The Defense Contract Management Agency’s combat support requires a high state of readiness abroad and at home
By The Defense Contract Management Agency’s Congressional and Public Affairs Office
The strategic intent of the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), “We enable the warfighter to win,” requires the agency to ensure a high state of readiness for its customers through management of their relationships with defense contractors. DCMA’s efforts to this end also support the security of our nation’s warfighters by maintaining contractor compliance at deployment sites around the world.
DCMA most visibly supplies this combat support through its own deployable teams, known as Contingency Contract Administrative Services (CCAS) teams. Both military and civilian volunteers serve on CCAS teams, which are sent overseas to live under the same conditions as deployed soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. CCAS teams provide contract management for customers relying on private sector contractors to fulfill demands ranging from waste management to guard services. The teams are a front-line asset with an industry perspective.
DCMA, one of seven combat support agencies within the Department of Defense (DoD), received that designation when it was established as an independent agency within the DoD on March 27. 2000. To perform critical communications, emergency planning and combat policy determination, the agency almost immediately established a Combat Support Center (CSC). Prior to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the CSC processed situation reports from emergencies such as the Seattle earthquake and the energy shortage in California, in which power companies promised intermittent brownouts of defense contractors. After September 11, 2001 DCMA Headquarters accelerated the role of the CSC in directing combat support policies and working with the agency’s three districts, East, West and International.
“We are a command and control operation for Brigadier General Harrington, our director,” said Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Henry Duron, CSC director. “We disseminate information within the organization and provide information back throughout the organization and also to our external customers such as the Office of the Secretary of Defense and all of the services and combatant commanders on any issues pertinent to them on weapons system or parts of a weapons system.”
Throughout the world, DCMA professionals serve as the contracting agents in defense plants for military service program managers. They ensure that contractors and suppliers deliver weapons systems, services and supplies to the armed forces at the right place and the right time for the best price. DCMA provides continuous support and improved solutions throughout the entire contract lifecycle. Even before a contract is awarded, DCMA helps military and National Aeronautics and Space Administration customers construct effective solicitations, select capable companies and write contracts with less risk. After the contract is awarded, DCMA monitors the contractors’ performance through data tracking, analysis and on-site surveillance.
When DCMA customers require emergency support due to high operational demands, the CSC stands up a crisis action team, as it did after September 11, 2001. The crisis action teams examine the collateral needs of commands engaged directly in defense actions to determine the best methods to acquire the materials they need to support combat operations. The September 11, 2001 crisis action team seized the opportunity to test a lot of new procedures under fire, Duron said, and the team, composed mostly of DCMA civilians, performed beyond expectations.
“A crisis action team is a separate team of approximately six members that will help to monitor the increased high ops tempo in viewing accelerations from industry or locating secondary sourcing for any critical part or weapons system,” Duron said. “Those are the things we do during crisis.”
The DCMA falls under the direction of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, but in its role as a combat support agency it also falls under the supervision of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff. Section 193 of Title 10, U.s. Code, requires the CJSC to ensure the readiness of combat support agencies to fulfill their responsibilities in a theater of war. The law mandates that the CJCS conduct a review of each combat support agency at least once every two years. The joint staff deploys a Combat Support Agency Review Team (CSART) to conduct this biennial assessment for each combat support agency.
The CSART evaluation process takes a close look at the performance of CCAS teams, as they are the in-theater extension of DCMA operations. The first true CSART evaluation of DCMA as an independent agency concluded at the end of the 2002 calendar year. A DCMA/CSC representative traveled with the CSART evaluation team as it inspected CCAS teams around the world. By all accounts, the CCAS teams came through the evaluation with flying colors.
The CCAS team in Kosovo was led, for six months, by Army Lieutenant Colonel Philip Yacovoni, commander of DCMA Lockheed Martin in Dallas. From December 2001 to May 2002, he managed DCMA civilian and military team members as they monitored contract services provided under the Balkans Sustainment Contract. Tours of team members are staggered to ensure continuity of high quality support.
Under the $2-billion Balkans Sustainment Contract, Brown and Root Services, a division of Halliburton Co., provides supplies and services to U.S. Armed Forces in Albania, Bosnia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia and Romania. Lieutenant Colonel Yacovoni’s CCAS team monitored implementation of contract work, ensuring that Brown and Root performed its functions in compliance with the contract requirements.
“We monitored to ensure that Brown and Root was getting paid for the work they were actually performing, and we made sure that they were actually performing work in accordance with the standards specified in the contract,” Yacovoni said.
When Lieutenant Colonel Yacovoni first arrived, he divided his personnel up between three sites: Camp Able Sentry in Macedonia, Camp Monteith in Kosovo, and headquarters at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. The CCAS team fulfilled diverse tasks in support of the approximately 7,000 U.S. personnel deployed to support the United Nation’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) peacekeeping operation. During its six-month tour, Yacovoni’s team stood down operations in Able Sentry and Monteith. Yacovoni sent team members home as these operations closed. He maintained high performance standards, however, as his team dwindled from fifteen members to eight, giving him the opportunity to live up to his call sign, “Relentless.”
“When it was cold, we were the ones who ensured that the warfighters received generators to create heat,” Yacovoni said. “We were the ones who sent out tents to make sure that they stayed dry and warm. We also helped build the guard shacks and the detention cages to keep prisoners in and reduce the number of soldiers that had to guard them. We ensured water was provided for all of their operations in the base camps and the outposts. We took care of laundry services, all of the food that was served, and all of the life support required making life better in the deployed environment.”
Yacovoni’s team also provided services unique to Kosovo. The CCAS team supported guard services for monasteries, some of which were over 1,000 years old. The team managed the contract for the guards, and also supported contracts to provide housing, heat and electricity, food and water, and other support to the guards.
Duron explained that the CCAS teams are a vital component of managing contractor performance, but the teams do not become directly involved in the delivery of those services.
“We do not specify the type of service that is contracted for, but we deploy the teams forward to the overseas areas in the different combatant command theaters to provide oversight for Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) or Air Force Contract Augmentation Program (AFCAP),” Duron said.
LOGCAP is the U.S. Army’s initiative for planning for the use of civilian contractors. AFCAP is the U.S. Air Force counterpart to the Army program. DCMA regularly provides direct support to several of the combatant commands, including U.S. European Command, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Northern Command, the newest combatant command. The combatant commands have operational oversight over the four branches of military operating within their spheres of influence. As such, combatant commanders maintain operational control over the individual component commands that depend on DCMA to manage contractors.
“We go through the combatant commanders’ operational plans. They all have several plans based on their area of responsibility,” Duron said. “We would actually look at what they plan to do during their scenarios. We would then build some assumptions off of their plans to determine how many people it would entail from DCMA to support the troop movements coming into their theater. In today’s world, most troops would be based in large locations in temporary facilities, but they would require Brown and Root or some external contractor to come in and provide necessary support. We administer those contracts.”
DCMA’s combat support role has a history of overseas support for most of the Agency’s brief existence. The demands of keeping pace with the U.S. national security strategy have changed the nation’s expectations of the agency. The DoD established the U.S. Northern Command on October 1, 2001 to support homeland defense. DCMA, in turn, supports the contract management of this new combatant command.
“Now that we have implementations for homeland defense, we would provide a type of CCAS support to homeland defense if needed,” Duron said. “It is a little bit different here in the continental United States simply because we would have to be called upon (allowed to be utilized), at the discretion of the DoD.”
With the establishment of a new Department of Homeland Security, the CSC is involved in planning how DCMA integrates with other government entities during a response. Contingency planning for these circumstances is exactly the type of activity in which the CSC has been deeply involved since its inception.
“The role has evolved because of the September 11, 2001 attacks,” Duron said. “We had a very rough draft of how we would operate. During the September 11, 2001 activities and high tempo at that point, we refined our processes in real time. While we were working our issues here, we were also writing our doctrine and our policy books. We have captured all of the lessons we learned, so if we ever have to do it again, we will know exactly what we need to do.”
COPYRIGHT 2003 Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group