35th Contracting Squadron: Spend to defend
By Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto , 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 30, 2018
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --
World War II era buildings remain in use today at Misawa Air Base requiring a team of service members and Japanese members approving a constant stream of infrastructure upgrades.
The 35th Contracting Squadron constructions section, also referred to as A-Flight, works with the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron to support construction efforts on Misawa Air Base. Projects range from runway repairs, housing renovations, roofing projects, utility upgrades and contracted projects for the sustainment, repair and renovation of industrial facilities and infrastructures on base.
A-Flight optimizes mission execution by ensuring high quality, timely support and consistent with federal acquisition regulations and local trade agreements.
Not only does A-Flight write contracts, but they also advertise requirements, conduct market research, receive bids and proposals, evaluate and analyze prices and past performance information, determine the best value to the government and award contracts.
After they award contracts, they monitor contractor performance to determine compliance with requirements.
“We solicit and award the contract for each construction project, after work has started we do random site inspections to monitor the progress and ensure the contractors are in compliance with safety regulations,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. George Halley, the 35th CONS constructions flight NCO in charge.
Halley is the only military member in A-flight and works with 10 Japanese counterparts.
“My co-workers have been doing this a long time,” explained Halley. “They know the local market place and provide great insight as to what’s happening outside the gate. Without them, we would not be as successful as we are.”
Like many other units at Misawa, there is a contingent of local nationals working side-by-side with their military counterparts. Due to the small size and remote location of Misawa, the connections made in the local community are essential to completing the mission.
“Being in a remote location such as Misawa comes with its own set of challenges,” said Halley. “Being away from large metropolitan areas and smaller work force here affects pricing, availability and scheduling.”
When every single thing has a tie-in to contracting, the result of their efforts is undeniable around Misawa. Contracting provides capabilities that significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment.
"We are a force multiplier,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Roberto Guerra, the 35th CONS business operations director. “By having the ability to utilize money as a weapon we can help other units accomplish more of their mission with less people."
[Editor’s Note: This is part two of a three part series highlighting the 35th Contracting Squadron.]