JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
Soldiers from the 607th Contracting Team from Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston continue to support combatant commander efforts to shape the regional security environment in Afghanistan.
Following a week of pre-deployment training at the Continental U.S. Replacement Center at Fort Bliss, Texas, and an additional week of travel, the team arrived in Afghanistan in mid-April.
The team is attached to the Regional Contracting Center-Afghanistan in support of the Expeditionary Contracting Command-Afghanistan. It is providing operational contracting support for the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, or USFOR-A, and Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan.
Once in place, Master Sgt. Maria Sierra was assigned to take over the NCO in charge position at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, with the primary responsibility of supporting contingency contract administration services. Her duties consist of assisting with post-award contract administration to include change orders, letters of technical direction and project planning requests in support of USFOR-A, and more specifically the Train, Advise, Assist Command-South.
“As one of only two military personnel in the six-person Kandahar office, she also serves as a jack of all trades with the handling of all intangibles such as information technology assistance, mail delivery, personnel actions, hand receipts, etc.,” said Maj. Evan Chung, team leader. “Needless to say, she is very busy, but this makes the time go by quickly.”
At Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Chung was the chief for two sections overseeing services and private security contracts. Sgt. 1st Class Mark Lewis and Staff Sgts. Ike Wright and Ryan Johnson provide cradle-to-grave contract execution for RCC-A. Wright and Johnson execute contract actions in the services section.
After assignment to the services contract section, Johnson broadened his experience by moving to the construction team to assist with contract requirements. Lewis is assigned to the private security section as a contract specialist.
“Arguably, the private security contracts section handles the highest visibility contract actions for security at different forward operating bases and outposts throughout Combined Joint Operations Area-Afghanistan,” Chung said.
Chung said the team’s hours are long, but aside from spending their days and meals together, they’ve remained focused on maintaining individual readiness as a foundation of Army readiness.
“Physical training has become a main focus for us all, sometimes just for sanity purposes,” he joked. “All of our PT scores have dramatically increased and several of us have lost upward of 20-plus pounds since we’ve been here.”
The 607th CT is subordinate to the 412th Contracting Support Brigade and Mission and Installation Contracting Command at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. The 412th CSB provides support for Army North, civil authorities as well as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response missions by Army Reserve units in the continental U.S.
Although members of the team miss their families, the team leader credits the team's ability to remain focused on the mission to the support provided before and during this nine-month deployment by the 412th CSB and MICC.
“While Afghanistan remains a contingency environment and warrants caution, the team takes necessary actions and sticks together to make sure we accomplish the mission and get home safe,” Chung said.
(Source: U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs)