MICC unit prepares mission partners for hurricane season
From left, Lt. Cols. Alfonso Castillo, Torrionne Rechè, Joseph Verastegui and Heath Harriel discuss courses of action for lodging and planning for potential emerging contract requirements in support of redeployment activities and a hurricane response during a May 12 meeting at the 377th Theater Sustainment Command headquarters in New Orleans. Rechè is the 904th Contracting Battalion commander. Verastegui is the 377th TSC Special Troops Battalion commander, Harriel is the 377th TSC operational contract support integration cell chief, and Castillo is the 377th TSC assistant chief of staff. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (June 10, 2020) -- Soldiers from the Mission and Installation Contracting Command’s 904th Contracting Battalion at Fort Stewart, Georgia, met recently with mission partners in New Orleans to prepare for potential threats posed by this year’s hurricane season.

Acquisition Soldiers from the 904th CBN discussed requirements needed to support the mission during the hurricane season with leadership from the 377th Theater Sustainment Command, headquartered at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans.

During the hurricane planning meeting, participants examined the future alignment of resources for potential support, posturing and planning for a response to a potential hurricane.

“We continue to work with all of our mission partners to prepare for the 2020 hurricane season,” said Lt. Col. Torrionne Rechè, the 904th CBN commander. “As past hurricane seasons have shown us, it only takes one major hurricane to impact a community or state and cause widespread damage. Take time to prepare yourself and your family, and plan for what you’ll do if a hurricane is forecasted in your area.”

To manage requirements during the hurricane season, the 904th CBN and its mission partners are dividing support into contracting support categories.

“The support we provide to the 377th TSC basically aligns into the three operational contract support categories, or buckets,” said Maj. Jerry Andes II, an operations officer who serves as the executive officer for the battalion and MICC-Fort Stewart contracting office. “The 377th TSC is responsible for buckets one and two -- contract support integration and contractor management. We are responsible for bucket two, which is contracting support. We advise the 377th TSC on how to best execute their responsibilities.”

Additionally, the 904th CBN continues to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, which may potentially influence hurricane evacuation and sheltering plans.

While still supporting the 377th TSC COVID-19 pandemic response mission in the area, the unit is also using those resources when needed for support during the season.

“We are providing contract administration to two lodging blanket purchase agreement calls, or ‘orders,’ for personnel until the last person re-deploys to home station in mid-June 2020,” Andes said. “We have five master BPAs for lodging and food services in the area that will remain active until Sept. 30 in case they are needed for follow on missions. After Sept. 30, we would need to re-establish some new contract vehicles, likely more BPAs, based on identified mission requirements.”

Besides providing basic life support services and contractual business advice, contingency operations planners are using lessons learned from their COVID-19 pandemic response support to improve their support during the hurricane season.

“We are specifically focusing on following initiatives to not only strengthen our partnership, but also provide world-class contract support if and when we are called upon to support future missions under the 377th TSC's purview,” Andes said. “We continue to work with Army North to capture and consolidate lessons learned from the COVID response to establish a playbook and standard operating procedures to institutionalize our best practices.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states that, on average, 12 tropical storms, six of which become hurricanes, form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 each year. While weather tracking technology provides increasing warning of impending storms, emergency preparedness officials and other DOD organizations each year stress the importance of long-range planning for individuals and families.

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.

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