By Dolly Rairigh Glass

Since July 2009, Natick Contracting Division, a part of Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen Proving Ground, has operated as a satellite office in Orlando. Natick Contracting Division (NCD) is a full service contracting organization managing integrated acquisition from basic research through production. The mission includes services and supplies, research & development, base operations, spare parts and item development.

NCD-Orlando contracts for major Force Protection systems ranging from Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) devices to Automated Installation Entry (AIE) systems, and from Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) research. In its support of the Warfighter, consecutively for the past four years, NCD has awarded contracts in excess of $3 billion supporting the Department of Defense (DoD) and Other Government Agencies (OGA).

Some of these offices and programs that have benefited from the contracts include Joint Program Executive office-Chemical, Biological, Defense; Night Vision/RSTA; Rapid Equipping Force (REF); Naval Health Research Command (NHRC); Product Manager-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PdM-SUAS); the United States Marine Corps (USMC); Defense Acquisition University (DAU); Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative, and many other small organizations.

Brian Murphy, Branch Chief / Contracting officer, U.S. Army ACC-APG Natick Contracting Division, leads the Orlando office, which is presently comprised of four Government employees and seven contractor personnel.

“Our mission is to provide superior products and technologies that protect, sustain and improve quality of life for the Warfighter,” said Murphy. “We also want to maintain a Total Army Quality acquisition program that selects the best sources and ensures Best Value for the Government, as well as provide similar functions for other services and customers.”

“Two customers that NCD-Orlando is most proud about supporting are PdM-SUAS and the USMC,” said Murphy. “NCD-Orlando purchases all of the Army’s and many other DoD/OGA’s small unmanned aircraft, as well as medical and dental treatment supplies for the Marine Corps. Therefore, should a Marine be injured on the battlefield, it is supplies purchased by NCD-Orlando that are used to treat their wounds.”

The NCD-Orlando Branch, as a satellite office of the NCD parent office is located in Milford, MA. NCD-Orlando is titled the Warfighter Protection, Education and Treatment Branch because purchases include Force Protection equipment such as the NII devices and other Integrated Base Defense (IBD) equipment in support of the Product Manager-Force Protection Systems. NCD also purchases many educational games, software and services in support of DAU and ADL. Further, as the name implies, this office acquires medical treatment products and services for Warfighters and civilians.

“Because Team Orlando is the Nation’s epicenter for modeling, simulation and training, NCD-Orlando is proud to serve as a vital component of the Team as we purchase SETA services, software, hardware and other supporting services in support of DAU and ADL,” said Murphy. “NCD-Orlando also closely coordinates with Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) to leverage strengths in both organizations, thus ensuring that we synergistically support our collective customers in a timely manner.”

The cost reimbursable, or fee-for services model used by NCD-Orlando, is a highly effective organizational culture. Murphy operates NCD-Orlando similar to a small business owner, with the need to balance workload, fees, personnel resources and operating costs. The Receiving Activity (RA) of “contract services ” is treated as a customer in every sense of the word, which is the basis for NCD-Orlando’s office culture. This culture embodies many corporate tenets where the customer is considered a Stakeholder in NCD-Orlando.

“We have established flexible office Standard Operating Procedures, and office goals to ensure that as customers, the RAs receive Best in Class service in a timely manner,” said Murphy. “Due to the many successes of NCD-Orlando, our office receives requests weekly from other DoD and OGAs to provide acquisition support.” Furthermore, Murphy noted that the support of Cheri Deluca, NCD Chief of Contracting and the ACC-APG-Principal Assistant for Contracting, Bryon Young and their staffs has also played an important role in their growth.

“The NCD-Orlando Branch is comprised of highly intelligent, hard-working personnel who bring their “A Game” to the office everyday,” said Murphy. The combination of Federal employees and contractors has enabled the office to quickly grow as needed to support an expanding customer base.”

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