By Capt. Justin Tahilramani, 717th Contracting TeamMarch 20, 2018
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (March 20, 2018) -- Soldiers from the 900th Contracting Battalion wrapped up four days of in-depth training on contingency contracting administration services March 9 at Fort Bragg.
The training, which was developed in partnership between members the 608th Contracting Team, 717th CT and 900th CBN, is specifically designed to provide organic CCAS training and enhance the contracting battalion's readiness and ability to support the warfighter in the deployed environment. Subject matter experts in the areas of quality assurance and property accountability volunteered their time and knowledge to increase the effectiveness of the training event.
Historically, Army Contracting Command has provided a resident CCAS training course at Rock Island, Illinois. Contracting teams identified to support CCAS missions abroad are afforded the opportunity to attend training in preparation for their upcoming assignments. While this training is for the teams tasked to support CCAS missions, it still leaves a relatively broad swath of the contracting community untrained.
"This is our opportunity to proactively get after one of our mission essential tasks by incorporating our experience from real-world missions, with a mission focus CCAS 101 type training," said Lt. Col. Jason Miles, commander of the 900th CBN. "Our experiences downrange and in a humanitarian environment enlightens the training by showcasing the complexities of CCAS and the necessity for home-station training across the MICC."
The training program developed by the 900th CBN is not designed to replace the resident CCAS training provided by ACC. Instead, it is intended to provide a supplemental training course on the topics of CCAS principles, the logistics civil augmentation program, quality assurance and property administration.
"The CCAS training provided by the 900th CBN was invaluable," said Capt. David Ray, a contract management officer with the 609th CT. "It brought an operational focus into contracting operations and the depth that is involved with contract administration. This forum gave a great venue to learn from seasoned contracting officers and inspired realistic dialogue across the battalion."
The 900th CBN spearheaded this training development opportunity due to its recent mission to Puerto Rico in support of Hurricane Maria relief operations. During its time in Puerto Rico, the 900th CBN provided contract administration services for an estimated $75 million change order to the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program IV contract. The institutional knowledge that was gained through delivering real-world CCAS support in an immature contracting environment was used to develop the CCAS training program. Additionally, the battalion intends to draw upon recent contingency contracting experiences from two of their contracting teams that have recently returned from deployments to Erbil, Iraq, and Bagram, Afghanistan.
The 900th CBN is subordinate to the 419th Contracting Support Brigade at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, that with another brigade and two field directorate offices make up the Mission and Installation Contracting Command.
Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the MICC 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. 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.