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Joint contracting command - Iraq/Afghanistan (JCC-I/A) retirement and CENTCOM contracting command (C3) activation.

Early Friday morning June 11, the Joint Contracting Command - Iraq/Afghanistan (JCC-I/A) conducted a ceremony in the Al Faw Palace Ballroom on Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq, to commemorate the retirement of the Joint Contracting Command and the activation of a Joint Theater Support Contracting Command (JTSCC) designated "CENT-COM Contracting Command."

As a JTSCC, CENTCOM Contracting Command's contracting oversight responsibilities extend beyond Iraq and Afghanistan to include Pakistan, Kuwait, and the greater CENTCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR). Additionally, CENTCOM Contracting Command, or "C3," will be prepared to provide contract support integration and contractor management operations in other locations within the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) AOR to meet any additional evolving theater requirements.

CENTCOM Contracting Command traces its roots back to the earliest days of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Project and Contracting Office - Iraq entered the AOR in 2003 soon after the initial invasion to support the reconstruction effort. Joint Contracting Command - Iraq was established in January 2005 to bring together a diverse, multi-service group of acquisition and contracting officers under a single umbrella to create a more comprehensive and powerful contracting unit.

Less than six months later, U.S. Central Command directed the Afghanistan Combined Joint Operations Area be incorporated into this new command. The Commanding General of Joint Contracting Command - Iraq/ Afghanistan was designated the Head of Contracting Activity throughout the theater.

While wartime contracting is not a modern phenomenon, the scope and scale of contractor support during Operations

Iraqi and Enduring Freedom are without precedent. In the Revolutionary War, civilians were employed to drive wagons, provide engineering and carpentry services, obtain foodstuffs, and provide medical services. During the Civil War, the Union Army hired the Pinkerton Detective Agency to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations for the Army of the Potomac, while the Confederate Army hired supply vendors to follow them onto the battleaxe.

Since then, through the massive demands of the post-World War II Marshall Plan and the Vietnam War, there has been tremendous growth in our nation's use of government contractors. In Iraq, as the contracting force is right-sized in support of the responsible drawdown, there are approximately 90,000 contractors, down from a peak of well over 145,000, who are essential to day-to-day operations.

CENTCOM Contracting Command has the important role of not only ensuring that the warfighter receives the support necessary for victory, but also for aligning the billions of dollars of funds flowing into the host nations with the Commander's overall strategic objectives - all the while providing accountability to the American taxpayer.

To conduct this difficult task, there are approximately 290 personnel assigned to the CENT-COM Contracting Command, 249 of them being certified as contracting officers. There are a varied mixture of military personnel from the Navy, Army, Air Force, and also DoD civilians. Of 121 total officers, 15 are Navy Supply Corps officers with the 1306 contracting officer sub-specialty code. Nine of these Navy Supply Corps officers are located in Iraq and six are located in Afghanistan. They fill multiple contracting roles and have quickly learned the dynamics of operational contracting support in a war time environment interacting with the different services. The intricate joint nature of this command is seen at every level, especially from the very top. The Commander is an Army General. The Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff is a Navy Supply Corps officer. The Senior Enlisted Advisor is an Airman. The Executive Officer is an Army Officer; and the Aid de Camp is a Navy administrative limited duty officer. Although varied in background, the mission of these soldiers, Sailors, and airmen is all the same.

CENTCOM Contracting Command is a multi-tier organization with the headquarters element located in Baghdad, Iraq, on Camp Victory. Senior Contracting Officials (SCO) are located in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are responsible for theater contracting execution, oversight, and command and control over all contingency contracting forces (less special operations forces) operating within Iraq and Afghanistan. They are co-located in the vicinity of the Combined Joint Operational Area (CJOA) Commanders' command posts and have established Regional Contracting Offices/Centers (RCO/RCC) to support forces assigned in the CJOA. There are currently 10 RCCs in Iraq and 15 in Afghanistan. RCCs are co-located near division, brigade, or base headquarters elements and provide key phases of contract support integration (CSI) and help coordinate contractor management (CM).

Since the beginning of fiscal year 2006, CENTCOM Contracting Command has executed more than 150,000 contract actions collectively valued in excess of $25 billion.

Recognizing C3's tremendous success in Iraq and Afghanistan, CENTCOM has decided to further expand the organization's contract oversight responsibilities to other key locations including Kuwait and Pakistan. As a Joint Theater Support Contracting Command (JTSCC), which will report directly to CENTCOM Headquarters from this point forward, CENTCOM Contracting Command will provide enhanced centralized oversight of contracting in the combatant commander's area of responsibility without degrading support to ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This organizational transition will also align current contracting activities in theater with revised Joint Doctrine. In addiction, CENTCOM Contracting Command is charged with being prepared to conduct contracting operations in Kuwait, Pakistan, and/or other countries in the region as directed. Ultimately, CENTCOM Contracting Command will ensure all contracting activities in the CENTCOM Commander's area of influence are synchronized, providing unity of contracting effort and supporting theater security cooperation plans and activities.

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The next several months are certain to be dynamic. CENT-COM Contracting Command continues to provide unwavering support to the ongoing surge in Afghanistan and to the drawdown in Iraq, the headquarters element will re-locate. In order to facilitate the realignment of the Command's focus to a theater-wide perspective, C3 has been directed to move from the command element's current site on Camp Victory to Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar. The headquarters relocation commenced in the summer and continues until the organization is fully operational from its new post prior to the end of the year.

During the most recent activation ceremony, Lt. Gen. Kenneth W. Hunzeker, Deputy Commanding General for Support to U.S. Forces in Iraq (USF-I), noted that key to the recent overall progress in Iraq was the U.S. Forces' ability to adapt. Much of this flexibility, he said, was directly attributable to CENTCOM Contracting Command's ability to "write, solicit, award, and administer contracts like no one else."

He expressed his confidence that during the organization's transition, CENTCOM Contracting Command will continue to provide "responsive, effective support to the operational commander at the right place and at the right time." He thanked the service members and civilians of CENTCOM Contracting Command for their dedication and loyalty. "Undermanned and overworked, you are a valuable part of our team, you are all MVPs."

Supply Corps officers currently serving at CENTCOM Contracting Command:

Afghanistan: Lt. Cmdr. Teresa Stevens, Lt. Kevin Allen, Lt. John Lina, Lt. Donald McIntyre, Lt. Alex Olarte, and Ens. Allison Stridh.

Iraq: Capt. Greg Stroh, Lt. Cmdr. Matt Bolls, Lt. Cmdr. Nicola Gathright, Lt. Cmdr. Shannon Wiley, Lt. Cmdr. Alex Woldemariam, Lt. Cmdr. Michael York, Lt. Michael Collins, Lt. Geoffrey Derber, and Lt.j.g. Kevin Greenwood.

by LTC Scott Beall, Acquisition Corps, USA; LCDR Matt Bolls, SC, USN contributed to the article
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Author:Beall, Scott
Publication:Navy Supply Corps Newsletter
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Sep 1, 2010
Words:1200
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