Ready! Aim! Procure!

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Army photo

U.S. troops participating in JCRX 2013.

You know you’ve been at war too long when you send 300 troops to sunny Fort Bliss, Texas, for more than two weeks to take part in JCRX 2013.

JCRX 2013? What kind of war game is that?

Well, it’s not actually a war game, in the way most folks think of a war game.

We’ll let the Army explain it:

Joint Contracting Readiness Exercise-2013, is the U.S. Army Contracting Command’s annual contracting readiness exercise that trains military and deployable civilian contracting officers in warrior and contracting specific tasks. This hands-on training exposes contingency contracting officers to contracting and contingency challenges while affording them the opportunity to develop and exchange solutions

OK. So it’s not quite the National Training Center out at Fort Irwin, Calif. Heck, it’s not even like the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La.

But, just like the fake-combat war games that take place there, the folks at Fort Bliss have their own objectives for this exercise:

– Provide real-world contract scenarios to minimize contingency contracting officer ramp-up time in theater.

– Sustain contingency contracting officers’ warrior skills.

– Introduce theater-specific contingency contracting officer training and tools.

– Enhance contingency contracting officers’ confidence to excel and work in a joint contingency environment.

– Conduct realistic senior contracting official training for worldwide contingency missions.

Contracting officers’ warrior skills?

If fighting the bad guys is all about logistics – and, many times, it is – there sometimes needs to be someone forward-deployed along with the warriors to get them the stuff they need when they run out of their initial supplies of bullets, beans and bandages. According to the Army:

The exercise was designed to minimize ramp-up time in theater and allow contracting officials to concentrate on their mission. Scenarios ensure participants are technically proficient and include training and appointing contracting officer representatives and field ordering officers, preparing purchase orders and contracts, performing contract close-out actions, reporting commander’s critical information requirements, resolving contracting ethics issues, handling confrontations with disgruntled customers, and working with foreign vendors.

The Army’s Expeditionary Contracting CommandExpeditionary Contracting Command? — is running the show.