Before any bags are packed, flights are booked, and boots hit the ground, U.S. Army South calls a group of professionals who have a very particular set of skills, skills they have acquired over time, skills that make everything fall in place, as if it magically appeared.
For Southern Vanguard 24 (SV24), these highly skilled genies are the acquisition, logistics, and technology (AL&T) contracting noncommissioned officers (NCO) of the 410th Contracting Support Brigade.
The 410th CSB staff provided critical contracting support to the U.S. Army Soldiers who are training alongside their Brazilian Army counterparts during SV24, annual bilateral exercise designed to enhance partner interoperability between participating U.S. and partner nation forces, held Nov. 6 – Nov. 16, at Belem, Macapa, and Oiapoque.
When ARSOUTH began planning and coordination for SV24, 410th CSB were among the first people called. From there, the acquisition planning phase began. They worked diligently for over a year to make sure the needs of the Soldiers are met.
“Contractors are very important. They are a great augmentation for our planning staff,” Col. Charles Karels, U.S. Army South Director G3/7 Training and Exercises, affirmed. “It provides us with subject matter experts for a specific niche capability that we don’t have otherwise.”
Among the 410th CSB is the lead contracting officer Sgt. 1st Class Shanaye Davis, a hard-working, education-driven AL&T contracting NCO. Davis takes pride in supporting the Soldiers on ground.
“We are the professionals in the background that play a vital role in the procurement of a majority of the Army’s partner nation training exercises,” said Davis.
410th CSB were able to execute six contracts valued at more than $250,000 to support U.S. Army South, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and the New York Army National Guard in the bilateral exercise. These contracts included services for line haul, forklifts, laundry, and interpreters. There was also over 2,100 cases of bottled water delivered for the Soldiers.
Behind the scenes of every purchase or before any equipment is taken off the shelves, contracting officers were skillfully negotiating and securing the vendors for everything that makes the Southern Vanguard 24 successful.
There are multiple ways the 410th CSB team were able to locate and secure vendors.
“The most utilized way for me is conducting market research as well as SAM.gov,” Davis explained. “This free government website allows vendors to register their businesses for free and be eligible for Government contracts.”
In the end, Davis credited the NCOs she worked side by side with at the 410th CSB for the effectiveness of the training exercise.
“Although I am the lead contracting officer, senior contract specialist Staff Sgt. Paul Adamo along with junior contract specialist Staff Sgt. Phillip Magliba were responsible for procuring goods and services necessary for the sustainment of the Soldiers that participated in this exercise,” Davis vocalized as she highlighted her team. “The 410th Contracting Support Brigade did a phenomenal job providing operational contracting support on the ground during execution which served to be beneficial and lead to mission success.”