BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado --
If asked about the 460th Contracting Flight, what would the average person say? Some might say, “Oh yeah, they’re the ones that build stuff around base.” While that statement is close, it’s not entirely correct. The 460th CONF spends their days saving money for Buckley Air Force Base through generating contracts with local businesses that provide essential services to all Team Buckley customers.
“We take customers’ [acquisitions] needs and requirements, and present them to the community for bids,” said Tech. Sgt. Kyle Thomas, 460th CONF base infrastructure flight chief. “We try to get them in the quickest manner possible while being responsible stewards of the taxpayers’ dollar. We do everything legally, morally and ethically.”
An example showcasing the efficiency of the flight is their response to the flooding that left half of Patriot Dorm water damaged and uninhabitable in March of this year.
“Every hour we didn’t have it fixed was potential damage to the dorms,” says Jim Waller, 460th CONF base infrastructure contract specialist.
In an emergency situation like this, the normal procedure is to get someone on the job as soon as possible. But in this instance, the team decided to try something different. They weighed their options and decided they would open the contract up for competition. This allowed local contractors the opportunity to bid for the job, which in turn would save the base money.
“What we were looking to do was get this job done as quickly as possible, but we also wanted to get a fair price for it,” says Waller. “We brought in two contractors and we got a competitive quote.”
It took 14 hours to secure a contract, a scenario that can take up to 60 days, and because of the flights resourcefulness, repairs began within roughly 36 hours from first notification of damage. During the night of the flooding the situation revolved around finding the right contractor to do the job, in the right time frame and for the right price. The next morning, the construction team set in to start drying the dormitory to reduce the risk of mold growth, which could have caused more damage down the line. The repairs are currently in progress and the dormitory will be back to normal in the near future.
For their efforts, the flight was awarded the Wing team of the quarter.
“I am extremely proud of all personnel within this flight,” said Maj. Eric Lizon, 460th CONF commander. “We couldn’t do anything without each other’s support. The CONF is looking forward to another record setting year, which will involve the procurement of critical commodity, service and infrastructure requirements. I couldn’t be more excited to be the Commander of this Flight, this team truly cares and wants to support all Team Buckley customers.”