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NEWS | Dec. 8, 2020

Secretary of the Army recognizes JBSA-Fort Sam Houston MICC office

By Ryan Mattox Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs Office

The Secretary of the Army recently recognized the Mission and Installation Contracting Command Field Directorate Office-Fort Sam Houston and two MICC members at other installations for excellence in the contracting field in 2020.

Earning the recognition were the FDO-Fort Sam Houston at Joint Base San Antonio; Curtis Arthur II, a contract specialist with the MICC-Fort Eustis Contracting Office in Virginia; and Estella Juarez, a procurement analyst from MICC-Fort Bragg, North Carolina, who is deployed to Afghanistan.

Col. Jason Jefferis, the FDO-Fort Sam Houston director and senior contracting official, and his field directorate team earned the Secretary of the Army Awards for Excellence in Contracting Contingency Contracting Award.

Jefferis and his team were recognized for performing nationwide contingency contracting support to the DOD’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and a multitude of defense support to civil authorities operations throughout the nation.

The award recognizes units or teams from command nominees assigned to deployable contracting positions or who have deployed in support of an operation as defined by Title 10 U.S. Code during the qualifying period.

Despite having no previous operational mission assignments prior to March 2020, the senior contracting official for U.S. Army North quickly reorganized and mobilized to perform operational contracting support for the COVID-19 response across the country. Field directorate leadership managed the contracting support across the country as the entire ACC enterprise mobilized to support operations.

All six CONUS-based contracting battalions and each of the ACC contracting offices were in direct support of response efforts. The FDO-Fort Sam Houston staff quickly deployed contingency contracting officers in one- to two-person teams forward to the point of need with reach-back office support from across the enterprise.

“We are honored by the recognition for our support to the nation during this crazy year. The field directorate office didn't have the operational mission before COVID-19 exploded in March of this year,” Jefferis said.

The FDO-Fort Sam Houston team also served as the lead service for contract coordination for the joint operation, coordinating efforts with joint contracting partners weekly.

The team supported the mobilization and deployment of more than 10,000 support personnel and 4,000 joint medical service providers with critical life support contracts as they provided scalable support augmenting 47 different hospitals in 31 cities and 10 states across the country, while never having more than 16 total contingency contracting officers deployed from their home stations.

Building upon the success of initial COVID-19 response operations, the senior contracting officer operational mission remained under the FDO-Fort Sam Houston permanently. The team quickly found itself planning and coordinating operations in support of three separate efforts - a COVID-19 response, hurricane response in a COVID-19 environment, and continued support to southwest border operations and other emerging requirements.

“When Maj. Gen. Paul Pardew mobilized the ACC enterprise to support the fight, it was humbling and exciting to help orchestrate the contracting support across the country,” Jefferis said. “It was a true team effort as we deployed military contingency contracting officers at echelon and assigned reach-back support from a contracting office closest to the need. Basically, we had military formations supported by MICC and ACC contracting activities, including New Jersey, Detroit, and Rock Island, and rewrote the playbook on how we support CONUS-based contingencies.”