FRANKENTHAL, Germany - Army contracting professionals gathered together here, April 18-20, for the European Contracting Conference or EURCON 2011. The event was hosted by the 409th Contracting Support Brigade and marked the first time the entire brigade was brought together as one.

"I am a local national who has been doing contracting in Belgium for more than 20 years. It was really a tremendous experience to be able to put a face to so many of the names I have been working with, to enhance my knowledge on certain acquisition strategies and be made aware of the changes," said Marieta Luna, a contracting specialist out of the regional contracting office in Belgium.

"It makes me feel proud to be a part of this brigade and to have the privilege of working for the U.S. Government. It (the conference) was all very interesting and informative and above all, an absolutely morale-uplifting event."

The 409th CSB, which is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, is made up of a professional workforce of Soldiers, civilians and local nationals, all with a unique perspective of contracting for their respective area.

"I really enjoyed seeing all the new faces of 51 contracting NCOs and interns. As an acquisitions noncommissioned officer, it's beneficial for me to be able to interact with the civilians and local nationals to see their outlook on contracting. This was a great opportunity and I hope to attend more conferences like this in the future." stated Master Sgt. Kimala Cox of the 623rd Contingency Contracting Team, Vicenza, Italy.

The conferences' primary topic of discussion was contract administration and included the entire staff from the 409th CSB, as well as various guests from agencies such as the Defense Contract Management Agency, USAREUR, Defense Finance and Accounting Services and Criminal Investigation Division among others.

"The most beneficial part of the EURCON for me was being able to experience the various levels of contracting knowledge that we have available in our command," said Clifton Miller, a contract specialist with the Theater Contracting Center. "Contracting is always changing and to know that there are all these resources really helps me be more effective in my job."

"Because of this conference, our workforce is better prepared to handle the changing climate of contracting," stated Tony Bauman, the 409th CSB Deputy Director.