Getting funds to get the job done

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kirby Turbak
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

People say money makes the world go round and the 97th Contracting Flight would agree.

From construction jobs to large equipment purchases the 97th Contracting Flight is a key element to getting a project started.

“Without contracting the Civil Engineer Squadron is unable to fund any construction projects, the new KC-46 wouldn’t be coming online as easily, the grounds maintenance wouldn’t be taken care of, custodial wouldn’t get done,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Tony Mattera, 97th Contracting Flight NCO in charge  base support element. “We are integral to every organization here in some way or another.”

Contracting is vital when making military purchases because of the numerous procedures that must be performed and rules that must be followed.

“There’s a lot of various laws and regulations we have to follow when spending military money,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Trevor Forsythe, 97th Contracting Flight contracting specialist. “Contracting makes sure everyone follows all those rules.”

Some of these rules include making sure contracting is ensuring a competitive environment for contracts.

“We make sure we’re getting a good price so we can solicit out to as many people as possible,” said Forsythe. “We make sure we’re giving more than one company a chance to get that government contract.”

Making sure there is good competition is not the only challenge within contracting, you also need to find the right tool or person for the job.

“We have to do a lot of research with our job,” said Mattera. “We have to find either a contractor or product that matches our clients’ needs and then find the one with the best value.”

Besides the usual task contracting deals with for a base they have also been busy the last two years with the coming of the KC-46 Pegasus refueling aircraft.

 “We’ve touched the KC-46 project in many ways,” said Forsythe. “We got the tools the A-team will need with the new aircraft, the new construction went through contracting, as well as all the services like custodial services goes through us.”

The 97th Contracting Flight is one of the various units aiding Altus Air Force Base in preparing for the arrival of the KC-46 and its training mission.