Contracting NCO develops training to test Soldiers’ proficiency

By Maj. Michael Holly, 921st Contracting BattalionJanuary 9, 2024

Sgt. 1st Class Albert Huffman monitors Soldier training as they complete a skills assessment of 51C core knowledge during Contract Training Exercise 2024 in December at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Huf
Contracting NCO develops training to test Soldiers’ proficiency (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Jan. 9, 2024) – A contracting NCO designed a training strategy for the 921st Contracting Battalion that allows for the numerical assessment of individual proficiency of tasks for Soldiers in the 51C career field in December here.

Sgt. 1st Class Albert Huffman, the contracting master gunner for the 921st Contracting Battalion, created the strategy that was tested during Contract Training Exercise 2024 recently in scenarios based on current and anticipated threats within the Indo-Pacific area of operations.

With his experience as a drill sergeant and lessons learned from the Army Contracting Command’s Master Gunner training program to develop training methodology based on the 51C job aid tasks, Huffman allowed forward contracting elements to work together to solve problems while utilizing written tests and face-to-face discussions to measure individual Soldier proficiency. The exercise utilized unique training locations and incorporated military air transport to test the contracting detachment’s equipment, and allowed members to practice air loading operations that are highly likely to be utilized during operations in contested environments. Additionally, the 921st CBN staff was able to train on mobility planning and coordination at the staff level in support of battalion deployment tasks.

“The numerical data attained from the exercise allows me, as the commander, to make an objective-based assessment on the battalion’s proficiency on mission essential tasks that will inform development of a strategy to improve overall readiness,” said Lt. Col. Christopher May, the 921st CBN commander.

“The exercise gave me an opportunity to combine classroom knowledge that I have attained over the last six months with hands-on application in a realistic setting,” said Staff Sgt. Thao Nguyen, a newly assessed 51C with the 921st CBN. “It has really improved my understanding, and I feel that it has prepared me for deployment.”

The 921st Contracting Battalion’s primary mission is to provide dynamic contracting support to 25th Infantry Division, 8th Theatre Sustainment Command, and aligned forces, advancing tactical priorities throughout the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility.

About Army Contracting Command

The Army Contracting Command is headquartered 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. 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.