JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
Leaders from the 418th Contracting Support Brigade uncased their organization colors during a ceremony April 20 at Fort Hood, Texas, following the unit's return from deployment to Afghanistan.
Col. Lynda Armer and Command Sgt. Maj. Darnyell Parker uncased the brigade colors in a ceremony officiated by Brig. Gen. Bill Boruff, commanding general for the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
The 418th CSB assumed command of Army Contracting Command-Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel Aug. 2, 2017. It relinquished command to the MICC's 419th CSB during a ceremony April 11 before returning home to Fort Hood.
During the brigade's nine-month deployment as ACC-A, it was responsible for supporting the 3rd Infantry Division, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, and NATO with contracts to include supplies, construction, life support services and private security contracts. The 418th CSB managed 115 contracts and task orders valued at $19.34 billion in external contracts such as the Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program and National Maintenance Strategy as well as an estimated $134 million in theater support contracts providing support to more than 51,000 U.S. and coalition personnel across 20 operating bases throughout the Combined Joint Operations Area-Afghanistan.
"But they did more than what the numbers show," Boruff emphasized, "the 418th provided long-term security, stability and prosperity, while maintaining the public's trust."
Boruff praised the 418th CSB for rapidly responding to a change in policy for the war in Afghanistan by seamlessly integrating with U.S. Forces-Afghanistan plans and policy officials to execute contract actions in preparation to support the deployment of the Army's 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade, which was activated in February 2018 at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Responsible for advising and assisting partner nations in developing security force capabilities, contract support leading up to the 1st SFAB deployment included growing personal security within theater, expanding bases, and increasing life support systems throughout the country.
"Once the decision was made, we were poised to react quickly, moving contractors and materials across Afghanistan at an alarming rate," Armer added during the ceremony. "Between normal supply capability and contract deliveries, we could barely keep up with the speed of construction on the forward operating bases. Contracts were let and executed, requirements continued to flow in, get awarded and forward operating bases expanded in record time."
Armer also took the opportunity during the ceremony to thank the members with whom she deployed, their families as well as those who remained behind to support the Fort Hood contracting mission.
"To our staff at Fort Hood, thank you for what you do every day, taking care of the contracting operations across all 10 of our installations. To our families, we couldn't have accomplished so much without your support. Thank you for being there to listen when we needed you, encourage us when we needed encouragement, and taking such good care of our children and our homes. You are our backbone," Armer said.
"To my Soldiers, you showed me how resilient, creative, focused and strong you can be every day. With only 15,000 Soldiers in country and over 30,000 contractors, you executed an army's mission. You were behind every success of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan over the past nine months."
The 418th CSB, along with the 419th CSB and two field directorate offices make up the MICC, headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. The MICC 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.
MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, preparing 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.