Edward G Worley
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala.–In an effort to streamline command and control of its military contracting Soldiers, the Army Contracting Command is attaching portions of its Expeditionary Contracting Command forces to several of ACC’s stateside organizations.
The action reduces the ECC span of control from the day-to-day oversight of Soldiers executing their stateside contracting mission, allowing the ECC commander to focus on overseas installation and contingency support, explained Lt. Col. Kevin Nash, ACC Integration project officer.
It also gives the Mission and Installation Contracting Command and ACC contracting centers direct supervision of Soldiers supporting stateside operations within their organizations, he said.
Maj. Gen. Camille M. Nichols, ACC commanding general, said her intent is to “streamline mission command, better manage our military contracting Soldiers’ workloads and enhance contracting Soldier professional development.
“This action provides greater predictability for our civilian contracting leaders in assigning work to Soldiers in their offices,” she said. “It also provides greater professional development opportunities for contracting Soldiers as they are offered increased contracting experiences.”
Nichols said it also allows ECC to focus on the day-to-day overseas contracting mission and operational contract support tasks associated with Army Service Component Commands.
Brig. Gen. Ted Harrison, ECC commanding general, said the realignment will help 51C contingency contracting Soldiers develop their contracting skills.
“Future military operations will continue to demand expeditionary contracting Soldiers who are trained and ready to meet Army Service Component Command needs,” Harrison said.
“ACC integration allows the Expeditionary Contracting Command’s 51Cs to hone their skills in day-to-day contracting missions in Mission and Installation Contracting Command installation contracting offices as they support the Army’s generating force. This ‘work as they fight’ strategy will prepare them to deploy and support Army operational forces anywhere in the world. ECC is confident that the MICC civilian contracting experts will equip our contracting Soldiers with technical knowledge and provide hands-on experience through coaching, teaching and mentoring.”
Brig. Gen. Kirk Vollmecke, MICC commanding general, said the integration improves both the civilian and military contracting workforce.
“The synchronization and integration of uniformed members across the Mission and Installation Contracting Command provides indispensable technical, hands-on contracting training and experience for Army contingency contracting Soldiers,” Vollmecke said.
“Soldiers and contracting civilians working alongside one another drives positive change and brings balance, skill and depth to the acquisition workforce. This unified teamwork and collaboration with ACC and our Army customers is a key to continued success.”
Nash said the operation will occur in four phases. It began in December with the realignment of MICC contracting offices under four field directorate offices. MICC FDOs are aligned at sites with their major customers, and the 34 MICC subordinate contracting offices are grouped by customer to bring consistency to operations and improve contract administration and oversight.
Phase 2 begins in February, Nash said, attaching MICC-associated contingency contracting battalions, senior contingency contracting teams and contingency contracting teams to the MICC. ACC contracting center-associated contingency contracting teams will also be attached to their corresponding contracting centers during Phase 2.
“Attaching a unit to another unit means that, while the attached unit still ‘belongs’ to its higher headquarters, it takes its daily taskings from the unit to which it is attached,” Nash explained. “The units we’re attaching still ‘belong’ to ECC, but they are working directly for the organizations they are attached to.”
Phase 3 begins in April, he said. ECC will add two contracting support brigades that will be attached to the MICC headquarters. The 418th CSB will be headquartered at Fort Hood, Texas, and the 419th CSB will be headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C.
The final phase calls for the 412th CSB, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to be attached to the MICC headquarters on Oct. 1.
Nash said ECC will retain assignment of the CONUS-based CSBs and continue to be the ACC lead for operational contract support activities.
In the event of a mission requiring CONUS-based ACC units attached to the MICC or centers, Nash said ACC will publish an operation order that detaches those selected units back to the ECC for execution of the required mission. Upon completion of the mission, units would redeploy and be re-attached to the MICC or centers as required, he explained.
ECC will continue to be the ACC lead for all contingency contracting Soldier individual and unit training functions, he said.