By Maj. Brandon M. Chapman, 671st Contracting Team leaderFebruary 26, 2018
FORT CARSON, Colorado (Feb. 26, 2018) -- Soldiers from the 671st Contracting Team recently provided assistance and operational contract support to the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division while also preparing to deploy.
The 671st CT is assigned to the 918th Contracting Battalion and supports the 2/4 IBCT at Fort Carson, Colorado. This partnership provides an opportunity for the 2/4 IBCT to benefit from the experience and contracting knowledge of the 671st CT while Soldiers on the team benefited from the size and logistics coordination with the BCT.
Units began their partnership in the fall of 2017 as 2/4 IBCT started to prepare for its rotation to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana. The 671st CT provided contract support recommendations and facilitated communications with the local contracting office that would fulfill contract requirements during the rotation.
The partnership benefited contracting Soldiers assigned to the 671st CT through logistics opportunities. The Rapid Fielding Initiative that provides specific deployment-related individual equipment is typically not available for units smaller than a brigade combat team, but this cooperative allowed the 671st CT to receive this required equipment at home station concurrently with 2/4 IBCT. Additionally, the contracting team was able to take advantage of flight arrangements into theater.
Finally, the 671st CT provided recommendations to support the early identification and selection of contracting officer representatives and field ordering officers for the 2/4 IBCT. Appointed in writing by a contracting officer, a COR is responsible for monitoring contract performance. Field ordering officers are also appointed in writing and trained by a contracting officer who is authorized to spend government money in support of forces or civil-military operations. This afforded the brigade enough time to select Soldiers for the job. The contracting team's Staff Sgts. Tony Echols and Herbert Hernandez conducted the training.
According to battalion leadership, the end result was a qualified pool of trained CORs and FOOs that could begin coordinating critical contract support requirements even before arriving in theater.
"The 671st CT did an excellent job integrating with warfighter and providing operational contract support," said Lt. Col. Thomas McFall, the 918th CBN commander. "Early selection and training of the right individuals to be CORs and FOOs will ultimately improve warfighter support and mission readiness."
Contracting units are integrated at various levels within the Army to provide OCS. Contracting support brigades are aligned to Army service component commands and corps, contracting battalions are aligned to division headquarters, and contracting teams are assigned to support brigade combat teams and other units for identified missions. This integration allows for planning, requirements development and supporting contract execution with the appropriate capability at the appropriate level.
The 918th CBN is subordinate to the 418th Contracting Support Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas. The 418th CSB along with another brigade and two field directorates located throughout the country make up the Mission and Installation Contracting Command, headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The MICC is made up of approximately 1,500 military and civilian members responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers and their families as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environments when called upon. 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.