JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington (July 29, 2020) -- Acquisition personnel from the 902nd Contracting Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, provided contracting support July 13 to its mission partner by awarding a contract to a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business to conduct training on the U.S. Embassy operations prior to deploying from the installation.
The contract provides training for embassy operations in Indonesia and Malaysia with an emphasis on security cooperation and diplomacy training in preparation of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Security Forces Assistance Brigade deploying to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility.
As a new unit officially activated May 28, 2020, a lot of personnel in the 5th SFAB were junior officers and NCOs who had little to no exposure to the acquisition process, but 625th Contracting Team Soldiers provided the necessary support. Engaging them early on and maintaining constant communications to shape the requirement resulted in a contract award on time to give the contractor sufficient time to prepare, travel and start the training.
“We were glad that we were able to award this contract and help the unit stay on the training schedule for their six-month deployment, on top of a (Joint Readiness Training Center) rotation scheduled for November,” said Maj. James Ko, a contracting officer with the 902nd CBN.
He and Staff Sgt. Alicia McCollough, a 902nd CBN contract specialist, executed the contract award for the training requirement.
The embassy training will provide familiarity with international affairs and diplomacy throughout the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command region. The embassy training contract is critical to the 5th SFAB, maintaining operational readiness to support its aligned geographic combatant command. USINDOPACOM embassy training is required to help 2nd BN, 5th SFAB members understand how they need to be integrated into diplomatic, information, military and economic framework to help project national strategic power and understand their new mission environment.
The training was conducted over five days with a mix of panel discussions, practical exercises and capstone exercises as a culminating event. Contractors, who had 100 years of cumulative experience in State Department and foreign affairs, taught the 2nd BN Soldiers on the joint interagency operations for integrated capabilities, host nation support, and non-government organizations.
Maj. James Gibson, a member of battalion operations for 2nd BN, 5th SFAB, said he appreciates the support provided by 625th CT not only to start the training on time that helps them prepare for the JRTC rotation but also provide a unique perspective on leveraging contractors as subject matter experts who are not traditionally available in Army military occupational specialties.
“The vendor performed exceptionally under the circumstances on COVID-19 that is impacting the world. The battalion command team and unit personnel were pleased with the unique training opportunity, the company's work, and overall flexibility and professionalism to uncertain conditions," Ko 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. As part of its mission, 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.