The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) Joint Theater Support Contracting Command (C-JTSCC) is truly an awesome place to work.
My Global Support Assignment (GSA) has been exciting, challenging and rewarding in supporting this historic operation surrounded by great people at this Joint Command. The experience of working with the other services of course is different, but we all learned a lot, and enjoyed our time together. The command has been around for years, and many of you know it as the CENTCOM Contracting Command (CCC).
We had large contracting offices in both Iraq and Afghanistan, with a Headquarters located in Qatar. As we are now focused solely on Afghanistan, we downsized the Headquarters in Qatar and moved it forward to Kabul.
I spent half of my GSA in Qatar as the Chief of Staff, and will finish the tour in Kabul as Deputy Commander. C-JTSCC operates as the single joint contracting organization with responsibility and authority over contracting efforts supporting lethal, non-lethal, and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. We make about 20,000 awards per year valued at $2 billion. We are an integral part of the warfighter’s planning efforts in the drawdown.
Having the pleasure of working for two outstanding Army General Officers, I can tell you they love their Chops. We have twelve Supply Corps billets in the command. Both Commanding Generals believe their Supply Corps officers bring a leadership capability with a “can-do” aggressive attitude that makes them ideal to be placed in challenging positions, handling the hard problems. Below are the outstanding Supply Officers serving at C-JTSCC …
Lt. Jeff Rigby
… Lt. Rigby is in charge of the commodities section of the General Support Contracting Center (GSCC), and oversees all commodity needs in Afghanistan and covers the entire life cycle of commodities contracts, from pre-award through contract award through contract payments and closeout. Lt. Rigby also currently holds an official contracting warrant for within the CENTCOM AOR, valued at up to $1 million per action.
Lt. Alex Amper
… Lt. Amper oversees the employment and readiness of business systems and support contracts and contractors, including operation, maintenance, and upgrade of Standard Procurement System (SPS)/ Procurement Desktop Defense (PD2) contract writing system; in-theater contractor tracking and accountability thru Synchronized Pre-deployment and Operational Tracker (SPOT) system; coordination with Joint Contingency Contracting System (JCCS) Program Management Office (PMO); maintenance and analysis of contracting data; compilation and submission of internal and external reporting requirements; responding to Request For Information and data queries.
Lt. Pamela Corbin
… Dual-hatted as the J8, Director of Financial Management, and J4 Deputy Director, Lt. Corbin manages and resources funding requirements for Headquarters and 12 regional Contracting Centers/Offices located throughout Afghanistan and Qatar. She is directly responsible for budgeting, managerial accounting, resourcing, and program management.
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Lt. Pamela Corbin, Director of Financial Management, and J4 Deputy Director (Left)
Lt. Cmdr. Renee Whitsell, J4 Director
Lt. Keary O’Flaherty
… Warranted contracting officer serving at Regional Contracting Center South. As the Post Award Construction Team Lead, Lt. O’Flaherty masterfully led a joint team of five that executed, managed, administered and closed out more than 110 critical construction contracts valued in excess of $40 million. Lt. O’Flaherty is also a flight chief at one of our four major hubs, a position of tremendous responsibility.
Lt. Cmdr. Renee Whitsell
… J4 Director. She is responsible for life support services, fleet management of non-tactical vehicles, procurement management, Army property book oversight, and facility maintenance. Lt. Cmdr. Whitsell provides logistical plans, policies and guidance for subordinate commands located in Afghanistan.
Lt. Cmdr. Arnel Florendo
… As the Central Asian State Program officer, Lt. Cmdr. Florendo is increasing U.S. influence in the critical Central Asian States through the building of business relationships in contracting for their products. Lt. Cmdr. Florendo also oversees the process of aligning all commodity buys by running our Operations Cell and directing requirements to our buying cell in Kyrgyzstan and also increasing our vendor base through direct contact, vendor registration and training in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Lt. Cmdr. Chris Cousino
… He serves as a Warranted Contracting Officer serving as the Flight Chief for the Afghan National Security Forces of the General Support Contracting Center. Lt. Cmdr. Cousino leads a seven-member team of joint service military personnel, civilians, and contractors who are responsible for theater-wide support throughout Afghanistan. His team executes, administers, and manages contracts in different stages, and primarily does contracting actions for fuel ($1 billion) in the support of Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) facilities, their vehicles, and generators; the installation of the Ministry of Defense/Ministry of Interior Computer Network Operations Sites ($190 million); Air Transportation Services ($200); and the movement of military handling equipment for ANA and ANP through the country ($12.5 million).
Cmdr. “Mack” Mackey
… Cmdr. Mackey works in our Director of Program Operations Afghanistan (DPO-A) Directorate where he is directly linked to USFOR-A in screening, packaging and prepping requirements for efficient contracting support. DPO-A also works the requirements reduction in support of the drawdown, and those which support the smooth transition to Afghan Forces.
Cmdr. Pele Bagwell
… Practically a plank-holder, Cmdr. Bagwell has been here for two years. Starting as a Contingency Contracting officer at the New Kabul Compound, Kabul, Afghanistan, and eventually fleeting up to the Director of Operations, he is the command’s link to the USFOR-A warfighters when it comes to integrated planning and future operations.
Capt. John Perrett
… Capt. Perrett began as the Executive Officer for the Deputy Commander in Afghanistan, and is now running the Support, Plans and Operations Directorate for contracting operations within the command. In addition to smoothly prepping and aligning incoming requirements, Capt. Perrett’s team leads the effort to plan the drawdown in theater.
Cmdr. Susan Ayers
… Last, but certainly not least, Cmdr. Ayers outstanding leadership, hard work and unbelievable contributions to Operation Enduring Freedom throughout her Command tour at C-JTSCC have resulted in her being awarded the 2013 Capt. Joy Bright Hancock Leadership Award.
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Cmdr. Susan Ayers, 2013 Capt. Joy Bright Hancock Leadership Award Receipient
She took command of the General Support Contracting Command in June of 2012 after being handpicked by Maj. Gen. Mark Brown for her contracting expertise and business acumen. She is the first Naval officer to hold a Contracting Command in Afghanistan as these are normally held by other services. She leads 58 joint personnel in three different countries, Afghanistan, Qatar, and Kyrgyzstan. She is a results-driven leader who leads the most complex, challenging and diverse contracting command in Afghanistan. Her bold leadership style results in delivering on time and on target.
Cmdr. Ayers also traveled extensively outside the wire, exposing herself to imminent danger, to ensure contract oversight and projects were progressing on schedule, with a focus on contract quality control and holding contractors accountable. She also participated in Key Leadership Engagements with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to discuss contract transit plans to Senior Government Leaders.
She is truly an exceptional leader. I am sure she has a fantastic career yet ahead of her as she travels this summer back to Norfolk, Va.
In summary, I would not trade this tour for anything. I have been blessed with a long and fulfilling career. I still count my sea duty at the top, but the opportunity to serve in support of OEF in Afghanistan and most importantly to work with these great officers was also irreplaceable. The Supply Officers held a wide range of responsibility and were absolutely key to the command’s success.
By Capt. Drew Morgart
Chief of Staff
Commander, Joint Theater Support Contracting Command