ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. --
If you walk the third floor A Wing of Building 100 (or many other areas of Bldg. 100) today, you may wonder where the people are. All the closed doors and silence in the hallways can be a little eerie, especially in this COVID environment. Rest assured that the critical mission of AFTC/PZ Arnold Contracting as mission-focused business leaders is still being executed even though many of the contracting officers are primarily teleworking.
For those who may not know, AFTC/PZ Arnold provides the AEDC commander and mission partners with planning, policy development, management, execution and supervision of all aspects of AEDC contracting activities they award, including operating locations for Tunnel 9 at White Oak, Maryland; the National Full-Scale Aerodynamic Complex at Moffett Field, California; and the 704th Test Group at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. AFTC/PZ Arnold also provides strategic and enterprise-wide sourcing, acquisition planning, contract negotiations, and pre-award and post-award contract management for complex-wide requirements; serves as AEDC’s Government Property Administrator and Plant Clearance Officer; is responsible for the Quality Assurance, Self-Assessment, Government Purchase Card, Small Business (including vendor relations), and Contracting Policy and Review Programs.
That’s a lot of words so when you get down to the nuts and bolts – contracting awards and administers contracts and related programs to execute the AEDC mission and ensure AEDC is second to none.
AFTC/PZ Arnold contributions further the Wing to pursue mission excellence and improve and sustain the Complex by awarding and administering contracts, managing the Government Purchase Card program and supporting small business utilization.
The contracts that are awarded by PZ are primarily based on providing best value to the government, which ensures that the Wing can improve and sustain the Complex. The Test Operations and Sustainment (TOS) contract, the Facilities Acquisitions for Restoration and Modernization contract and the Simplified Acquisition for Base Engineering Requirements contract are all examples of contracts awarded by PZ Arnold that improve and sustain the Complex. PZ also awards supply and stand-alone construction efforts that aid in sustaining the Complex.
Since Arnold is mostly contracted out and does not have a large government organic workforce to perform its mission, the contracts that PZ awards may be even more critical than at other installations that have a larger government workforce to perform the mission. These contracts enhance the Wing ability to pursue mission excellence by ensuring that well qualified contractors are selected to ensure their part of mission excellence.
Recent examples of these contracts are TOS, Facilities Support Services, Base Communications and Information Technology Services and AbilityOne. Other contracts that aid in pursuing mission excellence are the Advisory and Assistance Services and the Research and Development (R&D) contracts.
The Small Business Innovation and Research contracts provide access to small businesses who excel in this R&D environment and are cutting-edge force multipliers to the R&D mission.
Finally, the Government Purchase Card (GPC) program enhances the mission by allowing properly trained government personnel outside of the contracting career field to purchase items under certain dollar thresholds. The use of the GPC can add tremendous agility and speed to getting what is needed to support the mission, if one can push through the paperwork required for checks and balances.
To get an idea of the scope of PZ support for the AEDC mission, PZ Arnold currently administers 533 contracts valued at $7.87 billion dollars. That’s a lot of contracts for a small staff of 34 contracting professionals, yet PZ Arnold is fully immersed in the multi-functional teams that oversee contracts to execute the National Defense Strategy and further make AEDC second to none.
While executing this critical mission, several AFTC/PZ members of Team AEDC have invested in themselves and pursued mission excellence in this COVID-19 environment by earning the appointment as Warranted Contracting Officers (CO). Becoming a Warranted CO is a major career milestone.
So what’s the big deal about earning a CO warrant? A CO must show proficiency in contracting knowledge, application of thousands of regulations and superb business acumen. They do this by taking a comprehensive test, and in some cases meeting a CO Warrant Board where the individual is asked many questions about various contracting scenarios. The Board then recommends to the Warrant Authority at AFTC/PK that the individual be granted a Warrant or not. Most importantly, a CO must demonstrate the highest ethical standards and avoid even the appearance of impropriety. A CO is the only individual who is authorized to obligate the government. When a CO awards and signs a contract, they are attesting that the contract meets the regulatory requirements and is in the best interest of the government. A CO can also be held personally liable if they violate the public trust. So earning a CO warrant is a big deal and a critical step in career progression.
These folks are to be commended for this achievement - Aleshia Brooks, Eric Green, Gregg Jones, Kristi Martin, Brett Moore, Robert Mosley, Tyler Payne, Haley Smith and John Stewart. The next time you see them, please congratulate them for achieving this milestone and helping support the AEDC mission.