Overseeing Contractors Is Hazardous Duty

By McElroy, Terry | National Defense, October 1999 | Go to article overview

Overseeing Contractors Is Hazardous Duty


McElroy, Terry, National Defense


Administrators in Bosnia manage hundreds of millions of dollars

Thousands of U.S. troops deployed in the Balkans increasingly are relying on contractors for logistic support services, As a result, the Defense Department has put in place a contract administration team in Bosnia.

To that end, the Defense Contract Management Command (DCMC) has assigned Contingency Contract Administration Service (CCAS) teams to the region.

"We are the interface between the military units on the ground and the contractors providing their logistics support," states Army Col. Dwight E. Thomas, commander of DCMC CCAS Team II headquartered at Eagle Base in Bosnia. "Almost all of the daily logistic support that the soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine on the ground receives is authorized by a DCMC contract administrator. DCMC is the only unit that can direct the contractor to begin work or to make any changes to a project. We also sign off on all completed work to ensure that the job was done according to the contract," he adds.

This logistic support comes primarily from Brown and Root Services (BRS)-a division of Kellogg Brown and Root, the prime contractor for logistic services in the region. BRS or its subcontractors do all the major construction such as living quarters, dining facilities, and roads on the major bases and the outlying base camps and hilltops. BRS also provides daily services such as troop laundry, mail delivery, dining facility operations, water and petroleum storage and distribution, shuttle bus service, and trash collection and disposal.

DCMC administers both a $498 million Operation Joint Forge sustainment contract with BRS and a $63 million interpreter contract with TRW-BDM. The sustainment contract is a cost-plus-award-fee arrangement let by the Army Corps of Engineers in Winchester, Va. Every six months, U.S. Army Europe, the Corps' contracting officer, and officials from Task Force Eagle, the National Support Element, and DCMC review contractor performance. BRS recently won the sustainment contract re-bid for one year, plus four option years.

Overseeing these operations is a significant assignment for the DCMC team, which consists of 24 members. CCAS teams consist of civilian and military contract administrators, property specialists, quality assurance specialists, and fuel specialists who are mostly volunteers for the six-month mission. In addition, DCMC is training contracting officer representatives for individual units.

The DCMC CCAS team personnel come from DCMC contract administration offices across the United States. Each team conducts a six-month tour in Bosnia, Hungary, and Croatia. …

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