By Capt. David Ray, 609th Contracting TeamMay 23, 2018
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (May 23, 2018) -- Members of the 900th Contracting Battalion and Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Bragg contracting office at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, met recently with Federal Prison Industries professionals at nearby Butner to learn how the company impacts Army contracting and other DOD agencies.
Members of the 900th CBN received briefings and a tour from Dean Howard, a quality assurance manager, and other representatives of Federal Prison Industries, also known as UNICOR, showcasing their processes and products they provide to the government.
"As contracting professionals, our mission is to enable our supported commands and the warfighter through superior and expeditious contract support," said Lt. Col. Jason Miles, the 900th CBN commander. "Through dialogue and education, we as Army leaders and members of the acquisition community become better stewards of our profession and enablers of the end user as showcased with UNICOR. This opportunity provided all parties the experience and knowledge to carry forward and deliver superior results in a time of great need."
During their visit, the team toured the first of two on-site factories that supply members of the armed forces with specialized products. At the first stop, Kenneth Bradford, the textile factory manager at the facility, introduced the systems and processes that enable the UNICOR employees to manufacture the Class A, a long-sleeve shirt for the Army service uniform. Similar to a cradle-to-grave action, Bradford showcased the quality and care that goes into the production of each garment -- from material arrival on the factory floor to final stitching and pressing -- that ensures a consistent and professional product suitable to the end user's requirements.
The next stop on the team's tour was the optics factory, led by manager Jamie Hoskins. Here, the precise manufacturing processes were demonstrated as workers cut, polished and assembled prescription eyewear for federal service recipients. As members of the 900th CBN were escorted to the assembly line, Hoskins provided insight into each of the processes that were being carried out at that station, again highlighting the intricate nature of the procedures being performed.
The visit culminated with a question-and-answer session led by UNICOR acquisition representatives, Edwin Ingram and Renee Stancil, who drew parallels between their procurement and acquisition processes and those of the 900th.
Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, 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.