The referees of construction: 386th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron surveys new dorms

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Natalie Filzen
  • 386 AEW Public Affairs

Story-high piles of sand surround an excavated site, soon to be the foundation of a new dormitory building at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait. Next to the site are the skeletons of seven other soon-to-be fully functional dormitory buildings.

U.S Air Force Tech. Sgt. Daniela Dilone, a contingency contracting officer and Master Sgt. Brandon Williams, an infrastructure flight chief, with the 386th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron, both visit the site weekly to check for any discrepancies. The eight million dollar “brownstone project,” as the buildings are called, are a part of a multi-award construction contract for improved living facilities of the airmen on base.

According to the Air Force Instruction, there is an optimal number of personnel per room for an efficient quality of life, and the eight additional dorm buildings would align the current personnel on base with this metric. Each building would include 24 dorm rooms.

“In some rooms, there are people who are on day shift and night shift in the same room. So that's obviously not ideal for the Airmen. This would provide overall quality of life improvements,” said Dilone.

The 386th ECONS work closely with the contractors, often meeting with them for details on any issues they’ve faced during the build.

“A lot of patience is required on the contractor’s part because we rotate in, we rotate out,” said Williams. “Most of these projects last longer than six months. When we come in, we may start a project but never see it finished, or we may come in on the end of a project that we have no idea how it started.”

They also work closely with their counterparts at civil engineering, when situations arise necessitating a contracting opinion on the specifications of the contract and the statement of work. In these instances, they are the ones to make the call.

“It can be very easy to get lost in the paperwork and [lose sight of the impact],” said Williams. “When you get a chance to deploy, you get to see the fruits of your efforts. I appreciate being able to point, and say, ‘yeah, our flight did that,’ That's as close to the mission as it gets.”