REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- In its last official act, U.S. Army Expeditionary Contracting Command formally cased its colors during a ceremony here Oct. 19.The ceremony occurred on the U.S. Army Materiel Command parade field and Maj. Gen. James Simpson, the Army Contracting Command commanding general deferred the honors to Brig. Gen. Paul Pardew, ECC commanding general."Yes, we cased the ECC colors," Simpson said, "but expeditionary contracting isn't going away. The Army still needs professional expeditionary contracting in order to meet the Chief of Staff of the Army's priorities and the combatant commanders' requirements. The Army can't successfully complete its mission without a trained, ready, and professional expeditionary contracting force."ECC, a subordinate of AMC's Army Contracting Command, was discontinued, Oct. 1, 2017, as a force structure measure approved by the Army's Command Implementation Plan. The ECC staff was merged with the ACC staff to create a single, more efficient headquarters to accomplish ACC's missions and overseas contracting operations.Pardew said that with casing the ECC colors, "we take another step in the integration and operationalization of contracting across AMC and specifically Army Contracting Command and Army Sustainment Command.""The commanders, command sergeants major, Soldiers and civilians before you today are generationally better than they were 10 years ago," Pardew said. "They are centrally selected, trained and have been honed by the by the crucible of wartime contracting. They are simply, battle-hardened contracting professionals."The new organization will enhance ACC's ability to organize, train, and equip its forces and will strengthen overseas contracting operations.The Army created ECC in 2008 to meet a need for professional operational contract support, especially in an expeditionary environment. ECC eventually assumed control of nine contracting support brigades. Over the command's brief history, in addition to supporting military operation around the world, ECC contracting teams deployed immediately to provide contracting support and expertise when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010. ECC provided the same support in Pakistan after disastrous flooding ravaged the country. In 2014, ECC's 922nd Contracting Battalion deployed to Western Africa to help in the fight against the deadly Ebola epidemic. Most recently, contingency contracting officers were deployed to support recovery operations for Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Pardew is now the ACC deputy commanding general for operations outside the continental United States. In that position, Pardew will be responsible for planning and executing ACC contracting support to Army Service Component Commands in support of Army and joint operations. The unit's discontinuation will not result in any physical personnel moves, and will have no effect on the two headquarters staffs. They were physically and operationally merged in October 2014 in response to the Army's directed headquarters staff reductions to gain efficiency across the force. ACC enables Army readiness through contracting solutions in support of the Army and unified land operations anytime, anywhere. ACC provides the Army with worldwide support by purchasing equipment, supplies and services vital to the warfighter's mission and well-being. In fiscal year 2017, ACC executed more than 165,000 contract actions valued at more than $62 billion.