Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2012 Contents ASC.ARMY.MIL 95
experience? Are any of these personnel
warranted? What type of contract actions
have they executed in the past, and what
additional expertise is required?
A detailed analysis of the mission, opera-
tional location, duration, and available
resources will help the CCO prepare for
the upcoming mission. Many consider-
ations will influence how a CCO operates;
however, the key to success is deciding what
capabilities will be provided to customers.
What is a capability? It is the quality of
performing a specific function that is
required, valued, or important to an
internal or external customer. How can
a capabilities-based approach be applied
to establishing a contingency contracting
office and to executing contracts during a
contingency operation? In short, such an
approach is concerned solely with what an
office can do for customers : When a cus-
tomer walks into a contracting office with
a requirement, what can the CCO do for
that customer? By viewing the office from
the customer's perspective, it is easier to
decide what capability is required.
In general, most contracting offices pro-
vide pre-award and post-award capability.
The capabilities approach is a conceptual
framework that not only addresses pre-
award and post-award capability, but
also helps CCOs structure the office and
determine what additional capabilities to
provide. When considering how to orga-
nize a contingency contracting office,
CCOs should consider the 10 capabilities
in Figure 1. These are not all-inclusive
list of required capabilities, but a starting
point that allows CCOs to add additional
capabilities as necessary.
THE PHYSICAL LAYOUT
The next step is integrating these capa-
bilities into a simple, efficient office layout.
CCOs typically approach establishing a
contingency contracting office in an ad
hoc fashion, with a focus on doing rather
than thinking. CCOs should focus on
providing specific contracting capabilities
that are directly related and inextricably
linked to the needs of the customer. Based
upon U.S. Army Field Manual 4-92, Con-
tracting Support Brigade, these are standard
sections assigned to a contingency con-
tracting battalion, including plans and
policy, operations and requirements, and
contract administration services.
Additionally, the layout demonstrates
that the battalion has taken on the role
of a regional contracting center (RCC)
in a deployed location. The leadership
and management of an RCC may con-
sist of a director (a lieutenant colonel or
major), a deputy director (a GS-14 in the
1102 series), and senior enlisted advisor
or sergeant major (in Military Occupa-
tional Specialty 51C). A brief functional
description of capabilities, and their cor-
responding sections or teams, follows :
Acquisition planning is provided by the
operations and requirements section, in
coordination with the contract admin-
istration services section.
Pre-award procurement is provided by
the construction, services, and com-
Workload management is performed
by the director and/or deputy director,
in coordination with the construction,
services, and commodities team leaders.
The operations NCO in charge pro-
vides customer service, via a dedicated
help desk located at the entry point, by
rapidly engaging customers and direct-
ing them to the appropriate section.
Information and data management is
accomplished by arranging multiple
tracking and status charts or boards that
display information about the current
operational picture, thereby ensuring
that the RCC maintains operational
The existing theater contracts and
regional or local vendor base information
capabilities provide real-time informa-
tion for use in making business decisions.
Post-award contract administration,
along with training for quality assur-
ance personnel and contracting officer's
representatives, is performed by the
contract administration services section.
Finally, the plans and policy section
provides customer training on the pro-
curement process and field ordering
officer's duties and responsibilities.
The capabilities-based approach to estab-
lishing a contingency contracting office
is a customer-centered method that con-
siders not only what the customer sees,
but also what the customer can expect.
As long as the CCO conducts detailed
planning, provides value-added capability,
and integrates that capability into a simple
structure, he or she will excel at helping
customers fulfill their critical requirements.
For more information, contact LTC Myers
at 210-295-6147/DSN 421-6147 or
email@example.com. Or go
to the 916th Contingency Contracing
Battalion's milBook site at https ://www.
LTC VERNON L. MYERS is Commander
of the 916th Contingency Contracting
Battalion, Fort Sam Houston, TX. He
holds a B.S. in finance from Central
State University and an M.S. in materiel
acquisition management from the Florida
Institute of Technology. Myers is Level III
certified in contracting and in program
management. He is a U.S. Army Acquisition
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