News: Operational Contract Support Joint Exercise mirrors contingency environment for contracting officers
Story by Staff Sgt. Sheila Holifield
FORT BLISS, Texas - What once began as a multi-service annual training exercise has now evolved into a joint forces exercise focused on deployment readiness, mobilization and contract support.
The exercise encompassed more than 500 soldiers, sailors, sirmen, Marines and professional civilians of industry, Department of Defense Active, Reserve, National Guard and Federal Emergency Management Agency and included personnel from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff and NORTHCOM.
This year, Operational Contract Support Joint Exercise (OCSJX) challenged joint operational contract support professionals to respond to a complex catastrophe in the United States. Although this was the fifth iteration of the exercise, it was the first time to be sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and also a first for the soldiers of the 915th and 917th Contingency Contracting Battalions to be involved.
“The operational tempo was a new experience for many of us. There were a lot of different types of contracting requirements to increase synchronization,” said Maj. Christopher Terhune, contingency contracting officer with the 917th.
Working with combined forces was very educational; it’s always a learning experience to see what other forces are doing within the contracting field, added Terhune.
The exercise provided a wealth of information to those soldiers that are tenured in the field, as well as, those that are new to the contracting environment.
“As a new 51C, working with joint forces brought a wealth of knowledge and ultimately allowed us to complete tasks more efficiently,” said Sgt. 1st Class Serena Davidson, contracting noncommissioned officer with the 915th.
Not only was there a vast amount of contract support exercises, but it also incorporated warrior training. Warrior tasks and battle drills included things such as Tactical Vehicle Roll-over Egress Trainer, Combat Medical Training, Engagement Skills Trainer 2000, and weapons familiarization.
This work, Operational Contract Support Joint Exercise mirrors contingency environment for contracting officers, by SSG Sheila Holifield, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.