complicated requirements," Kurtz said. "We populate complex spreadsheets, review contract work orders, and interact with the contractor to ensure the WDTC receives what it needs for their continued success. We provide regulatory expertise to MICC-DPG customers. We work with them to ensure that different operation orders are addressed in performance work statements, and we obligate funds very quickly, sometimes in a matter of hours after receiving a purchase request."

Kurtz utilizes the field test support contract for many mission requirements. The division has many checks that are supported by the contract, and constant communication is required to ensure the mission is met. The $300 million contract requires a diligent effort from the MICC-DPG contracting office.

During fiscal 2016, MICC-DPG personnel ensured mission readiness was not jeopardized and that timely execution of often time-sensitive, real-world scenarios were completed within budget.

"We were able to meet every critical requirement, execute expiring funds without the loss of a single dollar, and help DPG meet its mission objectives," Keetch said. "During the past year, the MICC-DPG staff has performed exceptionally in meeting these requirements, with each member continually demonstrating the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor and integrity. Our actions contribute to the larger mission of defending the country, and our decisions have a lasting impact on the defense budget."

As a major range and test facility bases, DPG offers a one-of-a-kind environment with the terrain, weather conditions, airspace, laboratory and chamber test facilities, and personnel that can address its customers' needs, questions and programs. The MICC-DPG staff coordinates real-time efforts directly with several key customers who bring short suspense, high priority, and time-sensitive test requirements to the installation seeking answers and solutions to real-world scenarios.

"I would honestly say our most important customers at DPG are all of our customers at Dugway Proving Ground," Keetch said. "I know that may sound somewhat cliché, but each customer comes to MICC-DPG with a requirement, a needed delivery date, and a mission to accomplish. If we do not approach each customer as the most important, then we are not fulfilling our duty and responsibility, and potentially risk the mission and objective of the installation."

Services provided by MICC-DPG are distinct and sometimes just as unique as the mission of Dugway itself. MICC-DPG is a full-service office when it comes to meeting the needs of its customers. Though it may migrate larger requirements to one of the 418th Contracting Support Brigade's other contracting offices, it still provides the one-on-one storefront interface that is essential to its success. The staff fulfills everything from simple small, off-the-shelf supply requirements to the unique one-of-a-kind solutions necessary for Dugway's chemical and biological test and evaluation mission.

"Could our customers survive without our services? Certainly, but the alternatives would be difficult, cumbersome, and sometimes impossible without a dedicated contracting office," Keetch said. "The government is diverse and flexible with redundancies built-in for safety, security and success. Contracting support could certainly be obtained from other sources, but I believe MICC-DPG provides the personal touch, institutional knowledge and commitment that Dugway needs to succeed."

In the end, DPG's mission often creates an environment that is similar to the contingency contracting mission seen overseas. The Army needs infrastructure and services that drive Army readiness. It's the MICC-DPG contracting staff who continues to treat each requirement as the primary product or service at that moment. That urgency, the real-world implications, and short turnarounds require their efficiency, creativity, and commitment to get the job done.

The MICC is made up of two contracting support brigades and two field directorate offices responsible for 31 subordinate contracting activities across the United States and Puerto Rico. The command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, preparing more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.