JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (May 15, 2018) -- Soldiers and civilians at the Fort Riley, Kansas, contracting office provide global readiness through the use of innovative business advice to its warfighter customers.

Contracting professionals at Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Riley provide contracting support and guide 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley Garrison and tenant units through the acquisition process to fulfill their mission requirements.

"We are committed to our mission, and that is to provide contracting support to the warfighter, 1st ID and Fort Riley to enable global readiness," said Lt. Col. Mary Drayton, director of the MICC-Fort Riley and 923rd Contracting Battalion commander. "By operationalizing contracting through early integration in the procurement process, continuous education and building partnerships with stakeholders, we ensure the 1st ID and Fort Riley are 'always ready.'"

During fiscal 2017, the 923rd CBN and MICC-Fort Riley staffs awarded 895 actions valued at more than $29 million in support of garrison and operational requirements for more than 68,000 Soldiers, their families and DOD civilians. Seventy percent of the obligations were awarded to small businesses.

"We assist our customers with contract administration. We work hand in hand with our contracting officer's representatives to document the performance of their awarded contract and ensure the government receives the benefit of the contract," said Tony Tiroch, deputy director of MICC-Fort Riley. "This represents the 923rd CBN and MICC-Fort Riley staffs' determination to provide such cooperation, lending itself to successful contracting support."

Tiroch said participation in garrison and division acquisition review boards allows for early involvement in the acquisition process for critical services and supplies. This initial involvement results in the timely procurement of services, military construction and supplies fulfilling the customers' needs.

"It is important to have an open dialog with our partners for our office to provide effective and efficient contracting support," Tiroch said. "The first step is to listen to their needs, cooperate in a manner to enable us to work together to resolve any issues with their requirements packages to effect a timely award in support of the warfighter."

Both the 923rd CBN and MICC-Fort Riley staffs actively seek and develop innovative ways to educate customers and foster relationships within the community. The unit provides quarterly customer training to Fort Riley personnel on numerous topics to include performance work statements, market research and use of the Wide Area Workflow eBusiness Suite. In addition to the quarterly customer training, the organization hosts open house industry days for small businesses. Open house acquisition forecast events are used to educate small business owners on how to register and compete for requirements at Fort Riley.

Drayton said there are many strategies her staff uses when working with customers. Often the staff participates in acquisition review boards, conducts monthly contracting officer's representative courses, and provides Government Purchase Card training for requiring activities.

In addition to contract execution, MICC-Fort Riley acquisition professionals also focus on talent management by optimizing opportunities for individual development, building teams internally and externally, and operationalizing contracting. Military teams are fully integrated within the mission and installation operations divisions for training before deployments. Leaders and contracting professionals participate in working groups, hold recurring weekly meetings with their customers, and conduct site visits to ensure superior contract support.

"We create a welcoming and learning environment for the 923rd CBN and MICC-Fort Riley Soldiers, civilians and families while continuously developing a proficient workforce," Drayton said. "We are committed to building trust and confidence with those we serve by providing legal, ethical and productive acquisition solutions."

One of the most successful, high visibility MICC-Fort Riley requirements for the fiscal year was the resurfacing of major installation roads. The contracting officer advised the department of public works with the best contracting vehicle to address fixing the major road network on Fort Riley. With the advice of the contracting officer, the office awarded a stand-alone contract that enabled the contractor to operate during off-peak hours for minimal traffic disruption.

"The contracting officer's advice was key for the successful completion of the project," Drayton said. "The contractor's schedule was accelerated because they were given full access to each of the roadways during the overnight hours and could focus on quality with minimal traffic disruptions. Lastly, the use of Soldiers as contract administrators provided the contracting officer with immediate feedback and responses to on-site contractor concerns, which the decreased the need for civilian overtime pay."

Of course, not every project at Fort Riley requires a contract.

For small goods and services, MICC-Fort Riley's GPC program staff assists Soldiers and civilians by managing a robust program to support them, obligating more than $8 million with 10,917 transactions in fiscal 2017. The GPC team provides oversight and has trained 221 billing officials to support a delinquency rate of zero percent to ensure the program runs smoothly.

MICC-Fort Riley is subordinate to the 418th Contracting Support Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas, that with another brigade and two field directorate offices make up the MICC.

The MICC is made up 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. Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, MICC contracts are vital in feeding Soldiers every day, providing many of the daily base operations support services at installations, preparing conventional force members, training almost a half million students each year, and maintaining government lands and structures across the United States and Puerto Rico.