By Maj. Jason L. Miles & Maj. Greg Montgomery, 410th Contracting Support BrigadeJanuary 6, 2011
San Antonio, Texas - The 916th Contingency Contracting Battalion's 682nd and 713th Contingency Contracting Teams in their Army greens invaded the Randolph Air Force Base's (San Antonio, Texas) Camp Talon during a joint contingency contracting exercise.
The 916th, 682nd and the 713th are located at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, under the Expeditionary Contracting Command's 410th Contracting Support Brigade, also at Fort Sam Houston.
Air Force commanders Lt. Col. Eric Obergfell, 802nd Contracting Squadron and Lt. Col. Mike Waggle, 902nd Contracting Squadron, have both leaned forward to immerse the Soldiers into their respective Air Force contracting squadrons for training. The Army will increase their uniformed contracting workforce more than 400 through 2015. The increased Army contracting workforce will ideally reduce the deployment tempo of Air Force contracting officers.
"The senior noncommissioned officers and field grade officers the Army are transitioning into contracting bring broad operational depth which is valuable in training our junior officers and airmen, while we add value to them though our rigorous contracting training programs," Obergfell said.
The two Army CCTs embedded with the 802contractracting Squadron, at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, and the 902 Contracting Squadron, Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, and took part in a two day training exercise. The Soldiers, along with the airmen, gathered together to execute contracting actions and tactics used in expeditionary and contingency environments. The goal of the exercise was to work through contracting scenarios, and to give soldiers and airmen the opportunity to train as they fight.
The training began at Lackland AFB with the Soldiers and airmen receiving instructions on various contracting topics in preparation for the training exercise that occurred at Randolph AFB on day two. The classroom instructions set the stage for the follow-on training that occurred the next day.
Day two of the training focused on setting up and operating in a bare base contingency environment under austere conditions. The exercise scenarios challenged the joint teams to innovate and use sound business judgment to acquire supplies and services critical to mission accomplishment.
The training was beneficial because it exposed newly assigned airmen and Soldiers, officers and enlisted to an environment similar to what they may encounter once deployed into a joint contingency contracting Iraq and Afghanistan or any other area of operations.
Part of the training also focused on tactics used if the forward operating base came under attack. Soldiers and airmen tested their training by responding to direct and indirect fire, unexploded ordnance hazards, chemical attacks, and self aid buddy care. These tasks refreshed the Soldiers and airmen on critical skills necessary to survive in a hostile environment.
Col. William Sanders, commander, 410th Contracting Support Brigade, visited Camp Talon to observe the training and talked with command leadership from both Air Force contracting Squadrons about continued joint training opportunities. The 410th provides contingency contracting support to Army South missions in the Latin Americas and is looking to further partner with local Air Force contracting squadrons to support future ARSOUTH missions while continuing to strengthen the Army and Air Force contracting team approach.
Another joint contingency contracting exercise is planned for early next year, culminating all previous training and providing for a review of contracting procedures that have been established and finalized. Training as a joint team will continue to strengthen the Army and Air Force contracting home and deployed relationship.