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Partnerships strengthen security forces' capabilities

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) --

Through an innovative acquisition model developed by the Air Force Installation Contracting Center, the Air Force Security Forces Center is now able to procure gear and resources for security forces Airmen much faster.

The model provides AFSFC with in-house, dedicated contracting subject matter experts from AFICC’s 771st Enterprise Sourcing Squadron’s Security and Protection Flight to handle strategic acquisition efforts for individual protective equipment, deployment-ready logistics detail equipment, small arms and light weapons accessories, and non-lethal weapon systems.

“For years, acquisition of security forces individual equipment and commodities was decentralized and left to (major commands) and units to determine their own funding solutions and the right equipment for their mission,” said Lt. Col. Barry Nichols, AFSFC director of logistics. “Now under the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center construct, AFICC is able to support AFSFC with dedicated contracting (subject matter experts) and provide us the agility to execute quicker contracts, focus on strategic cost management, use market intelligence for data-driven decisions, and deliver products and services expeditiously to warfighters around the globe, making them even more lethal and ready.”

At AFSFC’s Desert Defender Ground Combat Readiness Training Center in Fort Bliss, Texas, Master Sgt. Clinton Duling, security forces unit type code manager, depends on this agile support to help acquire modernized and standardized expeditionary assets for deployed security forces Airmen.

“When we get a request for equipment and support, we need to get it turned around ASAP, so we’re always looking into new processes or solutions to do that better,” Duling said. “The fact that we can identify a requirement to allow us to better support Defenders down range, and have a contract put in place just a short time after, is priceless.”

The efficiencies of working with dedicated contracting specialists from the 771st ESS have also helped AFSFC find standardized solutions for new M18 pistol holsters and new next-generation ballistic helmets to replace the legacy Advanced Combat Helmet, providing more protection and better fit for Airmen, Nichols added.

“As the success of this model continues to grow, Airmen and warfighters are going to continue to see that the Air Force Security Forces Center is constantly leaning forward to deliver modernized and innovative equipment solutions, and getting them into the hands of our Defenders as rapidly and efficiently as possible,” Nichols said.

Part of the AFIMSC portfolio, AFICC provides responsive and mission-enabling enterprise acquisition solutions for efficient and effective mission and installation operations across the Air Force, and AFSFC develops, delivers and executes security forces capabilities and associated programs for Air Force and joint mission sets, enabling a safe and secure operating environment.