News: Contracting and Logistics Command Provides Premier Support to the Warfighter
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - As the United States military prepares to transition out of Afghanistan, it is crucial to have a good understanding of the challenges such a mission holds. Military units such as the Army Reserve Sustainment Command understand the magnitude of it and can support acquisition and logistics operations successfully.
Upon receiving its permanent order, the one-of-a-kind organization became fully operational in October 2010 and serves as the premier provider of trained and ready U.S. Army Reserve forces in support of our nation’s strategic acquisition, logistic, and technological requirements.
Commanded by Brig. Gen. Phillip Jolly, the ARSC is composed of 29 Derivative Unit Identification Codes organized into five brigade structures. The ARSC supports the Army Materiel Command, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology), Army Contracting Command and Logistics Civil Augmentation Program in three main areas of support including human capital, readiness, and operations.
With such a large pool of trained and ready soldiers, as well as, a versatile support structure, the ARSC remains poised to continue to live its motto; one sustains many.
The ARSC is compromised of primarily officers and noncommissioned officers who acquire and maintain experience within the contracting field.
“There are various tasks within the functional area of contracting: program/project management, systems planning, research and development, and engineering,” said Col. Jack Graham, deputy commander of the ARSC. “The functional area also focuses on information technology, research, testing, and evaluation.”
Typically, soldiers within Functional Area 51 and Military Occupational Specialty 51 series have civilian acquired education and/or credentials, as well as, job experience in addition to specialized training, added Graham.
The 51 series specialized training affords NCOs to become contracting professionals, provides significant career and educational opportunities and is one of the few areas of the Army that is expected to grow in the near term, said Master Sgt. Luicana McCann, contracting team lead with Headquarters Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Belvoir, Va.
Having served in the contracting field for more than five years, McCann said, “The various contracting MOS’ ultimately supports the warfighter with the right supplies at the right price and time to support the mission.”
There are great opportunities for NCOs to develop their skills and leadership abilities, enhance their career, and travel to support various missions throughout the 51 series career field, said McCann. The key to success is to create strong, viable, and competent acquisition teams, she added.
“This specialty is a very important one for the Army because the acquisition professionals not only provide procurement support for anything a unit might need, but also serve the Commander as a business adviser,” said McCann.
With such specialized skills required, the ARSC has a need for contracting officers and NCO’s across multiple ARSC units. Furthermore, the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command need dual-hatted scientists to carry both the 51A and 51Z functional area designations, added Col. Marcus Hughes, officer in charge of Detachment 8, Research, Development and Engineering Command.
“As contracting teams showcase their success, there’s an even greater opportunity to expand the capability in the USAR to provide a trained and ready force for use in future conflict as well as the civilian sector,” said Hughes.
Within the FA 51, and MOS 51C, both officers and NCOs receive the same training and skills transfer to the federal government civilian workforce. Hughes continued to talk about the increasing gap and challenge within the military for these specialties.
“Being assigned to a FA 51 assignment allows for tremendous training opportunities and development of skills useful to both the Army and civilian sectors,” said Hughes. “The Army is willing to invest additional time and money on training Soldiers to develop the specialized skills required.
The FA 51 positions are challenging assignments and provide a sense of support to the Army and AMC’s mission, said Hughes.
“This provides a tremendous resource for the Army to utilize Army Reserve personnel with these skills. For the science and technology assignments, our soldiers participate in exercises with the Active Component and look for “technology gaps” or areas where improved capability or technology would provide a decisive advantage to the soldier on the battlefield.
There is not any job I can think of better than that,” said Hughes.
USAR soldiers who are interested in joining the ARSC contact LTC Michael Henson via email at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (256) 886-4710.