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Air Force, Army to Conduct Joint Contracting Support Training; Lt. Col. Peter O’Neill Quoted

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Joint Forces Contracting
Joint Forces Contracting Exercise

U.S. Air Force and Army personnel are participating in a five-day virtual training program to practice operational contract support tasks for large-scale military operations.

The 2021 Joint Forces Contracting Exercise (JFCE-21) is intended to prepare servicemen in performing joint regional contracting work and to revalidate their ability to obtain commercial goods or services for multidomain missions, the Air Force said Thursday.

"Meeting the challenges we’ll face in the next conflict will require an understanding of how the other service incorporates contracting into operational planning and execution," said Air Force Lt. Col. Peter O'Neill, deputy director of the exercise.

Army Lt. Col. Marlon Elbelau, the lead planner for the event, pointed out that JFCE-21 going virtual opens the doors for training in various locations while reducing expenses for travel, venue and support staff.

However, Elbelau conceded that being online reduces the real-time collaboration opportunity between units, limits networking and relationship building between servicemen and presents the risk of network issues.

JFCE-21 builds on the Operational Contract Support Joint Exercise series, which was canceled after the 2018 edition due to budget constraints.