419th CSB assumes contracting mission in Afghanistan
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Col. Lynda Armer, 418th Contracting Support Brigade commander, and brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Darnyell Parker case the unit's colors signaling the end of its deployment to Army Contracting Command-Afghanistan. The unit returned to its home at Fort Hoo... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
419th CSB assumes contracting mission in Afghanistan
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Col. Brad Hodge, 419th Contracting Support Brigade, and 419th Command Sgt. Maj. Cynthia Perryman unfurl the unit's colors at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The unit, deployed from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, assumed the Army Contracting Command-Afghan... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Two Army Contracting Command units transferred authority for the Army Contracting Command-Afghanistan contracting mission in Afghanistan.

The 419th Contracting Support Brigade uncased its colors, signaling the transfer of authority from the 418th CSB during a ceremony at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, April 11.

This is the 419th's second deployment to Afghanistan.

"Although this is a simple, short ceremony, it does mark a major landmark in the history of the 419th CSB," said Col. H. Brad Hodge, 419th commander. "Again, this team of acquisition professionals assumes the authority of ACC-A."

Its deployment to ACC-A was also the second for the 418th CSB, located at Fort Hood, Texas. This time members of the brigade deployed to both Afghanistan and Qatar in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel from July 2017 to April 2018.

Maj. Gen. Leopoldo A. Quintas Jr., deputy chief of staff, Operations, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, officiated the ceremony. He said the 418th team arrived "and they have been valued members of the team since day one."

"I cannot overemphasize the great team players she (Col. Lynda. R. Armer, 418th commander) and the rest of ACC-A were during this deployment, and during this important transition period for our mission in Afghanistan," he added.

Quintas, who is also the commander of Combined Joint Task Force 3 - Afghanistan, and commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, is currently deployed in support of the USFOR-A and the NATO Resolute Support mission, thanked the 418th CSB for a "phenomenal job" and welcomed the 419th CSB as it assumed the mission. While deployed, the 418th brigade administered a $20 billion contract portfolio in support of U.S. and coalition forces across 34 provinces in Afghanistan.

The overall strategy for operations in Afghanistan evolved significantly during the 418th deployment. President Trump's change in policy for Afghanistan came shortly after the 418th CSB's arrival. Prior to the shift, the contracting focused on drawing down and closing out the U.S. mission. The change in policy quickly transformed the contracting focus as the command looked to increase contracted sustainment capacity to support a growth in forces, including the Army's newest unit, the 1st Security Forces Brigade.

"With each staff section working together, we figured it out, and made it happen," Armer said.

She thanked the USFOR-A Joint Staff, the Regional Contracting Command -- Afghanistan Team, and the ACC-A staff for all their support and work taking "limited requirements and turning them into contracts" that ultimately support the warfighter and assist with strengthening USFOR-A's Afghan partners.

The 418th and 419th CSBs are subordinate units of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command, headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The 418th has five subordinate contracting battalions and four contracting offices across nine installations. The 419th CSB has four contracting battalions and three contracting offices providing contracting support across eight installations. The brigades provide core contracting customer service through strategically aligned support to commands and installations.