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New contract improves process, labor costs of construction on base, missile complex

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From left, Ryck Cayer, 341st Civil Engineering Squadron engineering flight chief; Col. Jennifer Reeves, 341st Missile Wing commander; and Colton Abernathy, 341st Contracting Squadron contracting specialist, pose for a photo during a signing of the Multiple Award Task Order Contract Jan. 31, 2020, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The Multiple Award Task Order Contract increases the capabilities of soliciting and awarding construction projects across both the base side and missile complex. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Turner)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- A new contract came in effect to improve Malmstrom Air Force Base's process of construction projects both on base and in the 13,800 square-mile missile complex as of Feb. 3, 2020.

"The Multiple Award Task Order Contract increases the capabilities of soliciting and awarding construction projects across both the base side and missile complex," said Colton Abernathy, 341st Contracting Squadron contracting specialist.

"We are facing an increase in construction projects within CONS without a corresponding increase in manpower," he continued. "We needed to create the capability of facilitating new workloads with our existing manning."

Sustained manning means more workload per person - and that's where MATOC comes in.

MATOC is aimed to help save man hours, speed up responses to emergency acquisitions while simplifying and improving the process it takes to support the increase in projects or funds.

"We needed to devise [different types of contract instruments] that would allow us to operate more efficiently, without compromising or losing capabilities," said Abernathy.

This contract also allows for shortened acquisition timelines while still maintaining competitive procedures and the best pricing for each project.

"The award of Malmstrom's first-ever Multiple Award Construction Contract is the result of outstanding teamwork between officers, civil engineers and industry," said Col. Tommy Gates, Air Force Global Strike Command director of contracting.

"The $90 million MACC enhances the 341st Missile Wing's capability to rapidly execute modernization projects to improve mission capability and quality of life while still preserving small business opportunities at both the prime and subcontracting levels," he continued.

Saving man hours
"Contracting isn't anticipating any inbound experienced personnel," said Abernathy. "The 341st CONS needed to create the capability of facilitating the new workload with existing manning."

To combat inexperience, MATOC allows existing qualified personnel to manage current workload along with anticipated workload.

Thus, MATOC saves 120 man hours on contracts below $250,000 and 480 man hours for contracts above, according to Abernathy.

"This means a total of 33,600 man hours saved per year," said Abernathy. "Which is equivalent to $2,295,888 saved annually."

Respond quicker to emergency acquisitions
"MATOC allows for us to complete future requirements amongst a contractor base that has already been evaluated for technical capabilities and past performance experience," said Abernathy.

"We can then circumvent large portions of administrative workloads to obtain pricing and award projects faster than ever before," he added.

By having the established contractor pool already evaluated, when an emergency acquisition emerges, contractors are no longer bound to specific timelines, thus speeding up the response process.

"This allows us to more efficiently respond to emergency needs without delaying infrastructure repairs or recovery," said Abernathy.

Streamline acquisition process
"Utilizing MATOC allows us to reduce administrative workload, solicitation timelines and award times, which translates to man hours and labor costs saved," said Abernathy.

The opportunity to establish design capabilities spans over multiple years with a similar ceiling cost, as opposed to establishing a new contract every other year for different areas of design.

"MATOC has revolutionized the way we do business," said Abernathy. "The concept behind it is already being looked at for future architecture and engineering design contracts that have multiple-award capabilities."

Although 341st CONS is responsible for producing the contract, they work in close tandem with the 341st Civil Engineering Squadron when it comes to construction projects of any sorts.

"Through MATOC, Malmstrom is truly able to rapidly respond to today's significant infrastructure challenges," said Lt. Col. Michelle Sterling, 341st CES commander, "All while also ensuring reliable facilities and systems across the missile complex into the future as the Air Force works toward large-scale modernization of its nuclear forces."

MATOC will improve how the 341st Missile Wing facilitates the increase in projected budget by providing expedited contract capabilities, according to Abernathy.

"The hard work between the 341st CES and 341st CONS to establish the first-ever MATOC at Malmstrom will enable the rapid acquisition of facility sustainment requirements," said Maj. Frank Schiavone, 341st CONS commander. "This ensures the continued protection of the American way of life through combat-ready intercontinental ballistic missiles."
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