Commentary

May 10, 2013

CONS: Who we are, what we do

Maj. QUOC-NAM NGUYEN
56th Contracting commander

When people ask me what my job is in the Air Force, I tell them contracting. The typical response is, “You’re a contractor?” Then, I have to explain that I am not a contractor but actually an active-duty Air Force officer who has been given the authority to spend taxpayer dollars in order to keep the mission going. Simply put, the 56th Contracting Squadron hires contractors to assist the 56th Fighter Wing in completing its mission of training fighter pilots. But what is contracting? Let me start with a brief history of acquisitions.

Did you know the first federal procurement law was passed in 1792 that authorized the Treasury Department to make all purchases for the War Department? During the Civil War, failures in the contracting processes to supply a large army caused the first major procurement scandals. As a result, congress passed legislation that required advertising for proposals and competitive bids in 1861.

In 1908, the Wright Brothers received the first contract to build a flying machine. It was not until the Air Corps Act of 1926 was enacted that the War Department was allowed to negotiate with contractors.

World War I and World War II brought major acquisition reforms as the War Department purchased more complex weapons and equipment resulting in the need for the department to “sole source” contracts in order to meet the military’s growing needs. The 1970s saw the Defense Department reforms to combat fraud, waste and abuse when weapon system procurements, such as the C-5A, ballooned in costs.

The passage of the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act in 1990 established the Acquisition Corps and standardized qualifications in the contracting career field. In 1991, the 56th CONS was constituted.

Contracting is a mission enabler. The 56th CONS buys equipment, supplies and services to support installation operations. This past year, 56th CONS spent $49.8 million. Take a look around the installation, and you will see what 56th CONS does for you. We contracted for the demolition of facilities, solar panel running lights, “cool roof” technology, recycling/refuse/custodial services and new grass at the base track and softball fields.

Not only do we do all the purchasing, the 56th CONS also manages the government purchase card program. We train and delegate contracting authority to the fighter wing’s 247 GPC cardholders. Without that authority, each unit would not be able to purchase their own supplies.

We should be the first people you call if you are thinking about procuring a commodity or service. We are the fighter wing’s business advisors. You give us the requirement, and we will “make it happen.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Senior Airmen Grace Lee

Thunderbolts celebrate wingman day

Senior Airmen Grace Lee Col. Jeremy Sloane, 56th Fighter Wing vice commander, shoots a basket Nov. 7 in the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center. Luke commanders went up against the Phoenix Banner Wheelchair Suns basketbal...
 
 

AF needs Airmen to maintain identity

Some of us may remember playing the pool game “Marco-Polo.” Some of us may still use this game to entertain our children at the pool today. One player closes his or her eyes and repeatedly shouts out “Marco” while the other players tread water and respond “Polo.” All the while, they attempt to shift quickly...
 
 

New evaluation system calls for accountability

It seems that everyone is overly concerned with the new evaluation system the Air Force is releasing. We should ask ourselves if it is really that scary to have an assessment which fits each of us in a more realistic way. This new system is going to hurt a lot of egos when they are...
 

 
Senior Airman 
Devante Williams

Luke conducts CBRNE exercise

Senior AirmanDevante Williams Members of the 56th Medical Group and Southwest Med Evac air ambulance team members prepare to air evacuate a simulated victim during the exercise Nov. 5 at Luke Air Force Base. The exercise was co...
 
 

News Briefs Nov, 14, 2014

Kachina Gate closure The Kachina Gate will be closed to inbound traffic Dec. 8 through 19 for gas valve repair. Outbound traffic will not be affected. For more information, call 623-856-7051. Scholarships The Air Force Aid Society is offering scholarships to dependent children of active duty, Title 10 Reserve, Title 32 AGR, retired, retired Reserve...
 
 

THUNDERBOLT OF THE WEEK

Staff Sgt. Dustin Rysavy-Hollis 56th Component Maintenance Squadron Aircrew Egress Systems Journeyman Home town: Apopka, Florida Years in service: Five Family: Father, Tim Hollis and mom, Roxann Rysavy Previous assignments: Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom Inspirations: My father is a huge inspiration; he works hard for what he gets Greatest feat: Performed a recovery...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin