FORT BRAGG, North Carolina -- (Jan. 19, 2018) Soldiers from the 900th Contracting Battalion and civilians from the Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Bragg contracting office received advanced training on the use of General Services Administration's multiple award schedules at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.The class was presented in such a way that everyone benefited from the instruction and took away useful information that improved the contracting capabilities of the 900th CBN and the MICC-Fort Bragg.The training covered four distinct areas -- the MAS program overview, MAS pre-award activities, placing orders using MASs and MAS post-award activities."I did not have much experience using the GSA MAS. I did not know that there were so many resources available to help with both simple and complex contracting actions," said Capt. Paul Kilgore, 608th Contracting Team leader.James Hudson represents the GSA's Office of Customer and Stakeholder Engagement located in Washington D.C. He provided the bulk of the day's instruction. Hudson is a judge advocate officer in the Army Reserve who specializes in fiscal and contract law. Hudson's knowledge of the Federal Acquisition Regulation and insight into fiscal policies that govern GSA's authorities provided a complete understanding of the MAS processes. The GSA lead for North Carolina, Dale Terry, provided the students with the latest GSA resources and training opportunities to bolster the contracting aptitude of the students.The MAS program overview highlighted the areas where GSA has streamlined the acquisition process and gave an in-depth explanation of how to interpret and work within the authorities of FAR subpart 8.4 to purchase commodities and services. It also covered the parts of the FAR that are not applicable to GSA purchases and how to leverage GSA to meet small business goals. The program overview culminated with a discussion of the nonmanufacturing rule and trade agreements."I was introduced to topics that were completely new to me. While I have not encountered contracts that fall under the regulations of trade agreements it is nice to have an understanding of situations I will encounter down the road," said Capt. Lesley Thomas, a 639th Contracting Team contract management officer.Hudson then transitioned to pre-award activities and placing orders using the GSA's MAS. He provided the students with the information they could put to use immediately. The instruction was given on how to search for historical quotes, what language to use and how to get the best contractor for the job was realistic and enlightening. Hudson was able to provide a process for utilizing GSA MASs that was re-enforced with a comprehensive understanding of the polices that shape MAS utilization."We plan to leverage a MAS to award a $350,000 service to support a geographically decentralized exercise. The GSA training filled in all the knowledge gaps for us, and we can confidently move forward with the award," said Sgt. 1st Class Casey Gordon, 639th CT NCOIC.The training concluded with MAS administration procedures, highlighting training resources and general questions. The six-hour training event had the additional benefit of resulting in five continuous learning points for all of the students.The 639th CT is co-located with the 82nd Airborne Division's headquarters and provides general contracting support to the 82nd ABN DIV and upon request, direct support to the division's Global Reaction Force.The MICC is made up of about 1,500 military and civilian members across the United States and Puerto Rico who are responsible for contracting good and services in support of Soldiers' readiness. The MICC also is responsible for readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-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 maintain more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.