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Contracting brigade stands up at Fort Hood

July 10, 2013

By Daniel P. Elkins, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs Office

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (July 10, 2013) -- Officials from the Mission and Installation Contracting Command activated the 418th Contracting Support Brigade during a ceremony, July 10, at Fort Hood, Texas.

The activation follows attachment of contracting Soldiers to the Mission and Installation Contracting Command, or MICC, in April, as part of an integration with contracting centers and offices throughout the Army Contracting Command and MICC that began in March.

Leading the 418th CSB is Col. Timothy Starostanko, who assumed command as part of the ceremony.

"I am both humbled and excited about the opportunity to lead this brigade," Starostanko said. "Activating a new brigade is exciting in and of itself. Not many individuals can say that they have activated a brigade from day one."

The attachment of Soldiers to the MICC and activation of the brigade signal important milestones in the professional development efforts of contracting Soldiers who work alongside civilian acquisition professionals and benefit the Army contracting workforce.

"We have a great group of professional Soldiers at Fort Hood, and they bring a different perspective," Starostanko said. "Soldiers bring a contingency contracting perspective because of deployments around the world. We, as a whole, bring a fresh perspective on how to accomplish the mission."

The 418th CSB will be made up of more than 50 Soldiers assigned to 901st Contingency Contracting Battalion, as well as subordinate contingency contracting teams and a senior contingency contracting team. Training and accomplishing contracting operations alongside MICC civilian contracting members day to day, these teams are also called upon to perform contracting in a contingency environment including military and stability operations as well as natural disasters and humanitarian events.

Starostanko also leads the MICC field directorate office at Fort Hood, which is responsible for subordinate contracting offices aligned to support customers throughout the country. Those include offices at Fort Hood; White Sands Missile Range, N.M., Dugway Proving Ground, Utah; Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz.; Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico; Fort McCoy, Wis.; and Moffett Field, Calif. Among the major customers supported by the MICC FDO-Fort Hood are the Army Reserve Command and Army Test and Evaluation Command.

With its activation, the brigade assumes an initial operational capability and will work with MICC officials this summer to fill several key positions with military personnel who will help lead the unit to full operational capability.

The 418th CSB is one of two brigades activated as part of the integration of Soldiers with the MICC. The 419th CSB was activated at Fort Bragg, N.C., in a ceremony, June 7.

The 418th CSB activation ceremony was officiated by Brig. Gen. Kirk Vollmecke, the MICC commanding general, who helped uncase the organization's colors with Starostanko.

Starostanko entered the Army in 1989 as an Infantry officer. He became a Military Intelligence officer in 1994 and served in a variety of intelligence positions before joining the Army Acquisition Corps in 1996. His acquisition experience spans assignments as a contracting officer and program manager to leadership positions stateside and in forward deployed areas.

Having completed all necessary levels of professional military education, Starostanko also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Washington and Jefferson College, and a Master of Arts in procurement and acquisition management from Webster University.

The MICC is responsible for providing contracting support for the warfighter throughout Army commands, installations and activities located throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico. In fiscal 2012, the command executed more than 58,000 contract actions worth more than $6.3 billion across the Army, including more than $2.6 billion to small businesses. The command also managed more than 1.2 million Government Purchase Card Program transactions valued at an additional $1.3 billion.

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