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Contracting Super Bowl

Posted 10/3/2012   Updated 10/3/2012 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Maj. Brett Kayes
366th Contracting Squadron

10/3/2012 - MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- For most organizations in the 366th Fighter Wing, Sept. 30 was just another Sunday. That was not the case for the 366th Contracting Squadron, where a team of 40 individuals worked long hours to plan, coordinate and award contracts from the Wing's wish list, which includes the top unfunded priorities.

While tedious, this task allowed the 366th CONS to showcase their capabilities, preparation, teamwork and outstanding personnel.

During the weeks leading up to Sept. 30, 366th CONS conducted more than half of its yearly business to address the numerous requirements submitted from customers trying to get their funding requests in before the end of the fiscal year. Funding for the 2012 fiscal year cannot be obligated in fiscal year 2013 starting Oct. 1.

At any given time, 366th CONS has 20 percent of its personnel deployed which increases the workload for those at home.

Master Sgt. Rob Powell, 366th CONS contingency support flight chief, said currently 63 percent of the military is in upgrade training and almost 50 percent of the total contracting workforce has less than two years of experience.

"It's really amazing what our inexperienced folks were able to accomplish this time of year," said Powell. "It's a testament to our ability to recruit the best, and the effectiveness of our squadron training program, which depends on supervisors to build a solid foundation of contracting fundamentals."

Many contracting specialists in 366th CONS thrive on getting the best value for the buck.

"We don't control the budget," said Stephanie Beauchamp, 366th CONS commodities team lead. "I spend a lot of time educating my customers and buyers, as we are accountable to the U.S. taxpayers and have to ensure that we do our job correctly. As the contracting officer, I'm ultimately responsible and I take that responsibility very seriously."

Contracting professionals serve a critical role in shaping the service. However, members from the squadron feel none of it would be possible without support from the finance and legal departments, and the many organizations on base that expend their resources and time to develop fiscal requirements.

The 366th CONS prides itself on converting Gunfighter requirements into warfighter capabilities and accomplishes this with a vision that is adopted by everyone in the organization - "Effective, disciplined, balanced."

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