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Contracting exercises contingency scenarios

by 1st Lt. James Batchelor
6th Contracting Squadron
Contracting Squadron, ready for anything.

With a vision of the future and the professional determination unmatched by anyone, the 6th Contracting Squadron recently undertook exercises designed to prepare its military members for future Air Expeditionary missions. At the request of the junior enlisted members of the squadron, an exercise was designed to inform, educate and prepare military members for the contingency contracting environment.

In the master exercise plan, three teams were assembled and tasked with solving contracting scenarios. Teams were composed of three contracting officers and one "seasoned" contingency contracting officer, serving as the team mentor. Each team was physically separated and tasked with a myriad of timed scenarios. Each scenario dealt with typical situations encountered in deployed settings. The scenarios were designed to challenge team members and encourage forward thinking solutions while applying stringent Federal Acquisition Regulations.

Evaluators and role players were added to inject colorful realism to the training environment. Finally, the exercise required team members to establish a fully functioning field office capable of supporting a "bare-base" Air Wing, and conduct a formal in-brief for the on scene commander.

Several benefits resulted from this exercise. First and foremost was the professional growth of team members. Understandably, team members were a bit overwhelmed with the scenarios but as Staff Sgt. Steve Sponaugle put it, "they quickly learned that in deployed situations, you must think outside the box to accomplish the mission."

With each successfully accomplished task you could see the confidence grow in each team member. Recognizing the immediate application of this training, Senior Airman Lisa Chatman said, "I now realize the importance of my daily work and how it transfers directly to real world contingency operations."

As a result of this training, the squadron now has a better-prepared and confident corps of contingency contracting officers. Each troop that deploys, regardless of rank, is trained and certified as a contracting officer.

Contracting is the only squadron that has the legal authority to write a contract up to $200,000 if needed. With that in mind, it's easy to see how important it is to bring its A-game to the warfront, a great responsibility it does not take lightly. The men and women of the 6th Contracting Squadron stand ready, willing and able to support the warfighter both at MacDill and abroad.

 

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