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Behind the scenes with the three C’s

The combined efforts of the 1st Special Operations Civil Engineering, Comptroller and Contracting Squadron are often not recognized for their teamwork that takes place behind the scenes. They are responsible for keep the base equiped and able to provide combat ready forces anytime, anyplace. (U.S. Air Fore graphic by Senior Airman Andrea Posey)

The combined efforts of the 1st Special Operations Civil Engineering, Comptroller and Contracting Squadron are often not recognized for their teamwork that takes place behind the scenes. They are responsible for keep the base equiped and able to provide combat ready forces anytime, anyplace. (U.S. Air Fore graphic by Senior Airman Andrea Posey)

HURLBURT FIELD. Fla., -- Just as Bruce Wayne receives no credit for his deeds as the Dark Knight, three 1st Special Operations Wing units often go unrecognized for their teamwork that takes place behind the scenes. They are responsible for keeping the base equipped and able to provide combat ready forces anytime, anyplace.

The combined efforts of the 1st Special Operations Civil Engineering, Comptroller and Contracting Squadrons resemble the DC comic book character Batman in their mysterious, getting-it-done fashion. Their actions allow the other units here to focus on the mission rather than consuming manpower and time acquiring commodities, services and construction.

The basic supplies and services like furniture, ground maintenance and building renovations are necessary for the successful operation of the Wing, said Chris Wentworth, the director of business operations with the 1st SOCONS.

“Every organization on base would feel the impact if the 1st SOCES, SOCONS and SOCPTS didn't work closely together to execute the installation's priorities,” said Lt. Col. Dustin Richards, 1st SOCES commander. “Without this team’s effort we would not be able to execute as many projects or utilize as much funding as we currently do, which would have a direct and negative impact to our critical mission.”

A current project this exact teamwork is taking is the renovation of the Landing Zone Community Center. Earlier this year, the Wing was awarded $200,000 for honorable mention for the Installation Excellence Award, a Department of Defense competition.

After being awarded these funds the 1st SOW commander asked Airmen where they believed the money should be used.

The majority vote was for a renovation of the splash pad at the community park and an overhaul of the Landing Zone.

This project began nearly six months ago when civil engineers visited the Landing Zone to get a scope of the required work.

“We’re the ones who scope the project to determine what work needs to be done,” Richards said. “In this case, a total replacement of the roof, paint, and carpet was necessary. Additionally, we looked at how many square feet of pavement needed to be replaced outdoors.”

After the initial survey was completed, civil engineers prepared a statement of work to be routed to financing and contracting.

The statement of work defined project-specific activities, deliverables and timelines for a vendor providing services to a client. This particular statement of work outlined the estimated cost of the Landing Zone renovation for the 1st SOCPTS to process.

Because the funding came from the Air Force Civil Engineering Center, the role of the 1st SOCPTS was to assist in executing the requirement and justification for the funding with the functional headquarters. Additionally, the 1st SOCPTS made sure the money was in the correct account for contracting and civil engineers to begin the project.

“A critical part of the mission is making sure the funding pieces are there because it is often a forgotten thing,” said 2nd Lt. Willard Mitchell, the deputy budget officer with the 1st SOCPTS. “Ultimately, what we try to do is give the very best financial support we can to the 1st SOW, without getting in their way. We want them to have all the things they need to organize, equip and deploy special operators all around the world.”

Civil engineer Airmen also provided the statement of work to the contracting squadron who went to outside businesses and collected quotes to accomplish the labor.

Contract specialists explored multiple companies’ options and allowed them to bid to determine who receives the work. Contract Airmen then chose the company who best reflected the wing's needs financially and technically. Additionally, they ensured the contracts lined up with Air Force regulations and legal restrictions.

“After we receive the requirements and specifications from our civil engineering brethren, we solicited that requirement to a suite of roofing contractors who provided competitive bids, which allowed us to make awards to a roofing contractor with the best value to the government,” said Lt. Col. Richard Dawson, 1st SOCONS commander. “For the painting and carpet portions, we were able to utilize our existing contracts to quickly arrive at the price and place orders for the effort.”

While the contracting squadron dealt with outside companies, civil engineers conducted reviews on the products contractors offered to ensure the materials were correct, from an engineering perspective.

Once the contract was awarded by the contracting squadron and funded by the comptroller squadron, civil engineers oversaw the contract and construction to completion.

Robert Scott, the community center director at the Landing Zone, hosted a Casino Night, an event open to Airmen, ages 18 and up, to play card games and win prizes. The event gave Airmen a sneak peek at the current renovations and Scott received positive feedback following the event.

“We’ve seen that they’re excited about the possibilities,” Scott said. “We’re excited for football season coming up and having Friday Airmen nights here. We’re going to be offering a full-service bar with the ability to show programs such as [Ultimate Fighting Championship] fights and football.”

As for the work behind the scenes of this project, Scott believes none of this could have happened without the combined effort of these squadrons.

“The bottom line is that any project, regardless of the size and the scope, takes a lot of people to make happen,” he said. “I’m very grateful we’ve had the backing of leadership and a lot of people putting the man hours in behind the scenes to make the quality of life for Airmen and their families better.”