FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Army News Service, March 14, 2008) - The U.S. Army Materiel Command Thursday activated the Army Contracting Command (Provisional) which will oversee more than $85 billion in contracts annually and focus on maintaining and improving the Army's ability to respond globally in support of warfighters' needs.

AMC Commander Gen. Benjamin S. Griffin introduced Jeffrey Parsons as the new executive director of ACC, telling the audience the 5,800-strong command would allow AMC to better support the Army in sustaining, preparing, resetting and transforming.

"Our goal is to focus on customers," Griffin said. "Structured to better serve the warfighter and to look for ways to improve our support, we will provide a single face to the customer for contracting support, working hand in hand with our Army field support brigades. We recognize that still much more must be done to reach where we want to be."

Griffin said the stand-up was a historic event, not because it was a new command but because the Army was demonstrating to OSD leadership, Congress, and the American taxpayer that Army leadership was serious in taking steps to regain confidence in Army contracting and ensuring that it becomes one of the Army's core competencies.

Parsons told the audience that his new command would be world-class providers of contracting support to warfighters whenever, wherever to meet their needs.

"At the same time we must balance those needs with being good stewards of our taxpayer dollars," Parsons said. "Even one instance of procurement fraud, waste or abuse is unacceptable no matter how small the infraction may be. The American taxpayer puts their trust in us and we should not and will not tolerate any violations of this trust."

Parsons also said it was imperative the Army train and develop contracting personnel to execute its contracts responsibly and that the Army "must be more pure than Ivory soap as even a 1-percent error equates to $850 million."

Additionally, the Army will grow its contracting officer and non-commissioned officer corps by more than 900 Soldiers in the active, Guard and National Guard and will establish a warrant officer contracting branch that will add an additional 120 military personnel to the deployable force. Parsons said the warrant officers will maintain the contracting technical expertise to support expeditionary operations, and they will play a key role in training officers and NCOs as they begin their contracting careers.

ACC will provide oversight to Installation Contracting Command under Bryon J. Young, who will oversee contracting support to Army and federal agencies at continental U.S. installations and provide contracting support for all common IT hardware, software and services on behalf of Army and Defense Department organizations.

Additionally, ACC will oversee the Expeditionary Contracting Command headed by Col. Camille M. Nichols, who will support Army service component commanders and the joint warfighter to Army and other federal agencies at overseas installations.