NEWS | Jan. 11, 2019

Army acquisition executive addresses contracting workforce

By Daniel P. Elkins Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs

The deputy assistant secretary of the Army for procurement spoke to civilian and uniformed members of the contracting workforce on a variety of acquisition topics during a town hall Jan. 9 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas.


Stuart Hazlett, who is responsible for providing executive leadership and supervision of all aspects of the Army’s procurement mission, discussed procurement support, data analytics and talent management. He addressed members of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command and its subordinate units throughout the country via teleconference, as well as those from the 410th Contracting Support Brigade at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and forward deployed to Afghanistan.


Hazlett said members of the contracting workforce face similar challenges at all levels regarding the value of experience and timeliness to meet the acquisition needs of the Army. He added that while these challenges are sometimes compounded by the relationship between the requirements and contracting communities, both must remain ever mindful that they are on the same team.


“You are here because of a requirement that needs to be filled,” said Hazlett, who began his career in San Antonio more than 35 years ago. “We talk about readiness, modernization and reform. Everybody’s got to know that, and you've got to know how you fit into that.”


The procurement executive underscored the more than 30,000 contract actions valued at more than $5 billion executed by the MICC in fiscal 2018 as directly contributing to the mission.


“What you do here is readiness, and you do an excellent job of it,” Hazlett said. “With the number of people and the challenges you have, you still meet the mission needs.”


As a member of the Senior Executive Service, Hazlett is responsible for more than 270 Army contracting offices worldwide executing contracts in direct support of the service’s operational readiness. That support extends to weapons systems, research and development, supplies and services, information technology, installation support, construction, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and operational contracting in support of deployed forces.


Given the varied and complex nature of contracts across the Army, Hazlett addressed the efficiencies of category management, an undertaking already in place at the MICC with the establishment of centers of excellence for full food services, professional services, test ranges, instructors, and facilities and construction.


“Category management is good business sense. It's about taking the collaboration of requirements, budget and acquisition and saying, 'how are we looking at that?'" Hazlett said. “If we're buying same and similar items, the policy and the processes should be the same across the Army, because the only common denominator that's out there is usually the contract.”


Hazlett was joined at the town hall by Maj. Gen. Paul Pardew, the commanding general for the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, who also spoke on overarching guidance, business rules and leadership.


Hazlett arrived in San Antonio earlier in the week. He spent Jan. 8 meeting with leaders from the U.S. Army Installation and Management Command and 410th CSB before visiting the MICC, where he met and discussed issues with members of the headquarters and MICC Field Directorate Office Fort Sam Houston. He also conducted a town hall with the U.S. Army Health Contracting Activity, which awards and administers contracts for a variety of medical services and professionals.