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Squadron redesignations bolster enterprise contracting support

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) --

The Air Force Installation Contracting Center, a primary subordinate unit of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, took an important step forward in its support to the Air Force and Space Force April 20.

Six specialized contracting squadrons in AFICC were redesignated under the enterprise sourcing squadron structure “for more efficient and effective operations,” said Brig. Gen. Alice Trevino, AFICC commander.

In joining other enterprise sourcing squadrons, the new ESSs are positioned as “centers of excellence” for distinct business-line strategic contract support across the enterprise, eliminating duplication of effort and contract execution for the same requirements, the general said.

The units are also aligned to a “category of spend,” consistent with the major command missions they already support, to reinforce category management principles.

Category management is a federal government-wide initiative that drives organizations to strategically manage costs for common goods and services. The Air Force’s CM program focuses on improving requirements to maximize mission capability per dollar spent.

For example, the 338th ESS at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, supports Air Education and Training Command with a focus primarily on training requirements, and is aligned to CM Category 9, Human Capital.

This “aligns perfectly with the AETC mission and instead of only executing training contracts for AETC, the 338th will now execute them for all air and space forces,” Trevino said.

Similarly, the 763rd ESS at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, supports Air Mobility Command requirements and is aligned to CM Category 7, Transportation and Logistics, to execute enterprise-wide transportation requirements.

“What a great time to be in Air Force Operational Acquisition,” said Greg English, 763rd ESS director.

“Our contracting officers are trusted and empowered to use their incredible expertise to provide agile solutions to the diverse missions they support. Indeed, for our squadron’s mission focused business leaders, there is more opportunity than ever to grow professionally and deliver global installation and mission support,” English said.

The redesignation “is another giant step toward fulfilling the past and, most importantly, current commander’s vision for AFICC,” said Larry Knight, senior deputy and program manager with the 771st ESS. “The placement of program managers across the squadrons also moves the organization toward a more strategic perspective to meet our mission partner requirements.”

Knight said he expects the changes to help “deliver innovative acquisition and non-acquisition solutions to more effectively meet Air Force and Space Force missions and reduce total life cycle costs of operational products and services.”

“The AFICC strategic plan calls for the expansion of enterprise-wide solutions and contracts and the name change supports the evolution of the current squadrons from a tactical mode to a strategic one,” Knight added.

The change also bolsters one of AFIMSC’s goals: Operate as an Enterprise; National Defense Strategy of greater performance and affordability; and aligns AFICC’s organizational model with Air Force Contracting’s goal to be mission-focused business leaders, Trevino said.

“Our NDS tasks the services to organize for innovation and gain full value from every taxpayer dollar spent,” said the general. “This is exactly what AFICC aims to achieve with the redesignation of our SCONS to ESS, in conjunction with the Air Force’s Category Management journey.”

“This expands 10-fold on the capacity and speed we deliver new solutions,” Knight said.

The redesignation also symbolizes that “with the addition of program managers, the acquisition professionals in these squadrons will be able to better evaluate thousands of tactical buys, be critical thinkers and seek enterprise-wide sourcing solutions, hence the name, enterprise sourcing squadron,” Knight said.

Under the SCONS-to-ESS initiative and the AFICC Strategic Plan, all squadrons are expected to be fully operation-capable by January 2021.

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