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Contracting exercise reinforces readiness at Laughlin

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dustin Mullen
  • 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

The 47th Contracting Flight at Laughlin conducted a contingency contracting officer exercise, June 2-3, 2022, as part of a larger effort to ensure Team XL Airmen can effectively do their job in any environment.

“The purpose of conducting this exercise is to arm our Airmen with realistic, hands-on training and develop them to support the wide array of expeditionary or contingency mission sets they may encounter,” said Master Sgt. Natara Olbricht, 47th Contracting Flight senior enlisted leader.

Contract specialists and contracting officers play a key role in ensuring bases and operating locations around the world get the supplies they need. These Airmen are responsible for ensuring contracted services are provided, supplies are procured, and construction projects take place.

“It is very important we practice these skills because our job could take us anywhere in the world to support missions for the Air Force, the entire Department of Defense, or our allies around the globe,” said Staff Sgt. Carry Mullen, 47th Contracting Flight contracting specialist.

The exercise paired teams together to practice scenarios they may encounter while deployed, such as executing contracts under urgent and compelling situations, mandatory sources for leasing vehicles, and terminating contracts.

“Teams were based on the experience levels of the players,” said Mullen. “Experienced Contracting officers guide their team to success through prior experience in the deployed environment. Young contracting specialist are being prepared for bare base operations and what they should expect in the contingency environment.”

As a major purchaser of supplies and services, contracting specialists follow strict standards and practices to help prepare, negotiate and award contracts to qualified vendors as well as evaluate their performances to ensure that the money is put to its best possible use.

While the exercise scenarios were based on deployments, contingency skills also translate to emergency situations while stationed at home.

“Contingency operations relates to down range as well as emergency situations state side,” said Mullen. “At the end of the day, we are making sure our team is ready for anything. We could be called on to go anywhere, at any time, and we want to be as trained and effective as possible to meet the Installation Commander's priorities and accomplish our mission.”