NEWS | Aug. 16, 2021

MICC contracting team supports Vibrant Response disaster exercise

By Daniel P. Elkins Mission and Installation Contracting Command

Contract management officials are playing an integral role in ensuring the successful response by the Army to natural disasters and contingencies faced by this nation.

Members from the Mission and Installation Contracting Command Field Directorate Office at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, directly supported the 2021 Vibrant Response disaster exercise in support of Joint Task Force Civil Support that came to an end Aug. 9.

Army North’s contingency command posts serve as the coordinating element for DOD requests for support from FEMA, state and local officials. Army North, as the Joint Forces Land Component Command in support of the U.S. Northern Command, is responsible for conducting defense support of civil authorities, or DSCA, across the United States when requested.

Operating as the MICC Army North Contracting Support Cell, MICC FDO-Fort Sam Houston contracting professionals began integrating their contract support efforts with multiple commands across the service in early July.

Serving as the senior contracting officer for the cell was Capt. Tamera Marshall, a contract management officer with the field directorate office. She’s led a team in coordinating the procurement of contract requirements with the joint task force’s logistics directorate and U.S. Army Reserve’s 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command in San Antonio. Marshall along with Maj. Matt Bookout and Emory Cowan were responsible for reviewing all contracting action submissions for accuracy and completeness as well as advising joint logistics personnel on the contract management process to include the assignment of contracting officer representatives, quality assurance and control procedures, and contract award tracking.

“Contracting support is very critical and has a direct impact on any defense support of civil authorities mission,” Marshall said, “so implementing operational contracting support into the initial planning will only facilitate success.”

The annual command post exercise validates ARNORTH’s operational capabilities to respond to a catastrophic event. Marshall said eight contract requirements were submitted over a five-day exercise period valued at more than $1.2 million. They included support requirements such as lodging with catered meals, laundry services, portable showers, and portable latrines with hand-washing stations.

“Although it was a ‘table top’ exercise, complete contracting requirement packets were submitted for review,” Marshall said. “They included independent government cost estimates, market research, performance work statements, quality assurance surveillance plans, request for service contract approval forms and purchase requests. Signatures for approval authority and procurement lead times were simulated.”

She added the MICC Army North Contracting Support Cell’s ongoing active involvement in the COVID-19 Counter Measure Acceleration Group has proven beneficial in the team’s ability to successfully support contract requirements in a crisis.

“The opportunity to participate in joint DSCA-level missions and exercises has been both amazing and rewarding,” Marshall said. “The experience has sharpened my contracting knowledge, skills and capabilities. It has definitely enhanced my preparedness for future missions and assignments.”

MICC FDO-Fort Sam Houston officials will continue to provide business advice and contracting solutions in support of ARNORTH’s participation with the command post exercises Ardent Sentry in June 2022 and Vigilant Shield in September 2022. Ardent Sentry aims to hone the Joint Force Land Component Command’s ability to respond simultaneously to homeland defense and DSCA requests for support in coordination with the 377th Sustainment Command. Vigilant Shied 2022 will serve to validate ARNORTH command and control capabilities as the Joint Force Land Component Command as well as build interagency partners to enable situational understanding and mutual support.

About the MICC

Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. As part of its mission, MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.