By Ryan Mattox, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs Office May 18, 2020
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas — Acquisition personnel from the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Lee, Virginia, are leveraging the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program to provide camps for Soldiers to stay while waiting to leave for their next duty station.
The camps were designed to house up to 500 Soldiers and provide them with a full range of life support and recreational activities to use while practicing social distancing and reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Soldiers at the camps recently graduated from training and cannot travel due to restrictions imposed by the DOD because of the COVID-19 pandemic and stay at the camp until the new duty station can accept them and transportation is available.
“As long as the COVID-19 pandemic is a health threat, protecting our service members has remained priority from the start,” said Debbie Frankovich, the MICC-Fort Lee contracting office director. “We must take those prudent measures to limit COVID-19’s spread, while ensuring our Soldiers are trained and ready to defend the nation.”
In addition to lodging, Soldiers staying at the camps have access to a full service facility, where food is prepared and served, mobile showers and latrines are available, a trailer stocked with snacks and other accessories are offered for purchase, a morale, welfare and recreation tent equipped with televisions to play video games or watch movies, and a gym with weight training equipment and internet access. The camp has a mayor cell, which is responsible for the command and control of the Soldiers. There is also a sick call tent on site to address any medical needs.
“These camps reduce the risk of the trainees being exposed to COVID-19 prior to arrival at their new duty station,” said Yewston Myers III, a contracting officer with the MICC-Fort Benning contracting office. “All of the efforts to make these camps operational were conducted in the span of two weeks, which required a tremendous amount of effort from everyone involved. It is not a camp to quarantine persons infected or suspected to be infected with the virus. It houses school graduates in a confined area. It assists in controlling where Soldiers are and ensures they get to their assigned destinations without violating the travel policy.”
To ensure contract actions are being fulfilled, John Meyers, the administrative contracting officer for the Fort Lee LOGCAP contract, works with a contracting officer representative, the Fort Lee mayor cell, and Combined Arms Support Command logistics officials at Fort Lee to confirm the appropriate level of service is achieved by contractors.
CASCOM trains, educates, and develops sustainment professionals while generating, synchronizing and integrating innovative sustainment capabilities, concepts and doctrine to sustain large scale combat operations.
Meyers and the contracting officer representative oversee the quality assurance personnel who perform regular checks on the quality and level of service at the camp. When required, Meyers can direct contractor actions such as adjusting meal times for Soldiers’ arrivals and departures, locations for service, and numbers and capacities within the bounds of the contract.
Initially, the MICC-Fort Benning and Fort Lee contracting offices were notified of the possibility of a requirement to house Soldiers at their respective locations not allowed leave due to DOD COVID-19 travel restrictions. The camp was established under the LOGCAP contract, which is administered by Army Sustainment Command-Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois.
Meyers added contracting professionals met with CASCOM personnel to identify and finalize requirements. Then the primary contracting officer at Rock Island issued a notice to proceed, and the LOGCAP contractor had 72 hours to begin providing the service. The initial operational capability of the camps was April 1 and they became fully operational April 6.
Other contracts used to support the camps include services for propane, garbage collection, a computer network, water and sewage treatment and electricity. Additional support contracts used to support this effort provided fuel and transportation for the Soldiers and food to the dining facility.
LOGCAP maintains a worldwide contract on a multiple-region basis enabling the Army to contract quickly for combat support and combat service support needed in a contingency. LOGCAP contractors plan for and, when tasked, provide needed services worldwide. The contractor develops and maintains a database of available equipment, supplies and services to carry out those plans supporting five broad categories: facilities, supplies, services, maintenance, and transportation. Support is tailored to each concept of operations, and a contract scope of work is provided by the supported commander.
About the MICC:
Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.