FORT GORDON, Georgia (Feb. 24, 2020) -- Five Army acquisition officers are lending their operational experience to bring increased realism to course material as the satellite Command and General Staff Officers’ Course at Fort Gordon, Georgia.In attendance at CGSOC Class 20-001 are warranted contracting officers from the U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Army Contracting Command-Rock Island, and program managers from Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems-Detroit. Together, the Army acquisition officers supplemented the course material and aided instructors with examples and work experiences. The team of acquisition officers offered clarifications to give a deeper understanding of the course material.CGSOC is an academically rigorous course designed to prepare staff officers to work at the operational and strategic echelons of command. Over 16 weeks, student officers complete courses in strategic and operational studies, organizational leadership, military history, and joint and Army operations.One course, entitled “How the Army Runs,” focuses on bettering communication and coordination between the operating and generating force in developing the Army of the future.“How the Army Runs” is specifically designed to educate officers about the tenants of change; force integration; fiscal stewardship; planning, programming, budgeting, and execution; defense acquisition systems; joint capabilities integration and development system; and operational contracting support.Course staff leveraged the expertise possessed by the five acquisition officers for a two-hour course focused on operational contracting support and the contracting process. The course stresses the importance of integrating contracting units into the initial planning phases and utilizing contracting as a force multiplier during garrison or contingency operations. It also included discussion on the roles and responsibilities of the contracting officer representative, the difference between the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, theater support contracts, proper ethics, and the avoidance of unauthorized commitments.Having Army acquisition officers in CGSCO satellite programs enhances the learning environment; the CGSOC satellite program largely encompasses specialty branches and functional area officers, which reflect the most likely users or planners for force development, execution, and formulation of operational plans at the joint task force headquarters and above commands.“It is imperative that field grade officers understand how to plan, coordinate and become fiscal stewards when engaging in operational contracting support operations. Contracting support has been and will always be a pivot point in mitigating operational gaps.” said Lashanda Thornton, assistant professor with the department of logistics and resource operations for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. “It is more instrumental now as the Army transitions from counter insurgency operations to large scale combat operations and needs to be fully comprehended”Educating all officers on acquisitions, operational contracting support, force development, and sustainment of our force in the context of strategic and operational levels of planning is the goal of the “How the Army Runs” course. Customer education is the first step to operationalizing contracting throughout the U.S. Army and a pillar of command philosophies for the ACC and MICC commanders.Operationalizing contracting support begins with mission partner education. Acquisition professionals must provide knowledge and guidance to the rest of the Army forces in other operational areas early and as often as possible. Contracting is a force multiplier and bridges multiple operational gaps as part of a synchronized and integrated logistics plan. It is imperative that contracting is brought to the forefront of planning during any operation in order to best serve the mission partner and accomplish the mission.“This is akin to the operational plan to bring to bear the combined arms effects on the enemy,” said Col. Brad Hodge, 419th Contracting Support Brigade commander. “Operationalizing contracting support allows for the combined logistical effects to support the combat operation.”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.Mission and Installation Contracting Commandwww.army.mil/micc/Video: MICC missionhttps://youtu.be/uhuNwQyZPRQ?list=PL172IrLlxO_V8dnaKMnhRX5m217z5g9qhLike us on Facebookwww.facebook.com/army.miccConnect with us on LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/company/mission-and-installation-contracting-commandFind more images on Flickrhttps://flic.kr/s/aHskXgCKRVVideo: MICC YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaqWACVCyoIYlsXeaT2hpxw