By 410th Contracting Support BrigadeMay 20, 2010
The 410th Contracting Support Brigade, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, recently hosted members of the Brazilian Army, providing a glimpse of the various contracting officers' roles and responsibilities within their command.
Their visit to the 410th began with Col. Ted Harrison, 410th CSB commander, providing an overview of the U. S. Army Acquisition Corps, an explanation of how the U. S. Army trains its military and civilian acquisition officers, Army contracting force structure and the 410th CSB and its capabilities.
Harrison also explained to the Brazilian officers, the historical role contracting has played in meeting the needs of the United States military while utilizing a smaller uniformed military force, citing actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Harrison also discussed support the 410th provides to U. S. Army South and U. S. Southern Command through a combination of deployed contingency contracting teams and various regional contracting offices that are forward deployed with reach back operations at the 410th CSB headquarters.
Brazilian army Lt. Gen. Gerson Menandro Garcia de Freitas, head of the International Affairs Branch of the Brazilian army, was extremely interested in the U. S. Army Contracting Command's Expeditionary Contracting Command and how contractors support military operations and said contracting has become a high interest item within the Brazilian military.
De Freitas said Brazilian military officers and to some extent the noncommissioned officers in the Brazilian army receive training on dealing with contractors at all levels noting that the training regimen on teaching the force about contracting is a challenge.
De Freitas also commented the Brazilian air force has a heavier reliance on contractor support and are therefore somewhat more experienced in contractor management. He said that much like the U. S. Government Accountability Office in the United States, Brazil has an independent government auditing agency that inspects and reports on contracts to the government and that the Brazilian army had performed very well in these inspections. De Freitas also expressed nterest in sending a group of Brazilians acquisition officers to the 410th for a staff visit.