By 900th Contracting BattalionJanuary 14, 2019
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Jan. 14, 2019) -- Soldiers from the 900th Contracting Battalion supported operational contracting for the 82nd Airborne Division recently during a National Training Center emergency deployment readiness exercise at Fort Irwin, California.
The contracting battalion support served to enhance training effectiveness and augment logistical support for the division's 1st Brigade Combat Team.
"We all knew the importance of contract support from our deployment experience. However, we had less appreciation for how critical the contracting team would become for planning and executing our (exercise)," said Maj. Trevor Jones, an 82nd Airborne planner. "The EDRE involved multiple logistical contingencies given the dynamic nature of airborne operations and deploying across the country directly into NTC. It is not an exaggeration to say that we may have failed the mission, from a backside support perspective, without the flexibility the contracting team provided for planning and execution."
Upon notification, 900th CBN Soldiers started planning immediately. Soldiers met with 82nd Airborne staff members, planners and requiring activities to ensure all requirements were identified and able to be supported by a contracted solution.
Capt. Burton McCarthy, a contracting management officer, and Staff Sgt. Dorian Wiley, a contract specialist, deployed to serve as a contracting element for 1st BCT. These two Soldiers arrived at the NTC at the end of November to support the deployment readiness exercise mission.
The contracting team coordinated and integrated with its customer, local contractors, Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Irwin members, and other NTC supporting agencies in preparation for the paratroopers' arrival and mission support. The contracting Soldiers conducted site visits allowing all activities to finalize mission requirements, obligate funding and award contracts.
Within 96 hours of notification, 1st BCT Soldiers executed airborne operations into the NTC, jumping into the Mojave Desert. Once operations commenced, refinements were required on several of the contracted services in order to support the paratroopers as they pushed from one objective to another. The contracting team had to resolve any conflicts with contract logistics that interfered with or negatively affected the brigade's training. This was accomplished through careful planning and coordination between the customer, contractor and NTC range control.
Throughout the exercise, the contracting team's efforts allowed paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne to showcase their lethality and readiness to support any mission, anytime, anywhere, within a moment's notice.
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. 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.