Vol. 4, No. 16April 24, 2013“Providing global contracting support to war fighters.”AGILE PROFICIENT TRUSTEDBy C. Todd LopezArmy News ServiceWASHINGTON – The Army’sundersecretary said with sequestration inplace and deep cuts requested, the Armyis concerned about how it can train, equipand sustain Soldiers to be ready whencalled upon.Undersecretary of the Army JosephW. Westphal was on Capitol Hill earlymorning April 18 to have breakfast withand address a delegation of civic leadersfrom Lawton, Okla., that had come tothe nation’s capital to meet with theirsenator. Lawton is the civilian communityoutside Fort Sill.That military installationis home to more than 50,000 Soldiers,civilian employees and military familymembers.The undersecretary told those at thegathering the Army sees budget cuts asa threat to readiness, the ability to keepSoldiers and their units prepared to gooff to war when called upon. He saidhe doesn’t want to see an Army that isunprepared to meet the demands of thenation.“We don’t ever want our president tohave to call up to the Army, and that’s themessage he gets, an Army where Soldiersaren’t trained, a force that is not readyto go at a moment’s notice, that’s notequipped to go.That’s the challenge ofreadiness.”Now, Westphal said, the Army ishaving to “back off training” due tonew budget realities. Commandersare “modifying, reducing, potentiallyeliminating some of the training due tothese fiscal limits.”See WESTPHAL, page 3.Budget cuts will affectreadiness, Army leaders says(Photo by Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller)Undersecretary of the Army Joseph W.Westphal addresses members of theLawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerceduring their annual Washington, D.C.,Fly-In, on Capitol Hill, April 18.By Rachel Clark409th Contracting Support BrigadeKaiserslautern, GermanyKAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – The409th Contracting Support Brigadehosted the first European contractingcoordination board March 29 inWiesbaden, Germany.The board was established bydirection of Kim Denver, formerdeputy assistant secretary of theArmy (procurement) in an effort tosynchronize contracting support,leverage organizational expertise andto resolve common issues across theEuropean theater.More than 30 attendees representing13 different acquisition andcontracting organizations in themedical, finance, logistics andengineering communities attended.According to Col. William Bailey,409th CSB commander, the boardset the framework for strategiccollaboration on contracting businessacross Europe.“We can accomplish so muchmore as a collective, in regards tocoordination, resources and support.We need to be talking to each otherand this is a great step in the rightdirection,” said Bailey.Each organization presented itsmission, structure and capabilities,which increased everyone’s situationalawareness.“With the current fiscal limitations,this board provides the opportunity toidentify and eliminate redundancies.The response was overwhelminglypositive about the need for and theopportunity provided by this forum forvalue-added change,” said Bailey.409th CSB hosts first European contracting board
April 24, 20132U.S. Army Contracting CommandThe NewsBlast is a weekly newsletter authorized and produced by the U.S. Army Contracting Command’sOffice of Public and Congressional Affairs editorial staff in accordance with AR 360-1 (The Army PublicAffairs Program) to inform, educate and entertain the ACC community on people, policies, operations,technical developments, trends and ideas of and about the Department of Defense, the Department of theArmy and this command.The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsedby, the U.S. government, the U.S. Army or this command.Send submissions and correspondence to the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Office of Public andCongressional Affairs, ATTN: Editor, NewsBlast, 3334A Wells Road, Redstone Arsenal, AL 35898-5000.Telephone: 256-955-7634, DSN 645-7634 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.Commanding GeneralMaj. Gen. Camille M. NicholsACC Command Sergeant MajorCommand Sgt. Maj. John L. MurrayDirector, Office of Public & Congressional AffairsArt ForsterPublic Affairs Team ChiefEd WorleyEditorDavid San MiguelPublic Affairs TeamLarry D. McCaskill, Giselle Lyons, Beth E. ClemonsFor Spotlight submissions, click on the icon.Spotlight on...Sgt. 1st Class Jamie D. Trice is acontingency contracting noncommissionedofficer assigned to the 603rd SeniorContingency Contracting Team, under the413th Contracting Support Brigade at FortShafter, Hawaii.Describe your current position.I am currently supporting theCobra Gold 2013 exercise, the largestmultinational exercise in the Asia-Pacificregion.Describe your passion for the job.“No one is more professional than I. Iam a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader ofsoldiers.” (NCO Creed excerpt)The NCO Creed is the true basis ofwhat exemplifies a noncommissionedofficer. We must not forget what werepresent. As such, we carry this samededication and steadfastness to a highlycritical career field, acquisition, logisticsand technology contracting, to meet theArmy’s continuously increasing needthroughout our armed forces. As NCOs,we must constantly be proactive andwork cooperatively among our peers tounderstand the strategic effects of thecontracting arena and to be able to operateindependently in an ambiguous, dynamicand politically sensitive environment.Thisdefines my passion, my enthusiasm, myutmost devotion as a 51C.“As a noncommissioned officer, I realizethat I am a member of a time-honoredCorps, which is known as ‘The Backbone ofthe Army’.” (NCO Creed excerpt)Where do you call home? Tell us about yourfamily? What do you enjoy doing in yourspare time?My home is a little, but growingmetropolis of a town in North Carolinanamed Fuquay-Varina.I’m nothing without my belovedfamily. I’ve been married 14 years toAngela, my beautiful and virtuous wife.Together, we have been blessed with threeloving children: Cameron, 13; Ethan, 8;and Alyssa, 6. For me, there is no betterjoy than spending quality time with myfamily.How does your job support the Soldier?Our efforts are important becausewe provide an immediate support to ourservice members both in the continentalUnited States and overseas, ensuring thatthey have access to equipment, suppliesand services required for overall missionsuccess.What would you like others to know aboutyou?I would like others to know that Igreatly appreciate being considered forrecognition here.Thank you!Sgt. 1st Class Jamie D. Trice603rd Senior Contingency Contracting Team – Fort Shafter, Hawaii(Photo by Marine Maj. Benjamin Taggart)Army Sgt. 1st Class Jamie Trice (center) is flanked by members of the Joint ExerciseSupport Group that supported Exercise Cobra Gold 2013 in Bangkok.Team membersinclude (left to right) Army Maj.Angela Habina,Marine Gunnery Sgt.James Sullivan,Marine Gunnery Sgt. Denise Shepherd, Trice, Marine Staff Sgt. Eugene Swain andNavy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Mehan.
April 24, 20133NewsBlast readers now have a feedback tool to provide input about the weekly newsletter. Click on the mailbox icon to theright and submit your comments or suggestions. Responses will assist the editorial staff in producing a publication to bettermeet readers’ expectations and information needs.WESTPHAL continued from page 1Those changes to training directly affecta Soldier’s and unit’s readiness to deploy,he said. It means it will take more time tospin those Soldiers up to react, if they arecalled upon to react.Westphal asked civic leaders to takeback to their communities a betterunderstanding of readiness, to explainwhat it means to the nation.“Readiness is a critical element,” hesaid. “When you hear that word, whenyou go back to your communities and talkabout that, (ask) is your Army ready totake on whatever fight the president andthe Congress deem necessary?”Despite budget cuts, Westphal didn’tleave visitors from Oklahoma afraid theirArmy would fail them. He said the Armyhas been around for a long time defendingthe nation, and would continue to do so,despite budget cuts.“It began 238 years ago tomorrow,April 19, 1775, in Lexington,Massachusetts, and will endure forever,”he said of the Army. “The Army is theembodiment of the American spirit; areflection of its melting pot; a protector oflife, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.“Regardless of sequestration, partisandivide, politics, ideology or economicdownturns, your Army will always be onpoint for the nation.”By Raymond JonesACC Operations Security OfficerThe need to safeguard information canconflict with what friends and family wantto know or think they need to know. TheArmy Contracting Command respectsevery employee’s First Amendment rights,while adhering to security considerationsto ensure good operations security.Everyone plays a vital role in thesuccess of ACC’s mission and day-to-day operations.There is information weshould not share when posting to a blog orsocial networking site. Even non-sensitiveinformation and simple everyday eventsmay be important to an adversary’s mission.ACC personnel may have a personal blog,without the need to consult with thepublic affairs office, the OPSEC officer,or their immediate supervisor, if thefollowing conditions are met:• The blog’s topics are not military-related (i.e., Private Doe publishes ablog about his favorite sports team).• The blog does not represent, or act onbehalf of, the Army or ACC in anyway.• Government equipment is not used inestablishing or maintaining the blog.Neither the public affairs staff northe OPSEC officer monitor or approveposts made by ACC personnel to socialnetworking or personal blogs. However,when establishing a personal blog, ACCpersonnel can consult the PA staff andOPSEC officer for guidance to ensure nopolicies are being violated. ACC personnelshould also share OPSEC awarenesstraining guidance with family membersand encourage them to safeguard bothmilitary and personal critical and sensitiveinformation.After receiving OPSEC guidance andawareness training, ACC personnel areentrusted to practice good OPSEC whenposting to public forums.And OPSEC just isn’t about ACC andour keeping our mission safe. PracticingOPSEC in your personal life can helpkeep you and your family safe as well.Before you post something to a socialnetwork or blog, ask yourself: Is thissomething I would want a criminal toknow? Can this information provide alink to data that is vital to an adversary? Ifyou have to think about it, don’t post it!Practice good OPSEC.For more information contact BethClemons, ACC Web and social mediamanager, 256-955-7648; Raymond Jones,ACC OPSEC officer, 256-955-8206; orCarl Brentley, ACC OPSEC coordinator,256-955-8384.OPSEC: personal blogging, social networkingBy Claudette RouloAmerican Forces Press ServiceWASHINGTON – The DefensePrivacy and Civil Liberties Officeensures that DOD civilians andservice members are able to exercisetheir First Amendment rightswhen using social media platforms,Michael E. Reheuser, the office’sdirector, said here April 19.“DOD’s social media policyrequires that personnel followcertain rules,” Reheuser said.Thoserules aren’t intended to limit freespeech, but only to make sure thatthe information being posted doesn’tcompromise operational security.Personnel are allowed to expresstheir opinions, he added, as longas doing so is consistent with theoperational requirements of thedepartment.Some rules are different forservice members than for civilians,Reheuser noted. Under the UniformCode of Military Justice, Soldiersare prohibited from disparaging thepresident or other senior leaders,revealing operational details ordivulging classified information.“If you have an opinion that isinconsistent with the Department ofDefense’s, you’re certainly allowedto say that,” Reheuser said. But, headded,“if the person looking at itthinks that you might be working onbehalf of the government, and not inyour individual capacity, you reallyneed to be careful.”In some cases, it may be enoughto post a disclaimer on youraccount, he said, but if you haveany doubts, the best thing to do ischeck with your component’s ethicsprofessional.Social media policiesprotect DOD employees,official says
By Steve StarkU.S. Army Acquisition Support CenterJOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSONHALL, Va. - There’s more than meetsthe eye in the world of contracting and“Charlie” has a lot to offer.The military occupation specialty 51Cclassification trains noncommissionedofficers to be contracting professionals,provides significant career and educationalopportunities and is one of the few areasof the Army that is expected to grow inthe near term.But for Master Sgt. Jason Pitts, thething that really caught his eye was amap.Specifically, it was the chart of all themissions that 51C supported.The chart, he said, showed “wherecontracting guys were, whether it wasAustralia, Japan, Mongolia - and to methat was like, ‘Wow, that’s awesome. Ican go see all these cool places and stillsupport the war fighter and make animpact?’That was the ‘aha moment,’”said Pitts, chief proponent NCO forMOS 51C at the U.S. Army AcquisitionSupport Center, the proponent for51C reclassification and the agencyresponsible for ensuring a trained andready contracting NCO corps.Pitts said that the variety of thingscontracting NCOs could do, and thevariety of places they could go to dothem, piqued his interest because “a lotof guys get stuck in the same experiencesover and over again.”For Pitts, the option of doingsomething that was vital to Soldiers, butthat also got him out of that routine,looked like a winner.“The contracting command was in49 different countries last year, doing 86different missions supporting the warfighter,” he said.Worldwide assignmentsThe NCO contracting corps offers acareer path ripe with the opportunity toserve in a variety of locations.“Opportunities are endless,” saidCommand Sgt. Maj. John L. Murray,Army Contracting Command. “Aftercompleting the basic contracting course,NCOs are assigned to a contractingoffice where they first focus on becomingproficient in simplified acquisitions and arethen able to progress and hold positionsstarting as a contingency contractingNCO all the way to the rank of commandsergeant major.”Murray is the ACC command sergeantmajor and advises the ACC commandinggeneral on all enlisted-related matters,particularly in areas affecting Soldiertraining and quality of life.“NCOs can get assigned acrossthe globe supporting contingency,humanitarian and disaster reliefoperations. Today we have NCOsassigned and deployed to locations suchas Italy, Germany, Korea, South America,Africa, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba),Korea, Kuwait, Afghanistan and everyinstallation in the continental UnitedStates,” said Murray.See 51CHARLIE, page 5.April 24, 20134MOS 51C offers NCOs what may be Army’s best opportunityBy C. Todd LopezArmy News ServiceWASHINGTON – Beginning Aug. 1,every Soldier who elects to transfer theirPost-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a familymember will incur an additional four yearsin the Army, without regard to their timein service.That news comes in a message tomilitary personnel, dated April 15.Thenew rule largely affects senior officersand enlisted Soldiers who are retirement-eligible. As of now, these Soldiers may beable to transfer benefits to their loved oneswith anywhere from zero to three years ofadditional service.Soldiers who are not retirementeligible, electing to transfer their GIBill benefits to a family member meansre-enlisting for an additional four years.Come Aug. 1, that rule will apply to allSoldiers, whether they are retirement-eligible or not.“This is a benefit. Soldiers are entitled tothe benefit for their own use, but to transferto dependents: that is used as a recruitingand retention tool,”said Lt. Col. MarkViney, chief of the Enlisted ProfessionalDevelopment Branch, Army G1.Viney also serves as the policyproponent for the Army’s Post-9/11GI Bill Transfer of Education BenefitsProgram.“We want Soldiers to be informed of theimpact of this change in policy,”Viney said.“This is going to impact their decisions andtheir families, and whether or not they aregoing to have this money available to fundtheir dependent’s education.”Veterans Affairs also has eligibilityrequirements for transferability. A Soldiermust have six years of active duty in orderto transfer GI Bill benefits.In some cases, if a Soldier has incurredadditional time in service in order totransfer GI Bill benefits to a familymember, and is afterward unable to servethat additional time in service, he or shemay be required to pay back those benefits.Viney said that as the Army drawsdown, some Soldiers will be involuntarilyseparated under force-shaping initiatives.Soldiers who are separated early undersuch circumstances and who hadpreviously transferred their Post-9/11 GIBill education benefits to their dependentsmay retain the transferred benefits,without needing to repay them to the VA.Army changes requirements for transfer of GI Bill benefits(U.S. Army photo)Beginning Aug. 1, Soldiers who elect totransfertheirPost-9/11GIBillbenefitstoa family member will incur an additionalfour years in the Army, without regard totheir time in service.
April 24, 2013551CHARLIE continued from page 451C NCOs not only provideprocurement support for anything a unitmight need, but also serve the commanderas business advisers.“The NCOs in this MOS come from allbranches of the Army which enables themto understand the unique requirementsof a specific unit,”said Murray.“They arenever at rest, they are always supportingreal-world, real-time operational andinstallation support; where if they don’tget it right, the mission fails. It is a greatMOS to be in if you are a high-energy,multifunctional, adaptive and the utmostArmy professional.”‘Charlie’ sends you to schoolWhile the “aha moment” was travel andvariety, for other NCOs, Pitts said, it’s theeducational opportunities offered by the51C MOS.MOS 51C is a career field establishedin December 2006 to meet the Army’sincreasing need for contingencycontracting officers.The Army is currentlyrecruiting NCOs, in both the active andreserve components, who are interestedin reclassifying. Selected NCOs notonly learn a new craft, but also, throughthe training, education and professionaldevelopment aspects of the MOS, gainvaluable transferable skills.The education benefits are excellent, butthe expectations are also high.“The majority of our NCOs work inthe daytime, learning contracting, writingcontracts with the government ‒ that’stheir craft ‒ and at night they have to goto school online,” Pitts said.“Training opportunities for a 51CNCO exceed those of other militaryoccupational specialties in the Army,”Murray added. “The norm is for 51CNCOs to complete college courses andmandated contracting courses through theDefense Acquisition University as part oftheir daily battle rhythm.”“Thirty percent of the NCOs we selectalready have their degrees,” Pitts added.“The remaining 70 percent are requiredto get their degrees ‒ either a bachelor’sin business or a degree that affords them24 hours in business. We have degreecompletion programs to help them do it.We send some NCOs to school full-timefor 12 months to finish their bachelor’sdegrees.That way they can achievecontracting certification and then comeback to the workforce.”USAASC also has an acquisitiontuition assistance program that pays anadditional $7,750 a year for NCOs to goto school, Pitts said.In addition to a bachelor’s degree,NCOs will receive the same trainingopportunities in the contracting field thatare available to the Army’s acquisitionofficers and civilians. Active componentSoldiers will attend the Mission ReadyAirman Contracting Apprentice Course,Lackland Air Force Base,Texas, orthe Army Acquisition Basic Course,Army Acquisition Center of Excellence,Huntsville, Ala. Reserve componentSoldiers will take courses through DefenseAcquisition University distance learning.The 51C MOS is one of the few in theArmy that’s projected to grow over thenext few years, with the USAASC lookingto add approximately 150 new NCOs toits workforce by October.“One thing a decade of war has taughtthe Army,” Pitts said, “is that contractingis a vital skill, and you cannot conductanything in the Army without it.”Application process“Soldiers must be deployableworldwide, able to operate in a deployedenvironment wearing a full complementof personal protective equipment, haveno financial hardships or indicatorsof insolvency, and have no record ofinformation which might adversely reflectagainst the character, honesty or integrityof the soldier,” said Murray.Applicants must be in the ranks ofsergeant, staff sergeant or sergeant firstclass with less than 10 years of service.Those with 10 to 13 years of service mayrequest waivers. Soldiers selected mayqualify for a $2,000 transfer bonus.There are two more boards of selectionthis year, in May and July. Packets receivednow through April 26 will go before theMay selection board.Those packets receivedApril 27 to July 19, will be reviewed duringthe late July board. Selections are generallyreleased 30 days following the board andare posted to the USAASC website andemailed individually.For more information, visit http://asc.army.mil.Brig. Gen. Kirk Vollmecke, commanding general, Mission and InstallationContracting Command (third from right), is accompanied by a team of MICCemployees in a show of support for the 9th Annual Walk for Autism held April 13 atthe AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. MICC team members from left to rightinclude: Troy Foster, Velia Anstadt, Vollmecke, Nancy Williams-Vollmecke and BethCoronado. The two-mile walk raises awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder andhelps provide support to affected families and individuals.MICC team walks for a cause(Courtesty photo)
Click on the image forACC safety messages.April 24, 20136ACC in the NewsThese articles mention Army Contracting Command.AUSA Winter heading to HuntsvilleBy Paul McLeary(Posted in the DefenseNews digital edition, April 18, 2013)WASHINGTON — The long wait is over. After announcing earlier this year that it would no longer hold its annual wintersymposium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as it had done the previous 14 years, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA)announced today that its 2014 AUSA Winter Symposium and Exposition will be held in Huntsville, Ala., instead.http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130418/DEFREG/304180022/AUSA-Winter-Heading-HuntsvilleBudget impacts mowingBy Nondice ThurmanCourier interim editor-in-chief (Published in the Fort Campbell Courier, April 18, 2013)It’s the time of year when the smell of freshly cut grass often fills the air. Mowers can be seen across the installation helpingto maintain more than 7,000 acres of grass.There is a change, though, to this yearly routine brought on by sequestration and budget cuts.“(The Directorate of Public Works) was able to reduce the garrison’s mowing cost by approximately $1.2 million fromthe previous year,” explained Ted Reece, DPW acting director.“To accomplish these savings, DPW and (Mission andInstallation Contracting Command) renegotiated the contracts to reduce acreage mowed and frequency.”http://www.fortcampbellcourier.com/news/article_ce42757a-a863-11e2-af94-001a4bcf887a.html402nd FA supply sergeant earns multiple accoladesBy Maj. Thomas KitsonBlackAnthem Military News (Published April 16, 2013)FORT BLISS,Texas - Tight budgets have always been a challenge for supply sergeant Sgt. 1st Class Gidget Borst, but theawards and commendations she has received show that she only exceeds limits when it comes to accomplishments.http://www.blackanthem.com/News/Military_News_1/402nd-FA-supply-sergeant-earns-multiple-accolades25155.shtmlUSASAC at Redstone Arsenal facilitates sale of 36 Apachehelicopters to South KoreaBy Leada Gore(Posted on AL.com April 22, 2013)With tensions on the Korean peninsula at the highest level in decades, the Republic of Korea’s Defense AcquisitionsProgram Administration is purchasing 36 U.S. Army Apache helicopters, a transaction facilitated by U.S. Army SecurityAssistance Command based at Redstone Arsenal.http://blog.al.com/breaking/2013/04/usasac_at_redstone_arsenal_fac.html#incart_river