Contracting hosts second annual joint squadron exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Krystal M. Garrett
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
Air Commandos with the 1st Special Operations Contracting Squadron and 1st Special Operations Comptroller Squadron teamed up with the Air Force Test Center Eglin Operational Contracting Division to conduct a contingency exercise at the permanent exercise facility here, Jan. 31-Feb. 2.

The three-day exercise simulated scenarios within a deployed environment, and Airmen learned the teamwork that is required in a deployed location when building a base from the ground up.

“Contracting Airmen have to be prepared to make decisions quickly,” said Lt. Col. Richard Dawson, commander of the 1st Special Operations Contracting Squadron. “Prioritizing and ensuring essential needs are met while under pressure is most important.”

The utilization of role players posing as foreign vendors allowed for the exercise participants to get a feel for how to interact with different cultures. During role playing scenarios, Airmen with the 1st SOCPTS got the chance to experience working with foreign money and handling manual payments.

“This exercise gave us the opening to prepare and develop worldwide financial managers,” said Chief Master Sgt. William Kudrna, the superintendent of the 1st SOCPTS.

Kudrna mentioned how Airmen also learned financial responsibility.

“Ensuring that we stay on budget as well as making sure the customers’ needs are met is important when downrange,” Kudrna said.

Airmen who haven’t deployed were given the opportunity to make mistakes and come up with ways to correct them while not jeopardizing the mission.

“Learning how a deployed environment operates was the most beneficial part of the exercise,” said Airman 1st Class Kyle Gonroy, a contract specialist with the 1st SOCONS. “We saw things in a way we wouldn’t normally see them.

Purchasing essential items and materials for day-to-day operations is what most of the exercise consisted of, but while the Airmen perfected their daily task, they also had the opportunity to practice self-aid buddy care skills.

“This was a great opportunity for contracting specialists and comptrollers to learn from each other,” Kudrna said. “What we bring to the fight gets better when we train like this. The exercise enabled us to meet the wings mission by ensuring we are ready, resilient and relevant.”

After the three day contingency exercise, the Airmen were briefed on their efforts and how to correct any issues that may have surfaced.