Virginia, D.C. Guard contracting teams train on newest DLA tools at Fort Pickett

Members of the 1940th and 1945th Contingency Contracting Teams from the Virginia Guard, as well as Soldiers from the 1946th CCT from the D.C. Guard, participate in computer-based training with representatives from the Defense Logistics Agency Oct. 13 at Fort Pickett. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

FORT PICKETT, Va. — Virginia and D.C. Army National Guard Soldiers received training on some of the Army’s newest contracting tools during a two-day training session with Defense Logistics Agency representatives Oct. 13-14 at Fort Pickett.

“We’re the first people in the reserve component to receive this training,” said Lt. Col. Brent Carey, senior team leader of the 1940th CCT. “The Joint Contracting and Contingency Services is an automated system that contains all the tools we use. The active component has been receiving this training for a few years now.”

For instance, using JCCS a contracting Soldier can look for contractors in different regions of Afghanistan. In addition to their name and capabilities, the system will show their tax and banking information.

Meanwhile, the 3 in 1 is a brand new, hand-held system being deployed that “pulls together the finance piece, the contracting piece, the paperwork, captures signatures, and can track payments to the contractor on the spot,” according to Carey. The system is designed to not only save paperwork but make the whole contracting process faster and more efficient.  The tool is especially effective because it gives the CCTs the ability to exercise more control and easier accountability when they appoint Field Ordering Officers from the units they support to make purchases in the field.

“We were requested to provide training to Guard personnel on acquisition business solutions that are deployed, things that are the counterpart to what’s in a stateside contracting office,” explained Martina Miles Johnson, the DLA program manager for the JCCS, who led the training. “Just to prepare them for what tools they could access and use overseas and to ensure that if they go overseas they have a good familiarity with the tools and can work alongside the active duty units they will be supporting.”

“They’re not going to remember everything but they’re going to know where to go,” she said. “That’s half the battle.”

But the tools the Guard Soldiers trained on are not just useful in Afghanistan. They can also be used in a homeland security or natural disaster scenario when the Guard is called in.

“They could be used to procure hotel rooms, bottled water, chain saws,” Carey said. “Those are the type of things we would procure in a natural disaster setting, not just in Virginia but even in another state.”

A contingency contracting team is a 5-person unit that can provide capability to acquire goods and services from the commercial sector, stateside or overseas.

“We support contracting requirements where the military needs to procure commercial services in an operational setting,” according to Carey.

The Virginia Guard’s CCTs, which fall under the 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group, stood up in 2009 and still have slots available for interested Soldiers.

“We’re always looking for people interested in the business side of the Army, mid-career NCOs and officers,” Carey said. “Contracting is regulated. In order to buy something on behalf of the U.S. government, a person needs special training and must be given that authority. So we’re the only ones who can do what we do.”