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Providing funds: Contracting Airmen keep base running

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Contracting Squadron (CONS) infrastructure flight perform a site survey at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., April 11, 2017. Airmen assigned to the 20th CONS are tasked with completing and filling contracts, as well as managing contractor funds and assigning government purchase cards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Contracting Squadron infrastructure flight perform a site survey at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., April 11, 2017. Airmen assigned to the 20th CONS are tasked with completing and filling contracts, as well as managing contractor funds and assigning government purchase cards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aaron Kelly, 20th Contracting Squadron (CONS) infrastructure contracting officer, speaks with a contractor at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., April 11, 2017. Airmen assigned to the 20th CONS infrastructure flight perform work condition checks on all contractors to check for hours worked, current pay conditions and quality of work. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aaron Kelly, 20th Contracting Squadron infrastructure contracting officer, speaks with a contractor at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., April 11, 2017. Airmen assigned to the 20th CONS infrastructure flight perform work condition checks on all contractors to check for hours worked, current pay conditions and quality of work. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 20th Contracting Squadron (CONS) reviews a construction contract site visit report at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., April 11, 2017. Site visits provide 20th CONS Airmen insight to contractor operations while also determining further equipment or resources required. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 20th Contracting Squadron reviews a construction contract site visit report at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., April 11, 2017. Site visits provide 20th CONS Airmen insight to contractor operations while also determining further equipment or resources required. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Airman Brendan Harrah, 20th Contracting Squadron (CONS) contracting specialist, reviews a contract at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., April 11, 2017. Airmen assigned to the 20th CONS manage funding for contractors on base who work on tasks ranging from building renovations to road construction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Airman Brendan Harrah, 20th Contracting Squadron contracting specialist, reviews a contract at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., April 11, 2017. Airmen assigned to the 20th CONS manage funding for contractors on base who work on tasks ranging from building renovations to road construction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --

In fiscal year 2016, Shaw Airmen issued 557 contracts worth $71 million for supplies, service and construction projects.

Additionally, they distributed government purchase cards, with which GPC holders made more than 15,700 purchases worth about $11.5 million.

Who are behind these contracts? Airmen with the 20th Contracting Squadron.

These Airmen ensure contracts that provide funding to civilian contract worker and unit supply managers are completed, increasing the base’s efficiency and allowing Team Shaw to focus on completing the base’s mission.

“Our job here is to solicit ‘bids’ for services provided by local contractors and small businesses,” said Airman Brendan Harrah, 20th CONS contracting specialist. “With these contracts between us and the agencies opened, we keep them to a standard and ensure they do what we’re paying them for.”

Currently, the 20th CONS has 80 contracts open to assist the base. Contracts are a binding agreement between two parties in which one group provides services for another with compensation.

The largest on-going contract here on Shaw, the multiple award construction contract, processes renovation and repairs in 30 to 90 days. The contract prevents the displacement of units while work stations receive restorations.

According to April Brooks, 20th CONS infrastructure section chief, a few examples of the impacts are the current renovations to the 9th Air Force building and the main gate construction.

The 20th CONS consists of civilian and military members, who work in planning and programming, infrastructure, base operations support and medical commodities flights.

Contracting Airmen have the opportunity to learn the roles of all 20th CONS flights to be prepared to provide support for Air Force installations stateside or in a deployed location.

According to Harrah, each flight brings their own strengths to the mission.

Responsible for supplying the labor needed for installation renovations, 20th CONS Airmen turn to the civilian contracting community to assist the installation and keep the assets focused on the mission at hand.

“If the base needs it, we buy it,” Brooks said. “We are responsible for the procurement of medical supplies, all services and commodities and the upkeep of all the buildings under the Shaw Air Force Base area of responsibility.”