Fort Bliss Hosts Combat Training for Contracting Soldiers and Civilians

Monday, January 23, 2012 - 6:20pm

A special group called the Expeditionary Contracting Command is at Fort Bliss training with some combat ready gear and training others how to use it.

NewsChannel Nine was able to attend some of the training exercises. The operation is called Joint Dawn 2012 and its weeks of classes and simulated warfare on the post to test many of the products the Army buys to prepare for live combat.

The Post has some of the most renowned training facilities in the world. For that reason, the U.S. Army Contracting Command is hosting people from all over the world during these exercises, while different contractors train the Army on how to use their products.

" We get a lot of our information technology support comes from contractors. It's civilians who are not employed by the government but do things on a contract basis for the government," said COL. Jeff Morris.

What makes this mission unique is that soldiers and civilians from across the country train together in simulation exercises that might be used in wartime missions.

Bernadette Quevado is training in this simulation convoy. She's not in the Military herself, but she's involved in buying contracts at White Sands Missile Range." Since we are planning on deploying , we are working alongside the army and we might end up in a convoy if something happens it's good to know what i need to do." Warrior skills are part of her job now.

"It's practice what you need before you deploy," said Morris who oversees the operation. Major Benjamin Johnson has been in battle before." There's no way that you can really prepare better than go through a simulation like this." It doesn't matter what branch of military you're in or if you're a civilian." Air force, Marines, Navy personnel, I mean this is a joint operation so the most important thing is we are soldiers first and for the civilians they need to know solder skills."

The group of participants in today's exercises will actually be deploying soon to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq. On Monday, the Commanding General will visit Fort Bliss to answer questions about military budget cuts. Officials say that the cuts have not affected the contracting command because those contracts are a necessity to the mission.

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