JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- An Air Force Civil Engineer Center program to streamline contract acquisition is putting the federal government’s bulk buying power in the hands of civil engineers to keep their installations mission ready.
AFCEC’s Strategic Acquisition and Category Management program gives engineers a “toolbox” of contract options they can tap to procure facilities and construction services, said program director Dennis Guadarrama. His team acts as strategic advisors to steer engineers to contracts and acquisition approaches.
“Our vision is to choose the right strategy with the right tool, at the right time to build it right,” he said. “We develop acquisition strategies based on Air Force needs and ensure contract tools are available in one place for the CE enterprise.”
Working in partnership with the Air Force Installation Contracting Center, the AFCEC strategic acquisition team links customers with contracts and contract capacity under the Air Force’s broader category management strategy. As the Department of the Air Force category manager for facilities and construction, AFCEC oversees $7.7 billion in spending, and is also the category lead for furnishings and fire and rescue equipment, Guadarrama said.
The AFCEC program draws on a suite of master contracts to fill engineer needs, and has helped deliver $43 million in contract awards for services like architectural and engineering designs, roofing, personal protective equipment, facilities furnishings, carpeting and other installation needs since October, 2020, said corporate program manager, Monica Engler.
The result is more than savings, such as value and efficiency, while eliminating contract redundancies, she said.
“Each base has its own needs, and we see them from an enterprise perspective,” Engler said. “We can link those unique needs to find an effective, efficient solution.”
The Strategic Acquisition and Category Management toolbox is available to other U.S. military services and federal agencies, she said. For example, AFCEC administers the Air Force Roofing Contract, a series of 66 small business contracts with $325 million capacity for maintenance, repair and replacement. Since establishing the contract, agencies like the U.S. Navy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and others have inquired about using the vehicle.
Engler is one of five corporate program managers on the Facilities & Construction team supporting this endeavor, world-wide.
AFCEC is also launching AE Next, a design and construction services capability with a capacity for $2.5 billion in contract awards over 10 years, Guadarrama said. Air Force engineers and agencies across the federal government can use the vehicle for airfield infrastructure, facilities, general infrastructure and airfield pavement design expertise.
In addition to its facilities and construction focus, the team recently expanded the category management applications in areas such as energy, environmental and task order management.
“We have recently completed an initial inventory of all AFCEC task orders and associated man-hours spent in their management,” Guadarrama said. “We believe we can reduce man-hours invested and re-invest this time to other critical projects. The lessons learned can easily be applied across the Air Force.”
The AFCEC Category Management and Strategic Acquisition Directorate staff can also provide consulting services such as spending, market, data and gap analysis, strategy development, and acting as the installation’s liaison and agent when procuring services.
By centralizing facilities and construction procurement strategies and capability in one program, AFCEC is using category management to address the specific needs of each installation, Guadarrama said.
“AFCEC is focusing on the broad Air Force-wide strategy, one installation at a time,” he said.
AFCEC’s installation contract portfolio is available at https://portal.afcec.hedc.af.mil/CLA/Shared%20Documents/Forms/AllItems.aspx. This is a Common Access Card- enabled site.