Larry D. Mccaskill
FORT BLISS, Texas – The more than 380 cadre and trainees at the Army Contracting Command Joint Contracting Readiness Exercise 2013 were all eyes and ears as Maj. Gen. Camille M. Nichols, ACC commanding general, spoke on the merits and importance of the JCRX training Jan. 24.
After passing out JCRX Gold Eagle Hero of the Day awards, Nichols thanked the exercise planners.
“I just want to thank the 412th Contracting Support Brigade and everyone involved in putting this together,” she said. “They have ensured that this will be the most professional event that we could put on given our resources and our expertise and I have to tell you it’s phenomenal.”
Not to be left out, the general also thanked and provided advice to the almost 200 trainees in the audience.
“Thank you for being here. This is real stuff in a very low threat, low risk environment,” Nichols said. “It’s an opportunity to hone your craft a little bit. It’s an opportunity to look to your left and to your right and meet a new contract buddy, a contract warrior as I would say.”
The commanding general said it’s relationships created in training environments that go a long way toward mission accomplishment when deployed.
“When you see them again, you’ll know some of what training they received, their background and their focus,” she said. “Then you can have an immediate comfort in that they are in the same zone as you are because they have been through some of the same training and background.”
Nichols said she believes that during the training sessions, the contracting officers will benefit the most from hearing directly from the person or organization they will be supporting.
“The experience here today will help you get your arms around it,” she said. “During the training, the kinds of contract actions you will work on are literally happening by the hundreds in Afghanistan each and every day.”
Nichols said the civilians attending the training as mentors will benefit by gaining an understanding of how important they are in their careers as military contracting professionals.
“As we get more and more Soldiers integrated across our command, whether it’s in a contracting center or in a Mission and Installation Contracting Command office, it is important that these seasoned civilians ask what do they need to know in order to adequately mentor the Soldiers in their offices and how can I help them be more successful,” Nichols said.
“Part of the answer is to focus on their training, certainly their initial entry training and then their maturation and competency level as they grow. This is a win-win for everyone involved in it.”