Training exercise pays dividends for 921st CBN members

By Maj. Michael Holly, 921st Contracting BattalionJune 27, 2023

Courtesy photo
Members of the 921st Contracting Battalion engage with role players executing a simulated vendor’s conference during a fiscal 2023 disaster training exercise April 3 at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. The 921st CBN provides contracting support to 25th Infantry Division, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, and aligned forces to advance tactical priorities throughout the U.S. Army Pacific area of responsibility. (Photo Credit: Training exercise pays dividends for 921st CBN members) VIEW ORIGINAL

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (June 27, 2023) – The fiscal 2023 Hawaii disaster training exercise held here recently taught members of the 921st Contracting Battalion several lessons to gain efficiencies while providing operational contract support throughout the U.S. Army Pacific region.

The exercise was designed to promote creative solutions to contracting challenges by employing a reactive exercise control group to facilitate objective-based scenarios instead of relying on the traditional, rigid scripted exercise injects, according to Maj. Mike Bresette, the 921st CBN support operations officer in charge.

Soldiers of the 921st CBN’s contracting detachments are capitalizing on lessons learned from the exercise when conducting operational contracting support to units participating in U.S. Army Pacific’s Pacific Pathways exercises within the area of responsibility. Across the 921st CBN, contracting professionals agree that the disaster training exercise prepared them well to support exercises and the operations within the Pacific region.

“This exercise was the best one that I have supported because of the realism of the scenarios, and the injects forced the training audience to think outside of the box,” said Jacob Kamelamela of the Regional Contracting Center-Hawaii who has 15 years of experience as a contracting officer.

“The greatest benefit we realized from the training was the ability to identify where we can assume risk,” said Maj. Dave Vance, a contracting detachment commander for the 921st CBN. He added his team was able to compare options and employ techniques that get contracts awarded quickly to meet the customer’s operational timelines regardless of short suspense requests and changing contract requirements.

“The exercise scenarios allowed me to hone my market research techniques, which I use to locate vendors in various locations across the Pacific,” said Staff Sgt. Patrick Floyd, a contracting NCO with 16 years of service. “The exercise prepared me for real-world missions, especially when interacting with vendors and customers during a recent Garuda Shield 23 planning conference in Indonesia.”

“The disaster training exercise scenarios were very realistic and prepared me for operations in the Philippines in support of exercises Salaknib and Balikatan 23,” said Sgt. 1st Class Albert Huffman, the Contracting Detachment Alpha NCO in charge. “The training allowed our team to reduce organizational energy by consolidating requirements, which reduced the number of contracts required to facilitate mission success.”

The 921st CBN is headquartered at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, and the unit’s primary mission is to provide contracting support to 25th Infantry Division, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, and aligned forces, advancing tactical priorities throughout the U.S. Army Pacific area of responsibility.

About Army Contracting Command

The Army Contracting Command’s headquarters is at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. From food and clothing to bullets and bombs; from tanks and trucks to boats and aircraft; from Soldiers’ weapons to the installations where they work and live with their families, ACC ensures Soldiers have what they need to be successful from foxhole to factory. As the Army's principal buying agent, ACC supports Army readiness and modernization by using best practices and expert-level oversight to provide warfighters with premier contracting support. The command accomplishes its global operational missions with a professional workforce of Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, foreign local nationals and contractors at more than 100 locations worldwide.