By Daniel P. Elkins, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs OfficeJune 13, 2018
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (June 13, 2018) -- Three members of the 676th Contracting Team from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, are in Australia in support of the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team for Exercise Hamel 18.
Hamel 18 is a major land-warfare exercise by the Australian Army to validate the foundational warfighting skills of its brigades and their assigned units.
Mission and Installation Contracting Command members providing contract support for the exercise are Capt. Brittney Jackson, Sgt. 1st Class Jesse Campos and Staff Sgt. Renae Ramik. Ramik arrived in Australia at the beginning of June to conduct contract post-award conferences for contracts awarded in April and May while Jackson and Campos departed June 7 to join her. They return the third week of July.
"We provide end-to-end operational contract support during all Hamel 18 events and exercises," Jackson said. "We integrate with the 76th IBCT and U.S. Army Pacific for mission sets and to execute contracting in direct support of the exercise. This is accomplished by sending a contracting team ahead of force flow and departing after the main body to provide quality OCS effects. The end state is a structure that provides real-time planning and execution in sync with the task force battle rhythm."
Jackson said Soldiers from the newly formed 676th CT prepared for the exercise by developing contract ready requirements and assisting the 76th IBCT in requirements determination and funds validation. The team also integrated itself in the exercise's OCS integration cell.
Campos, who is the team's NCOIC, also took time to educate the requiring activity on contract functions by preparing a contracting handbook that guides them through the development of a thorough requirements package.
"We also attended all planning conferences in which we set up meetings with the Rockhampton Regional Council and Yepoon Regional Council that led to a very robust vendor list enabling us to circulate the money in their community," Jackson said, noting that the exercise also offered greater insight in the business practices of Australian communities and interaction between regional councils and the parliament.
Contracts for services executed by the team ahead of the exercise included mobile phone and Wi-Fi, port operations and stevedoring, vehicles, light sets, transportation and port fees totaling approximately $400,000. Ramik said the exercise involves approximately 3,000 U.S. and Australian forces over a six-week period.
Operating from Camp Rockhampton in the Australian state of Queensland, the team is now overseeing contracting officer representatives, conducting quality assurance, assisting in payment packages as well as executing last-minute contracts and contract modifications. As Hamel 18 draws to a close next month, the team will focus its attention toward contract closeout.
"Support for exercises such as Hamel 18 afford an opportunity for contracting team members to provide contracting support through developing, awarding, administering and closing contracts in short order," said Lt. Col. Kevin Shilley, commander of the 902nd Contracting Battalion. "This is accomplished by seamlessly integrating acquisition and exercise timelines. This is valuable experience that will better prepare them to support the warfighter as a combat enabler. "
The exercise takes its name from the World War I Battle of Hamel that took place July 4, 1918, at which the commander of the Australian Imperial Force, with the aid of U.S. Army infantry and British tanks, successfully employed combined arms tactics against German positions to achieve objectives in 93 minutes.
About the MICC:
Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command 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. The command is made up of two contracting support brigades, two field directorates, 30 contracting offices and nine battalions. MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of 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.