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AASAB, Army, Coalition contracting meets local vendors

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Devan Halstead
  • 386th Expeditionary Air Wing

Over the past few weeks, Airmen from the 386th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron, Soldiers from the 408th Contracting Support Brigade, and coalition partners
attended several conferences with local Kuwaiti vendors offering insight into how contracting with the U.S. military works.

These conferences gave local vendors a chance to show the military contracting teams what services they have to offer and also allowed the contractors to educate the vendors on how to apply for military contracts.

“The intent behind these conferences is to engage with the local economy and bridge the gap between the military and local vendors,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nelson Vargas, the 386th ECONS Base Operations and Support Flight section chief.

While AASAB military contracting specialists have been doing business with local vendors for decades, their attendance at these types of events only started recently.

“The fact that we are doing this now is a huge positive step toward how we are going to do business in the future,” said Vargas. “These opportunities give us those face-to-face interactions we need in order to build enduring partnerships.”

This was also the first time members from the Italian Task Force Air Kuwait and the Canadian Joint Task Force Impact attended a local conference focusing on how Kuwaiti businesses can partner with the U.S. military.

“We were so excited to have our Italian and Canadian partners with us,” said U.S. Air Force Captain Mandi Johnson, 386th ECONS director of operations. “In the future we are planning to make it a joint conference. Our allies have services and commodities they need to purchase from the local community too.”

The 386th ECONS, 408th CSB, Italian, and Canadian contracting teams all plan on presenting at the next local vendor day as AASAB continues its sustained presence in Kuwait.