97 CONS teams up with Vance AFB for deployment exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kayla Christenson
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 97th Contracting Squadron completed operation austere defender, a contingency deployment training with the 71st Contracting Flight from Vance Air Force Base at Altus AFB, Oklahoma, May 18, 2023.

“Working with other bases and contracting flights allows us to have synergy downrange,” said Maj. Alejandro Sena, 97th CONS commander. “Our career field is in a unique position because we are deployed to all types of operations, which I think really showcases how effective and exceptional our capabilities are. Getting out of the office and creating deployment scenarios better prepares our frontline supervisors, Airmen and officers for these different challenges.”

1st Lt. Josh Wojciechowski, 71st CONF contracting officer, explained they are able to leverage the skills of civilian and active component Airmen to better expand the necessary expeditionary skills that are crucial during contingency operations. Through this partnership, Airmen with little or no deployment experience are better prepared to navigate the complex scenarios that they may encounter during operations.

“We’ve partnered with Altus in the past and found it was very beneficial training,” he said. “We decided to send a more robust unit down this year and the goal is to bring the knowledge that we have learned at Altus back to Vance and better posture our unit.”

Staff Sgt. Derek Metzger, 97th CONS contracting specialist, attended the deployment training to get a frontline supervisor’s perspective.

“I'm learning how I can better guide my people through a deployed environment and make sure that the Airmen get the chance to shine in their aspects,” he said. “Also, making sure that we can still execute the mission to the best of our capabilities while staying safe in a deployed environment is critical.”