ACC-Afghanistan successfully completes contracting mission

By MAJ Justin Berry and MAJ Chris MitchumMarch 23, 2022

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The Defense Security Cooperation Management Office – Afghanistan (DSCMO-A) director Brig. Gen. John Reim visited Army Contracting Command- Afghanistan (ACC-A) and Regional Contracting Center – Afghanistan (RCC-A) on Feb. 25 at Al Udeid Airbase to thank them for their exceptional contribution of closing out more than 862 theater support contracts in support of the DSCMO-A mission.

Following the collapse of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on Aug. 15, 2021, DSCMO-A’s mission shifted from Over the Horizon Security Force Assistance in support of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces to responsible closeout of Afghan Security Forces Funds, Operations and Maintenance Funds, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization Trust Fund efforts.

ACC-A’s mission included managing the responsible closeout of more than 902 legacy theater support contracts that provided support to U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. RCC-A developed an innovative approach to overcome operational shortfalls through the development and implementation of the 10-step pre-award validation approval waiver process which allowed for Afghani dollars to be fully converted to U.S. dollars and subsequently paid to vendors. As a result of this process, 60 contracts were converted from Afghani to U.S. dollars and were able to be paid to local vendors.

The synergy created by having ACC-A and RCC-A co-located with DSCMO-A (the requirements owner) in Al Udeid Airbase Qatar, was invaluable and significantly impacted the responsible closeout of the mission. The formation of multi-disciplinary teams was critical to solving the challenge of closing out theater support contracts that had vendor registration and vendor pay issues resulting from U.S. Treasury sanctions on the Taliban Government that negated U.S. Government ability to pay Afghan companies that held contracts with the U.S. Government prior to the fall of Afghanistan. Furthermore, ACC-A and RCC-A efforts greatly contributed to the overall DSCMO-A and U.S. Army Central Command’s mission. Their prudent and professional contract closeout mission greatly reduced the burden on Army Central Command and the 408th Contracting Support Brigade by limiting workload to transfer.

“Our team was successful during this historic deployment in closing theater support contracts with direct integration with DSCMO-A due to the support and collaboration across the Joint & Department of the Army staff, U.S. Army Finance Command, and Army Contracting Command headquarters staff assistance to resolve unique challenges resulting from the fall of Afghanistan,” said Colonel Frankie Cruz, ACC-A commander.

During the visit, Reim received a tour of RCC-A’s workplace by the RCC-A commander, Lt. Col. Jay VanDenbos, and met the collective contracting team. During the visit, Master Sgt. Kerry Dubose walked Reim through the steps to close out an active contract in the Army contracting system of record, Procurement Defense Desktop (PD2).

Upon completion of the tour, Reim presented each of the ACC-A and RCC-A team members with a DSCMO-A coin of excellence for their exceptional contributions to the mission and service during a highly complex responsible closeout of U.S. Security Force Assistance in Afghanistan. The ACC-A Command Team, Col. Frankie Cruz and Command Sgt. Maj. Rachel Harris, surprised Reim by also presenting him with an ACC-A and 414th Contracting Support Brigade coin of excellence for their appreciation of his leadership and acquisition expertise, which assisted in resolving the Afghan vendor pay issues. Reim emphasized Army Contracting Command’s important mission and reiterated his gratitude. The visit concluded with Reim and the team taking photos outside the RCC-A Headquarters.

“The novel challenges we faced made this an exciting mission, with a fast pace,” said Vandenbos. “We overcame many hurdles head-on as we crushed the workload and passed the baton.”

ACC-A was deactivated on March 10 and the enduring contract workload was transferred to the 408th Contracting Support Brigade. At the conclusion of this deployment, 862 contracts were closed at a 96% completion rate from their starting baseline of 902 contracts eligible for closeout.