By Daniel P. Elkins, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs Office January 29, 2012
FORT BLISS, Texas -- Forty-five members from throughout the Mission and Installation Contracting Command are among the more than 250 participants teaming together here in support of the two-week U.S. Army Contracting Command pre-deployment readiness exercise Joint Dawn 2012.
Joint Dawn, in its third year, is bringing together military and civilian contracting officers and specialists as well as other support personnel from the each service including the Army National Guard and Army Reserve. The exercise is designed to develop contracting expertise in an environment that simulates joint operations downrange and serves as a precursor to a deployment in support of the U.S. Central Command, according to Col. Jeff Morris, commander of the 412th Contracting Support Brigade at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, who is leading this year's training.
The main body of exercise participants arrived here Jan. 19 and has already completed warrior task training simulating a field environment as well as classroom training. They entered the fourth phase of Joint Dawn Saturday, which consists of six days of operational training aimed at building familiarity in a joint environment.
MICC civilian members are working alongside their uniformed counterparts from ACC and the Expeditionary Contracting Command in replicated joint regional contracting centers of approximately 10 contracting officers each. They are responsible for conducting all functions -- including pre-award actions, contract administration and management, contractor education -- for which they will be expected to accomplish during deployment.
The value of this joint training offers a reciprocal benefit according to Brian Raabe, a strategic planner from the MICC headquarters at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, here in support of the Joint Dawn operations cell.
"While the exercise is intended to train active duty to deploy, we have civilian deploying, too," Raabe said. "When we asked for volunteers, we selected those who were already a part of the deployable cadre and then those who were interested in deploying."
ACC offers qualified employees with specialized expertise and experience throughout its command an opportunity to deploy through its Deployable Cadre program.
Raabe added that response to the call for volunteers was overwhelming. In addition to Raabe, MICC members participating in Joint Dawn include 25 civilian contracting experts serving in 16 simulated regional contracting centers, 15 mentors, two legal officers and two policy experts.
The fourth phase concludes Feb. 2, when the readiness exercise enters an evaluation phase.