The Air Force lost 35 veteran contracting officers over the last year with a combined 700 years of federal experience.
Instead of trying to replace them over time, the service is pooling its resources from across the world under a new installation contracting agency.
Air Force Maj. Gen. Wendy Masiello, the director of contracting at the service, said the virtual agency stood up Oct. 1 and will move to full operating capability over the next year.
Masiello, who spoke Wednesday at the Coalition for Government Procurement conference in Falls Church, Va., said the Air Force realized it wasn’t going to be able to replace the civilian experts who left easily or quickly, so it needed another approach to make up for the lost knowledge and abilities.
“It was born out of that whole idea of we can’t do it on our own. We’ve got to do it as a team, and how do we pull those teams together from major commands that are in Texas, Hawaii, Europe and Langley, Va.? How do we make them one team?” she said. “We started talking to each other and figured out this is how we will have to build this cohesive team and figure out how better to manage. Right now, we have organization stood up. The policies and procedures are pretty well defined in terms of authorities. But now for the next year as we move from initial operating capability to full operating capability we start fleshing out the details.”
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