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380AEW Article

380th ECONS secures purchases and services from local community

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Darnell T. Cannady
  • 380th AEW/PA

The 380th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron recently made multiple cash purchases totaling about $28K during a government purchase card transition point.

The 380th ECONS is focused on expanding the capabilities of the warfighter by making sound business decisions that produce both short-term and long-term advantages. In order to accomplish this task, they constantly evaluate the dynamic environment of the local industry, developing analytical data to leverage fiscal power.

“A customer will submit a request to purchase something, like electronics, furniture, or tools like an air compressor, and then the Contingency Contracting Officer will evaluate the request to determine the most efficient way to purchase the items,” said Capt. Amber Gasparetto-Bruning, 380th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron services flight commander. “In a contingency environment we have three options available; credit card payment, cash payment, or an actual written contract with terms and conditions, are all possible acquisition solutions that may be leveraged depending on the complexity of the situation.”


Each requirement is first designated to a flight and then the flight commander will assign workload to each Airman.  They are three flights: services, commodities, and construction.


“I work in commodities, where we make smaller purchases for the units ranging from ink cartridges to the fuel for the jets,” said Senior Airman Joseph Trevino, 380th ECONS contingency contracting officer. “My role is to search the local economy or the Internet for the best bang for our buck, because there are sometimes several vendors within the area that can provide the same products, but they all are going to offer it at different rates.”


“As a services contracting officer, I do a lot of contract administration, such as answering general questions and authorizing invoices to get paid, because my contracts are month-by-month, depending on the progress and what was agreed on,” said Airman 1st Class Gabriel Robison, 380th ECONS contingency contracting officer. “Also, I make sure all my contracts stay remain current and up to standard for the designated amount of time. If anything needs clarification or change with my contracts then I am the sole focal point for those actions.”


Once a requirement is deemed appropriate for a cash payment, the Contingency Contracting Officer contacts Finance to arrange a cash withdrawal and ensures a paying agent will be available to distribute the funds. For cash payments, CCOs will use a Standard Form 44, which contains three copies of the information detailing the purchase: a seller’s invoice, seller’s copy of order, and receiving report which is the accounting copy.


“The best part of the job is actually seeing all the products being used,” said Trevino. “I recently bought items for the Community Activity Center. I assisted the 380th Mission Support Group commander and superintendent to pick out items, along with the 380th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron customer. From purchasing those items, you could just see the impact it makes on morale. It’s good to see our customers and units getting exactly what they want as fast as possible, because it makes their jobs easier.”


“There are many factors to consider before determining the payment method such as the type of items required, are the items available in the local area, or will this action demand an order be placed back in the states,“ said Gasparetto-Bruning.


The CCO will schedule a meeting with the contractor when the CCO and paying agent meet the contractor to make the payment for the items required. This allows the CCO to verify the purchases and solve any problems with the contract.


“It is important for ECONS to spend money in the local community, because delivery times from outside the United Arab Emirates elongates the acquisition process and we incur more cost due to import fees and shipping charges,” said Gasparetto-Bruning. “Moreover, sourcing from the local area allows end users the opportunity, in some cases, to put hands on items before we purchase, providing crucial details about the essential characteristics and possible limitations of the items.” 


“It’s a good feeling to be a part of larger-scale requirements like fuel or removing rubber and repainting the runway that drive the Air Force’s missions and put your stamp on ADAB,” added Trevino.


Thanks to this team effort, the 380th ECONS is able to contribute to the mission by securing the contracts needed to keep ADAB combat ready.