409th CSB supports Defender Europe 2023

By Maj. Safiul Alam, 409th Contracting Support BrigadeJuly 11, 2023

409th CSB supports Defender Europe 2023
Sgt. 1st Class Henry Caldera points at the potential location of his deployment for Defender Europe 2023 June 1 at Sembach Army Base, Germany. Caldera is a 409th Contracting Support Brigade contracting NCO. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

SEMBACH ARMY BASE, Germany (July 11, 2023) – Members of the 409th Contracting Support Brigade deployed across Europe in support of Defender Europe 2023 to provide operational and contingency contracting support to more than 7,800 U.S. warfighters, and 15,000 multi-national service members from 26 allied and partner nations to increase strategic readiness and interoperability May 7 through June 14.

The rapid deployment of a large combat-credible force of troops and equipment from the United States to the European theater for a coordinated Allied response to a potential crisis was enabled by the contracting expertise provided by 409th CSB members at all stages of the event.

Defender Europe 23 encompassed four U.S. Army Europe and Africa -led field training exercises: Swift Response, Immediate Response, Saber Guardian, and one corps-level command post exercise, each of which involved individual live-fire exercises separated by time, space and phase. The breadth and scope of Defender Europe 23 made it the largest exercise in U.S. European Command, and one of the largest military exercises in the world.

The support from 409th CSB members was a force multiplier throughout the exercise. In support of the multi-domain, multi-corps and multi-national command post exercise, three 409th CSB contingency contracting officers supported from the Grafenwohr Training Area in Germany.

The planning process for Defender Europe 23 spanned three years. The 409th CSB planners integrated with U.S. Army Europe-Africa and 21st Theater Sustainment Command exercise planners at all planning conferences and conducted pre-deployment site surveys to provide contracting advice to actively shape Defender Europe 23.

The lessons learned from previous 409th CSB experience in Defender Exercises including early and constant customer communication proved successful throughout the planning process, especially during the concept of contracting support briefing provided to the 21st TSC commanding general during the sustainment rehearsal of concept drill.

During the planning and preparation, 409th CSB leaders worked with customers to provide contracting support and advice, contracting officer representative training, and to build lasting relationships that will extend well past Defender Europe 23. Some of the contracting requirements for the exercise were portable latrines, shower trailers, hand washing stations, trash removal, black and grey water disposal, bus contracts, and material handling equipment contracts.

During the execution phase of the exercise, Swift Response 23 participants demonstrated U.S. and allied force projection and high-readiness interoperability that included three near-simultaneous joint forcible entry operations into Estonia, Spain and Greece. In support of Swift Response 23, 409th deployed four forward contracting elements to Spain, Estonia and Greece to provide contingency contracting support for allied forces.

409th CSB supports Defender Europe 2023
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Col. Jarrett Moffitt, Lt. Col. Brandon Chapman, Master Sgt. Ye Yang and Israel Guardia receive a briefing from the Spanish army during Defender Europe 2-23 June 1 at Sembach Army Base, Europe. Moffitt is the 409th Contracting Support Brigade commander, Chapman is the 928th Contracting Battalion commander, Yang is the 928th CBN senior enlisted advisor, and Guardia is assigned to U.S. Army Europe-Africa logistics. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL
409th CSB supports Defender Europe 2023
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – 409th Contracting Support Brigade Soldiers collaborate with U.S. Navy SEABEES for safety inspections of portable shower facilities in support of Saber Guardian 2023 June 1. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

During Immediate Response 23, U.S. Army units deployed to multiple training areas focused on reception, staging, and onward movement operations and integrated air and missile defense operations. In support of Immediate Response 23, the 409th CSB deployed five contracting elements to Croatia, Kosovo, Greece and Montenegro to provide contingency contracting support.

Saber Guardian 23 was a wet gap crossing exercise in the vicinity of the Danube River. In support of Saber Guardian 23, the 409th CSB deployed two contracting officers and two contract specialists to Romania for contingency contracting support.

“Juggling multiple simultaneous missions is challenging,” said Col. Jarrett Moffitt, the 409th CSB commander. “Our brigade support operations staff and battalion staffs expertly coordinated with supported customers, integrated into planning and operations execution, and ultimately resulted in the delivery of critical life support services at the time and place of need. These exercises prove the power of Army contracting and the value that contracting support brigades bring to large scale combat operations.”

The 409th CSB staff has also started the planning process for the upcoming Defender series exercises in 2024. Currently, the 409th CSB is coordinating with U.S. Army Europe-Africa exercise planners to include contracting scenarios into the Defender Europe 24 command post exercise scenarios in order to practice 409th CSB’s mission essential tasks with units from the U.S. and other NATO partners.

“Our engagement in CPX scenarios will improve brigade interoperability and readiness,” Moffitt said. “We also actively document how exercise support can be improved to better support Defender Europe 24 and other future missions.

“Defender Europe 23 was an ideal exercise to build partnerships, improve readiness, and show our resolve to Allies across Europe,” Moffitt added. “Swift and agile contingency contracting support on the ground provided customers from the U.S. and allied nations a network of logistical support enabling their mission accomplishment across multiple theaters. 409th CSB stands ready to support all missions in the European Command area of operations anytime and anywhere.”

The 409th CSB provides enhanced readiness and operational capacity for U.S. and partner forces in the European theater by delivering the power of Army contracting to leverage commercial capability and provide business advice to support sustaining, shaping, and decisive operations in order to maintain a strong Europe.

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.