Integrating Contractors Into Brigade Support Battalion Operations by ProQuest


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									Integrating Contractors
Into Brigade Support
Battalion Operations
by   Major DaMien Green

    As the sun set over the desert landscape of Forward          The vehicle shortage especially hindered the BSB’s
Operating Base (FOB) Hammer, the logisticians of             construction projects. The BSB waited a month for
the 203d Brigade Support Battalion (BSB) prepared            concrete to arrive because concrete was in high demand
another convoy in support of the 3d Brigade Combat           at all combat outposts, patrol bases, joint security sites,
Team (BCT) of the 3d Infantry Division (Mecha-               and everywhere else that was not yet protected. But
nized). Following the afternoon logistics synchroniza-       once the concrete began to flow, the BSB Soldiers
tion meeting, the distribution company’s truck master        thought they had the construction under control with
returned to her office to make the final adjustments to      their palletized load systems (PLSs). How hard could
the next day’s convoy plans.                                 it be to move t-wall and Jersey barriers, Scud bunkers,
    Her first call was to the supply support activity        and towers? They learned the hard way that they defi-
(SSA). Answering the radio was Mr. Smith, the site lead      nitely did not have it under control.
for a company that provided personnel augmentation               The corps was able to loan the BSB a crane to use
to SSAs throughout Iraq. “I need you to load onto            indefinitely and two qualified Soldiers to operate it for 1
the Iraqi truck platoon’s flatbeds 10 containers of the      week. Their first mission was at Combat Outpost Cahill,
Rhino Snot for Combat Outpost Salie. The convoy is           which is a few kilometers north of the Salmon Pak
leaving tomorrow morning. I’ll have the convoy, upon         facility near Baghdad. Within 3 weeks, the crane, which
its return, stop at the SSA to pick it up.” “Understood,”    had been abused for months, finally had to be taken
was his response.                                            back to the Victory Base complex for extensive main-
    Mr. Smith stepped outside the office container to        tenance. The 3d BCT had no organic crane capability,
pass the message. Looking into the issue lanes, he           so the BSB had to rely entirely on a contractor’s 60-ton
saw Haider Ezzet using a 4,000-pound forklift to load        crane to emplace concrete. It was obvious that the BSB
a supply truck. Mr. Ezzet and four additional forklift       needed help to move the concrete and barriers.
operators were contracted through a purchase request
and commitment (PR&C) to work in battalion motor             Filling the Transportation Gap
pools and the SSA. Mr. Smith entered the issue section          On 22 June 2007, a contract was awarded to an
tent and passed the message to the noncommissioned           Iraqi company to move 1,715 barriers. The contract
officer-in-charge for the section.                           was written so that the vendor was paid by the number
    A couple of hours later, a group of contractors rolled   of barriers moved. The conditions-based statement
through the FOB’s entry control point after return-          of work (versus time-based) gave the BSB increased
ing from a barrier mission at Combat Outpost Salie.          flexibility to determine the right delivery time based
Through FM radio, Sergeant Williams spoke with the           on the tactical situation. The contracted personnel and
contractors and confirmed his next mission and the           their equipment easily merged into BSB operations.
delivery of the Rhino Snot, a soil stabilizer actually       Although the company was not a military unit of any
called Envirotac II. The contractors were filling a gap      kind, it worked under the distribution company just like
and working side-by-side with the 203d BSB Soldiers.         a platoon, so the Sold
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