By Staff Sgt. Amber RobinsonDecember 12, 2012
BELLOWS TRAINING CENTER, Hawaii -- Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and civilians throughout the Pacific were recently hosted on Oahu by the 413th Contracting Support Brigade for a Disaster Training Exercise Dec. 2-7.
Over 150 individuals participated in the DTX, to include Army support units out of Korea, Alaska and with the Hawaii Army National Guard. Airmen were present from Pacific Air Forces AK7 along with Sailors from the Fleet and Family Support Center, Pearl Harbor.
The event was created by the 413th CSB to prepare contracting and finance officers in the unique set of challenges they may face in a Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief Mission.
The exercise was designed to simulate support to a disaster where the USARPAC Contingency Command Post has been designated as the Joint Task Force Headquarters and the Army has been tasked as the lead service for contracting by U.S. Pacific Command.
Resource Management, Finance, Contracting and Fiscal Law each play a very important role during a deployed situation. This three-fold focus of personnel is referred to as the Fiscal Triad. The DTX was an opportunity for all members of the Fiscal Triad to train together on a larger scale and hone their synergy.
"We are trying to educate people on the fact that we need to work together and how to work to together," said G8 Sergeant Major, Sgt. Maj. Gregory Ransaw, "Resource Management and Finance tell us what funds we have and whether or not we can pay for a service, the lawyers will tell us if purchasing that service is legal and contracting will go out and find services for us."
"The idea of the Fiscal Triad is a self-contained unit that can be picked up and set down anywhere and provides all functions and resources needed in a deployed environment," said Noda, "A lot of the inner workings of contracting gets confusing to people, but if they know that the finance, legal and contracting support are all in one package, they get a better feeling for the process."
All participants were introduced to a virtual scenario, which set the stage for training.
"For this scenario, we responded to a need for humanitarian assistance due to an 8.0 earthquake off the southern coast of Indonesia, which created a tsunami that struck coastal towns, causing massive damage," said Maj. Kyle Noda, plans officer for 413th CSB.
Each aspect of a humanitarian assistance deployment was mapped out by the 413th to provide optimum training.
"We give them the opportunity to build their team, set up their team in another country, react to contracting requirements, to vendors and general scenarios they would receive in a real world mission," said Noda.
General scenarios can range from the language barrier when dealing with local vendors to awareness and diplomacy when making local purchases.
"A lot of the challenges you see are dealing with a country where you don't know the language or business environment and you don't know what is available due to the natural disaster," said Noda. "For example you don't want to cause more bad than good. You are going in with a large military force, you don't want to buy all their bottled water up because then you are doing more damage to the local community, so part of it is not only purchasing for the support of U.S. Forces, but being a good steward of tax payer dollars and the environment you are in."
The 413th CSB also hosted special visitors during the exercise. Maj. Gen. Camille Nichols, Commanding General for Army Contracting Command and Brig. Gen. Theodore Harrison, commanding general for Expeditionary Contracting Command spoke to participants about strides in their occupation and toured the training facility.
"Both commanders were very impressed by the overall training value of the event," said Nolan.
"This has been the marquee training event for the year, where all our units can work and train together," said Lt. Col. Loren Darmofal, Chief of USARPAC G8 CONOPs Exercise Division. "It's been a great success."