By Ryan Mattox, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs OfficeJuly 12, 2019
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (July 12, 2019) -- Soldiers and civilians from the 418th Contracting Support Brigade completed a scenario-based validation exercise testing their ability to provide contracting support in a contingency environment June 17-22 at Fort Hood, Texas.
The exercise, known as VALEX, validated the 418th CSB's members' readiness, training, planning and preparation, as they will assume the Army Contracting Command-Afghanistan mission from the 410th CSB later this year.
The exercise focused on the unit, the senior contracting official and staff abilities to provide effective theater support contracting, contingency contracting administrative services and contracting oversight in a deployed environment.
"This exercise demonstrated we are ready to go," said Col. Joel Greer, the 418th CSB commander and senior contracting official. "We met all the requirements and objectives to prepare us to seamlessly assume our deployed responsibilities and continue the mission. This exercise is key to validating our abilities to support the mission and provide materiel readiness to the warfighter."
The 418th CSB was evaluated by an external evaluation team comprised of members from MICC headquarters, 419th CSB, 901st Contracting Battalion and 918th CBN. The evaluation team ensured the brigade staff was presented with realistic and challenging scenarios and shared valuable insight and feedback with each other in order to prepare the team for its upcoming deployment.
The purpose of the validation was to ensure 418th CSB was fully trained and capable to execute all brigade-level mission essential tasks prior to deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
Exercise scenarios were built around current and projected conditions for the Afghanistan theater of operations. A total of 19 scenarios set conditions and tested mission command for 418th CSB staff to successfully work through all performance steps and measures pertaining to: conducting expeditionary deployment operations at the brigade level, developing theater contract support plans, providing support contracting, and providing contract support oversight, and contingency contract administration services.
"The event validated all the hard work we have put into preparing ourselves for our upcoming mission," said Command Sgt. Maj. Barrett Taylor, the 418th CSB sergeant major. "The exercise was key to ensure our readiness as a staff and as a unit to conduct missions and support and defend our nation's interest at home and abroad."
Brigade leaders added that the end goal of this training was to challenge the skill level of everyone involved, from team leader to the command team, by putting them up against scenarios equal to their own capabilities.
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.