903rd CCBN Soldiers deploy to Africa in support of Operation Observant Compass

by Rachel Clark
409th Contracting Support Brigade

Soldiers from the 903rd Contingency Contracting Battalion were in Africa providing contracting support services for a Special Operations Command Africa-led operation.

The contracting team deployed to Entebbe, Uganda, in support of Operation Observant Compass. Contracting support services included various support services and infrastructure needs, said Maj. Justin De Armond, 903rd CCBn. contracting officer.

“We provided customer contract support for radio station upgrades, repair and maintenance services, short message services, and other communication needs that helped to shape multinational operations against the Lord’s Resistance Army,” Armond said. “We also ensured there were trained contracting officer representatives on the ground and made sure everything went according to plan.  This line of effort against the LRA was one of the main efforts as it proved the most fruitful in the destabilization of Joseph Kony’s forces.”

The team is part of the 409th Contracting Support Brigade and augmented the 414th Contracting Support Brigade. The primary mission of the team was to administer the Logistic Civil Augmentation Program task order supporting OOC.

“Our team was there providing contract administrative services with an estimated value of $54 million and provide expeditionary contracting support,” said Lt. Col. Daryl “Gwen” Devera-Waden, 903rd CCBn. commander.

Ontario Flowers, 903rd CCBn. contracting officer, said part of the contracting teams’ mission was to ensure all the services LOGCAP brings to support the special operations forces personnel in the field are executing well and are responsive to their needs, especially as the requirements change. LOGCAP brings a unique solution to contracting in Africa and can be quickly exercised to meet needs in an expedient manner.

“Working with the local economy was an evolving educational process,” Flowers said. “I loved teaching and guiding them on conducting business with the U.S. government in order to promote the local economy. I guess you can say that I’ve developed a great business relationship with them, because they know that I’m fair and ethical in every aspect that I conduct business with them.”

OOC has been operating since the fall 2011 and is currently approved by the president to operate through fall 2015.