BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
As the fiscal year comes to an end, Airmen at the 9th Contracting Squadron (CONS) are diligently working to ensure that units at Beale Air Force Base have the commodities and services that they need before the fiscal year close out date.
“September 30 marks the last day of the fiscal year. Basically what this means for a majority of the funds that Beale AFB receives during the year is that they will expire on September 30,” said Joshua Stuart, 9th CONS services and commodities flight chief. “The intent is to obligate (spend) as much of the funds by purchasing supplies, services, or construction projects needed before this date.”
As stewards of the taxpayer’s money, the 9th CONS ensures that the money spent is being put to good use. The work done by the squadron directly supports Beale’s mission to deliver globally integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance by effectively negotiating contracts and providing products and services to the requesting units.
“Although the 9th Contracting Squadron doesn’t contract out pilots or even maintenance for the U-2, we do provide support,” Stuart said. “This includes custodial contracts for offices, purchasing of high-tech tool boxes that track tool locations, foam fire protection maintenance in the hangars, radios for communications, purchasing of bird radar detection equipment (to avoid bird strikes), and grounds maintenance surrounding the airfield which reduces bird habitats adjacent to the airfield.”
Additionally, the 9th CONS is responsible for the procurement and administration of base construction projects, architectural and engineering contracts, and related specialized projects.
“We have construction contracts that support hanger repairs, hanger lighting upgrades for interior and exterior on the apron,” Stuart said. “The construction flight awarded the Dock 7 upgrade which took an old hanger and provided a complete remodel of the hangar. Other construction projects have included the remodel of the Harris Fitness Center as well as the upgraded electrical system that supports the flight line.”
Overcoming, adapting and foreseeing any obstacles or challenges is important to the 9th CONS. According to Stuart, the handling of COVID was one of their biggest challenges this year.
“Prior to COVID, squadron leadership recognized COVID as a potential threat to how we do business,” said Stuart. “As a result, our squadron did a trial run teleworking for the entire squadron to help eliminate as many issues as possible if the situation worsened.”
The 9th CONS plans and programs flight is the glue that holds the squadron together during the pandemic.
“The hurdle for the Plans and Program flight during this challenging time is ensuring information technology hardware and software integrity to enable the services and construction flights to meet the mission,” said Jacqueline Henley, 9th CONS plans and programs flight chief. “Additionally, our rapid acquisition capability in the government purchase card program provides significant mission impact during COVID. Without this capability, items such as personal protection equipment would not be acquired at such a rapid pace to protect our 9th Reconnaissance Wing and tenant unit Airmen.”
The impact and significance of the work done by the 9th CONS can be seen in every unit at Beale.
“From the 9th Reconnaissance Wing to all fifteen tenant units, our fingerprints are on literally every mission set on Beale,” said Maj. Matthew Albers, 9th CONS commander. “From flying planes, fixing planes, fixing people, and everything in between… 9th CONS is right in the middle of it.”