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NEWS | May 6, 2010

Alabama Guard deploys first contracting team

By Sgt. Katrina F. Timmons Alabama National Guard

MONTGOMERY, Ala., - Last month, the Alabama Army National Guard deployed its first contingency contracting team (CCT) to Afghanistan.

Capts. Todd Floyd and Jeffery Campbell and Staff Sgts. Daniel Martin and Lesly "Rich" Richardson make up the four-man team also known as the 1960th CCT. The team is only the second CCT the Army National Guard has deployed to Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. David Cooley, battalion commander for the 1169th Contingency Contracting Battalion, said the 1960th will augment the contracting staff of the Joint Contracting Command – Iraq/Afghanistan (JCC-I/A) and assist them in procuring needed commodities, services and construction projects in support of operations in the joint theater.

"Basically our job is to help grow the infrastructure for the U.S. military and the Afghanistan National Army," said Floyd, the commander of the 1960th. "When a large base is established, we move onto a more geographically separated location and build a smaller base there."

Cooley says the team will also assist commanders in the planning and execution of Commander's Emergency Response Programs (CERPs) which focus on urgent humanitarian relief and reconstruction projects for local populations.

The team is scheduled to be on active duty for 400 days, including a brief training period at Camp Shelby, Miss., before heading to Afghanistan.

Cooley said the team has undergone extensive training in preparation of their mission. "Team members were required to complete two years of progressively difficult on-the-job training to become Level II certified in contracting," he said. "They were also required to complete coursework from the Defense Acquisition University."

Floyd said that in order to be on the team, members must have a bachelor's degree and at least 24 hours of business credits.

"We are trained and ready," said Floyd. "In my opinion, this team is the cream of the crop and I'd match them up to any unit in Alabama."

Between the four team members, they have seven deployments under their belts. Some team members have already deployed together during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Soldiers on the team come from various military and civilian backgrounds, which Cooley said this gives them a varied and unique skill set.

"The main factor in determining the success of the 1960th is their dedication and maturity, both as individuals and as a team," he said.