Contracts: providing funds

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Who is tasked with supplying the civil workers needed to assist military members throughout an installation? How do they get onto the installation and get to work?

The 20th Contracting Squadron is tasked with ensuring that contracts, which provide funding to civilian contract worker and unit supply managers, are completed, increasing the installation’s efficiency and allowing the installation to focus its assets on completing the base’s mission.

“Our job here is to solicit ‘bids’ for services provided by local contractors and small businesses,” said Airman Brendan Harrah, 20th CONS contracting specialist. “With these contracts between us and the agencies opened, we keep them to a standard and ensure they do what we’re paying them for.”

In fiscal year 2016, the 20th CONS issued 557 contracts worth $71 million for supplies, service and construction projects. In addition to issuing contracts, the squadron distributed government purchase cards, with which GPC holders made more than 15,700 purchases worth approximately $11.5 million.

Currently the 20th CONS has 80 contracts open to assist the base. Contracts are a binding agreement between two parties in which one group provides services for another with compensation.

The largest on-going contract here on Shaw, the multiple award construction contract, processes renovation and repairs in 30 to 90 days. The contract impacts the installation by preventing the displacement of units while work stations receive restorations.

A few examples of the impacts are the current renovations to the 9th Air Force building and the main gate construction, said Brooks.

The 20th CONS consists of civilian and military members, who work in planning and programming, infrastructure, base operations support and medical commodities flights.

Contracting Airmen have the opportunity to learn the roles of all 20th CONS flights to be prepared to provide support for Air Force installations stateside or in a deployed location.

Each flight brings their own strengths to the mission, said Harrah.

“If the base needs it, we buy it,” said April Brooks, 20th CONS infrastructure section chief. “We are responsible for the procurement of medical supplies, all services and commodities, and the upkeep of all the buildings under the Shaw Air Force Base area of responsibility.”

Responsible for supplying the labor needed for installation renovations, 20th CONS Airmen turn to the civilian contracting community to assist the installation and keep the assets focused on the mission at hand.