81st CONS tackles roadblocks at Keesler

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Davis
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

The 81st Contracting Squadron has stepped out to bring their services to the rest of Keesler.

The concept of a “roadshow” was created when the 81st CONS wanted a way to better support other units on base.

When a unit needs supplies, they must work with the 81st CONS to assemble a request package. Request packages often take several weeks to put together and can include purchase requests, market research on the product and even technical orders for special equipment.

“We have to do things a certain way in accordance with federal laws,” said Brooke Geigenmiller, 81st CONS member. “So it seems very tedious, but if you understand the why, you understand better what we need to know and how to accomplish it.”

In the first phase of the roadshow, held in January of this year, 81st CONS offered an informational session to explain what services they offer and how units can best take advantage of them.

In the second phase, the 81st CONS took a hands-on look at request packages to identify areas for improvement.

This two-part training allows units on base time to make necessary edits before the end of the fiscal year. The better the request package, the smoother the whole process will be.

“We have lots of equipment to purchase, up to 13-14 pieces at a time,” said Ken Wilcher, 81st Force Support Squadron food service superintendent. “It can get complicated, but working with contracting like this helps us get everything done well before our deadline.”

The 81st CONS is planning on offering this training again in the future. They see an opportunity to continually improve processes and address information gaps between their staff and Keesler’s various units.

“Our units know what they need, so we just want to teach them how to get it,” said Kim Alvarez, 81st CONS commodities unit manager. “We’d love to train everyone on base to make all our lives easier.”