By Ryan Mattox, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs OfficeJune 5, 2019
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (June 5, 2019) -- Prior to the start of the Memorial Day weekend, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command office at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, received an urgent phone call from the garrison at 3:50 p.m. May 23 requesting assistance with a broken chiller at a barracks.
With extreme heat forecasted in the area and everyone finalizing their plans for the long holiday weekend, an air conditioning unit failed in Building A-3244 requiring immediate action for the Soldiers occupying the barracks. The part needed to repair the equipment would not be available for approximately 30 days.
"As this was at the end of the work day and our contract specialists were being released or preparing to leave early due to their last duty day prior to the holiday, Heather Clifton agreed to be my contracting officer, and I became the contract specialist," said Anna Walker, a contracting officer with MICC-Fort Bragg.
With temperatures rising in the barracks, officials from the garrison's directorate of public works and MICC-Fort Bragg contracting staffs worked together to quickly conduct market research, locate vendors that could immediately satisfy the requirement, and award a contract for the lease of a chiller to cool the barracks in less than 24 hours.
"This emergency procurement shows the power of partnerships and responsive capabilities of acquisition professionals like Anna Walker," said Col. Brad Hodge, the 419th Contracting Support Brigade commander. "In order to make this happen quickly, the collective team had to coordinate to understand what DPW required and what (contracting) needed to make it happen, which was made easier because of the relationship that has been established between the Fort Bragg leadership and the MICC."
Within an hour of the initial phone call from DPW officials, Dewayne Grant, a contract specialist with MICC-Fort Bragg, created the paperless contract file, called multiple vendors, checked availability and lead times, obtained quotes and started drafting contracting documents.
Meanwhile, Walker contacted Curtis Scott, the associate director of the MICC Small Business Office at Fort Bragg, to advise him of the urgent requirement, the type of vendor needed to deliver the chiller, and obtain Scott's concurrence with the decision to award to a large business.
By the end of the day, the garrison resource manager had transmitted the purchase request for payment. Clifton issued a verbal authorization to the contractor as coordination was required that late afternoon for delivery the next day. On May 25, Clifton reviewed the final contract documentation, ensured all of the proper concurrences were received, uploaded all the documentation to the paperless contract file and signed the award documentation.
Everyone agreed it was a great example of one team -- MICC-Fort Bragg and the Fort Bragg DPW -- working together to meet an urgent requirement for delivery a day before the start of a long holiday weekend.
"Although this was not a large acquisition, all the moving parts between DPW, resource management, contractor and our office was awesome," Walker said. "We had a sigh of relief on Thursday that we had relief coming to the Soldiers and were extremely proud of our efforts when we got word that the chiller was being installed as it was extremely hot at Fort Bragg. Clifton and I gave each other high fives and said 'good work' to each other, and went back to work. Although we were stressed and had some anxiety as to what happens if we cannot get this chiller in, we all worked together to meet the mission and were successful. This was actually fun, as Clifton and I are adrenaline junkies and live for this kind of stuff."
At 1:52 p.m., less than 24 hours after receiving the request, a new chiller was delivered to Building A-3244 and air conditioning was restored to the barracks.
"Although this highlights a great team effort, this kind of action is possible because we are all talking and focused to the same end state -- the Soldier," Hodge said.
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.