News | Aug. 4, 2021

MICC-Fort Knox supports nation’s gateway to military service

By Ryan Mattox, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs Office Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs Office

Acquisition professionals at the Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Knox contracting office in Kentucky provide support to the nation’s newest recruits entering military service across the country.

MICC-Fort Knox executes more than $230 million in contract support for application management services, or AMS, during a five-year ordering period to the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command in North Chicago, Illinois.

The contract support comes in the form of a multiple award indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contracts that provide the government with five contractors that support services under the AMS program. As part of its mission, USMEPCOM evaluates and processes applicants into the armed forces at 65 military entrance processing stations and two remote processing stations located throughout the continental U.S., Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii under the AMS program. The AMS program provides applicants with support services for meals, lodging, morning and evening transportation, and coordination of oversight services while they are at lodging facilities.

“These contracts are essential to USMEPCOM mission readiness,” said Nathalie Riley, a contract specialist at MICC-Fort Knox. “Contracts awarded for the AMS program provide critical support services for USMEPCOM’s ongoing mission to process applicants in the armed forces. USMEPCOM’s mission is ‘Freedom’s Front Door.’ USMEPCOM exists to assist the military services in ensuring accession standards are met so they can bring qualified, effective and able-bodied persons into military service.”

The contracting officers and specialists follow two paths in their process—solicitation and contract award.

The solicitation and formal source selection process involves market research, which includes hosting an industry day conference, drafting the contract’s performance work statement for industry review and comments, and acquisition personnel participating in interactive communication with industry and USMEPCOM officials. After this process is completed, multiple contracts are awarded. Request for task order proposals are competed for and then issued to the awardees for each MEPS and remote location, and then a single task order is sequentially awarded in support of the AMS program.

“Setting up a multiple award IDIQ is a labor and time investment for the contracting office and USMEPCOM,” Riley said. “The process is collaborative and includes the contracting office, USMEPCOM and industry. Market research typically starts two years in advance of the planned award of the contracts. The requirement is fluid because it needs to be responsive to the changing needs of the AMS program, like changes in government regulations or policies, potential pandemic.”

USMEPCOM determines whether applicants are qualified for enlistment based on standards set by each of the services.

“Every applicant who comes to a military entrance processing station is there because they want to join the armed forces, and our policy is to provide them red-carpet treatment,” said Marine Corps Col. Rich Brady, USMEPCOM commander. “The contracts in place to provide applicants quality lodging, meals and transportation are vital to our ability to accomplish our mission and treat these future service members with the respect they deserve.”

The USMEPCOM is the vital link between recruiting and training today’s armed forces. USMEPCOM is a joint service command staffed with people from five branches of service. Two geographic sectors and twelve battalions provide intermediate management in operating the MEPS. The Eastern Sector Headquarters and Western Sector Headquarters are co-located with the command headquarters. Thousands of new service members process through the command’s military entrance processing stations each year.

About the MICC

Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. As part of its mission, MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.