Contracting: catalysts for combat, construction and commodities

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ashlin Federick
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
There are many jobs in the Air Force but one that is probably overlooked, because people don't understand it, is contracting.

Contracting is responsible for obtaining supplies, services, construction and anything that is not done by a government employee. They do supply and anything it takes for Dover Air Force Base, Del., to do their mission. They also manage the Government Purchase Card program.

The three different kinds of contracting are services, construction and commodities.

From computer workstations in the 436th Communications Squadron to keeping the Elevated Transfer Vehicles up and running for the Aerial Port Squadron, contracting covers the full range of requirements for mission accomplishment for all units. They also contract out the medical personnel who aren't government employees. They make sure small jobs are covered on base such as custodial, referees at the intramural games and the fitness instructors at the gym.

Senior Master Sgt. Nicola Natale, 436th Contracting Squadron superintendent, said what most people fail to remember is that without contracting, purchases do not happen. People can buy items on GPC, but only up to $25,000 and if it is on a pre-purchase agreement.
"Look around the base, nothing gets built on this base without our construction team," said Natale. "Our job is to make sure that this base gets everything they need."

Contracting is also important downrange.

Master Sgt. Francis Puangco, 436th Contracting Squadron contracting officer, said sometimes they have to make fast decisions in a hurry which are considered verbal contracts. He said people can't do anything without contracting.

"Everything is fast paced in a sense of it has to be done right now," said Puangco.

Currently CONS is in the process of making two flights. Logistics Contracting A will support construction, service and commodity contracts just for the Civil Engineer Squadron and LGCB will support every other organization of base.

Lt. Col. Tonya Bronson, 436th Contracting Squadron commander, said everything they do is a team effort because not only is the customer involved but sometimes, depending on the contract, they have to pull other squadrons such as legal, security forces, CE.

"Basically we enable commanders to accomplish their unit's mission," said Bronson. "Anything they can't do within their unit with the resources that they have, they come to contracting, and we supplement their resources so they can fulfill their mission."