35th Contracting Squadron: Best bang for its buck

The installation of air conditioning units in main base housing began this year thanks to the efforts of the 35th Contracting Squadron plans and programs flight, also known as P-Flight.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua, the 35th Contracting Squadron plans and programs acquisitions flight NCO in charge and Tomoko Asai, a 35th CONS contracting specialist, review construction progress with the lead construction project manager for a dorm building renovation during a monthly site inspection at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 28, 2018. P-Flight’s primary goal is to deliver agile, effective and compliant contracting solutions—enabling the joint and bilateral mission of the 35th Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

The installation of air conditioning units in main base housing began this year thanks to the efforts of the 35th Contracting Squadron plans and programs flight, also known as P-Flight.

The lead construction project manager for a dorm building renovation shows U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Blalock, the 35th Contracting Squadron plans and programs acquisitions flight NCO in charge, a blueprint of the room layout during a monthly site inspection at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 28, 2018. Once a construction project starts, members from P-Flight are required to do monthly inspections to track the projects’ progression and ensure the contractor is in compliance with safety regulations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The installation of air conditioning units in main base housing began this year thanks to the efforts of the 35th Contracting Squadron plans and programs flight, also known as P-Flight.

"Similar to A-flight, P-Flight also handles construction contracts, however, the construction projects are on a larger scale," explained U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Blalock, the 35th CONS plans and programs acquisitions flight NCO in charge.

The flight contracts and manages communication and information systems including multiple contracting systems, manages incoming purchase requests, distributes contractual documents and provides general administrative support to the contracting squadron.

The waste water treatment plant repair, a dorm building renovation and weatherization of main base housing include projects currently in their portfolio.

"In today's Air Force, we are always doing more with less; when we purchase smartly we can increase our buying power," said Blalock. "I like thinking outside the box and coming up with unique solutions to get the customer what they need, while saving taxpayers' dollars."

P-flight also ensures units' government-wide purchase cardholders remain trained and equipped to expeditiously support their respective mission needs.

"As stewards of the taxpayers' money, we must be transparent and follow the guidelines set for us," explained U.S. Air Force Maj. Keith Philaphandeth, the 35th CONS commander. "Our mission is not to write contracts, it's to deliver goods, capabilities and services to units around the 35th Fighter Wing."

Although the business culture is different from stateside bases, the U.S. Air Force contracting officers all agreed that working side-by-side with the local nationals is the highlight of working overseas.

In FY17 P-Flight's efforts led to multiple awards at the Pacific Air Forces level, and they will go on to compete at the Air Force level.

Pacific Air Forces awarded two members from P-flight with annual contracting awards. Kazuo Miura earned Outstanding Operational Contracting Non-Supervisory Local National and Miyako Fujimoto earned Outstanding Operational Contracting Supervisory Local National.

"Overall taking six categories at the PACAF-level is a huge deal," said Philaphandeph. "All three flights work together to accomplish the mission and do it seamlessly. Receiving these awards shows that their hard work day-in and day-out does not go unnoticed."

Displaying their office motto of 'Spend to defend,' with pride--members of the 35th CONS remain focused and dedicated to their craft.

[Editor's Note: This is part three of a three part series highlighting the 35th Contracting Squadron.]