By Maj. Ted. Cha, 900th Contracting BattalionJuly 6, 2018
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (July 6, 2018) -- The 900th Contracting Battalion conducted a unit contingency contracting exercise integrating four phases of contracting support including the execution of the Procurement Desktop-Defense and Contingency Contracting Administration Services for complex services June 25-29 at Fort Bragg's Mission Training Center in North Carolina.
The battalion hosted the 925th CBN's 619th Contracting Team from Fort Drum, New York, and observer controllers from the 900th CBN and 905th CBN at Fort Bragg, the 922nd CBN from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, 925th CBN, and 419th Contracting Support Brigade staff for the UCCE.
"The UCCE was a great exercise to certify not only my contracting teams but also other brigade assets set to deploy," said Lt. Col. Jason Miles, 900th CBN commander. "My contracting support operations section built the 'UCCE in the box' concept that sets the foundation for standardization across the brigade and is an ideal method by which commanders can certify contracting teams prior to deployment. Observing each contracting team going through the UCCE will give a commander a performance baseline to evaluate and determine which team is ready for deployment or requires additional training."
UCCE training aligns with the Army's "Objective T" concept designed to measure unit readiness by looking at its personnel, equipment and training. The 900th CBN UCCE was a scenario-based exercise to certify contracting teams in preparation for future global deployments. The exercise encompassed sharing contracting knowledge and experience in a two-day academic block of instruction culminating in the final three days with the mission scenario evaluation, or MSE.
The validation exercise was a scenario-based test with designated MSE that were nested within the battalion and contracting team's mission essential task list allowing the opportunity for external evaluators to certify contingency contracting teams.
"Collaboration was the key to our success. The 900th CBN Contracting Support and Policy Operations team reached out to organizations across the Army Contracting Command to build on best practices and avoid pitfalls. This allowed 900th CBN to effectively frame the UCCE and focus planning efforts with multiple units and agencies," said Maj. John Cross, the 900th CBN CSPO chief. "Our experience from the joint contracting exercise and CCAS experience in real-world missions formulated the planning, resourcing and execution of the exercise ultimately creating 'UCCE in a box.'"
The concept of "UCCE in a box" is an exercise package that will allow other units to practice or validate their contracting teams in preparation for future global deployments or both.
Maj. Mathis Wright, the executive officer and rear detachment commander for the 925th CBN at Fort Drum praised the training and opportunity to participate in the exercise.
"Not only did we get to validate one of our own contracting teams during the UCCE, but we also gained a firsthand look into the logistics and planning necessary to conduct an exercise of this scope," Wright said. "We will certainly look to replicate 900th's successes during future validation exercises on Fort Drum."
Contracting teams participating in the exercise included the 900th CBN's 608th CT, 609th CT and 639th CT. In addition, the 925th CBN's 619th CT participated in the UCCE in preparation for its upcoming deployment. Contracting teams conducted a mission analysis of a fictional natural disaster scenario in the Caribbean region. They then briefed their road to war and mission brief to the 419th CSB Rear Detachment commander, which played into the overall contingency contracting scenario. Contracting teams then started their academic portion of the UCCE and collaborated between instructors and their observer controllers to practice their standard operating procedures.
"The UCCE was our culminating event after numerous team training events," said Capt. Safiul Alam, 609th CT leader. "Throughout the exercise, we learned our strengths and weaknesses. In following months, the team will develop a training plan on how to improve on its weaknesses."
The UCCE kicked off the scenario and began their certification exercise. All teams were successfully assessed, validated and certified on all of their mission essential tasks.
"The UCCE tested our team capabilities and showcased weaknesses that can now be addressed through team training throughout next year," added Staff Sgt. Eliud Temblador, the 609th CT NCO in charge.
The 900th CBN plans to run the same exercise next year using the box concept only with a different training scenario to stay mission ready.
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 supporting the warfighter from inception as future Soldiers, feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, enabling the preparation more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures, and easing transition to civilian life following separation and retirement.