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by LTC Vernon L. Myers

Contingency operations are chaotic by nature. Usually they are defined by disorder, uncertainty, and immature processes and procedures. Contingency contracting officers (CCOs) are normally among the first personnel to deploy in response to a contingency or wartime situation. This first-in, boots-onground contracting presence fills the gap resulting from the Army supply systems’ inability to fulfill the requirements of arapid buildup.

Establishing a contingency contracting office is generally the first priority for CCOs; however, before a CCO can focus on serving as a business advisor and executing contracts, a decision must be made concerning how to operate.

Providing contracting support in this environment requires an efficient office that is easy to set up, familiar to Soldiers, and focused on providing contracting capability to customers. Too often, CCOs are so focused on setting up the office quickly that they forget to examine customer needs. A CCO should never establish an office just to have an office; the purpose of a contracting office is directly linked to the capability that it can provide. While the physical layout is important, a contracting office represents much more than that.

Specifically, an office is composed of people, systems, and capabilities that enhance the customer’s ability to execute contingency operations. Instead of concentrating on the physical layout of the office, the focus must be on determining what contracting

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