By Daniel P. Elkins, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs OfficeJune 13, 2019
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (June 13, 2019) -- Leaders from the 902nd Contracting Battalion cased their organizational colors during a ceremony June 12 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, in preparation for deployment to Iraq in the coming weeks in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Lt. Col. Kevin Shilley, the battalion commander, and Master Sgt. Keita Lyles, who will serve as the forward senior enlisted adviser, cased the colors before a crowd of fellow Soldiers, members of Mission and Installation Contracting Command-JBLM, family and friends.
During ceremony remarks, Shilley took the opportunity to first acknowledge those who remain behind to sustain the contracting mission.
"Over the years, the 902nd Contracting Battalion has deployed individuals and teams in support of the warfighter in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I wanted to take this opportunity to recognize the contributions that the civilians of MICC-JBLM make to the warfighter on a daily basis," Shilley said. "All too often the attention and visibility that is afforded to the battalion overshadows your contributions to the mission at JBLM and everywhere its military units deploy."
He went on to praise civilian acquisition professionals for their support of JBLM and its mission partners in facilitating training opportunities to better prepare units to deploy, fight and win; providing services that support families during the deployment; and posturing the joint base to be prepared to support the warfighter in the event of large-scale deployments.
"I am truly thankful for the support you provide in developing the military personnel in 902nd CBN. It's your sharing of experiences and knowledge that make us better acquisition professionals and better prepared to deploy," Shilley added. "I deploy with great confidence knowing you are here at JBLM providing unwavering support to the warfighter."
For the Soldiers remaining behind who will make up the rear detachment and continue to support combined task force operations and exercises to include Talisman Sabre 2019, the commander asked that they continue to provide the world class contracting support that JBLM mission and supported partners have come to expect.
"Take care of one another and continue to dedicate your time and effort to developing your skills and be individually ready and prepared to deploy," he said.
Shilley will lead the battalion headquarters element responsible for providing operational contingency contracting during the deployment to Iraq. He charged his Soldiers to build upon the battalion's legacy.
"Before any deployment, the casing of the colors is a bittersweet occasion where we prepare to leave our homes and loved ones, but also look forward to showing what this great team is capable of and getting on with the mission we have worked long and hard to prepare for," the commander said. "It's now our turn to make a contribution and to continue building upon the history of 902nd Contracting Battalion and MICC-JBLM."
Subordinate to the 418th CSB, the 902nd CBN is comprised of a headquarters and five contracting teams. It is responsible for planning and executing contingency contracting in support of Army and joint operations, preparing warfighters to accomplish operational contracting support missions, and training and deploying contingency contracting teams. In garrison, the battalion along with MICC-JBLM is aligned to provide contracting support for the 1st Corps as well as other mission partners across the joint base. The 902nd CBN also supports consecutive exercises and training events as part of the Army's Pacific Pathways.
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.