For the more than 1,100 participants attending the Jackal Stone 10 exercise, the first day rigors of deployment were significantly reduced. Upon arrival, coalition members were quickly in-processed, bussed to their barracks and treated to a hot meal at the dining facility. Later that night, they were able to clean up in one of the many portable showers and crawl into a bed complete with blankets and linen placed neatly on top.
All of this was made possible by four U.S. Army Soldiers who worked aggressively behind the scenes, without fanfare or hope of recognition – they were just doing their job.
Making it their personal goal to ensure delivery of the basic necessities military personnel often take for granted, Maj. Jeyanthan Jeyasingam, Sgt. 1st Class Jerry L. Dysick and Staff Sgt. Derrick L. Reynolds from the 643rd Contingency Contracting Team out of Grafenwoehr, Germany and Staff Sgt. Carlet A. Clark, of the 411th Contracting Support Brigade out of Camp Humphreys, Korea, dealt directly with Polish and Lithuanian vendors to make sure the exercise ran smoothly.
Jackal Stone is an annual multi-national special operations forces exercise co-hosted this year by Poland and Lithuania and coordinated by U.S. Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR). In addition, the exercise included participants from Croatia, Latvia, Romania and Ukraine.
Even though the exercise took place in September, the planning began nearly a year earlier when the contracting team was assigned to the exercise to solicit and award contracts for accommodation of personnel, food, missions, and life support amenities.
During initial meetings with SOCEUR logistics planners, Jeyasingam discussed the legal parameters of awarding contracts to vendors based off what the command had identified for services. Once the planning started and the first meeting was over, Jeyasingam knew what had to be done in order to get each contract awarded.
“We had our first meeting in early January with SOCEUR J-4 logistics planners,” Jeyasingam said. “At that time, we came up with our Contract Support Integration Plan, and this provided the baseline for all contracting actions put in place for the exercise.”
According to Master Sgt. Greg Green, SOCEUR J-4 noncommissioned officer in charge, the relationship between the contracting team, also known as KOs, and the SOCEUR planners was critical to the logistical planning of the exercise.
“In that initial meeting with the contracting team, it is up to us to make sure they completely understand the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF) requirements,” Green said. “We plan for all the logistics of the CJSOTF and solicit for all the services we need through the contracting team.”
Green mentioned some of those “must have” services include rental cars, buses, dining facility support, internet service, fuel, portable toilets and showers just to name a few. He also mentioned that the most important aspect of the KO’s duty is ensuring the legality of all the contracts that SOCEUR procures during the exercise.
“We have a great relationship because they keep us out of trouble and they let us know if we’re going over our budget,” Green said. “Although something we request may be legal, the KOs will let us know that we have only so much money and they will advise us whether we should or should not procure that service.”
The team has written about 16 contracts in both Poland and Lithuania to support the exercise, but the process was not instantaneous. They made sure that the contracts were in place weeks prior to the arrival of participants.
“The contracts took a couple of months to award,” said Reynolds. “Between the two of us [Jeyasingam and Reynolds], we attended all of the planning meetings in Stuttgart, Lithuania and Poland, and I believe it paid off.”
The team was able to see the culmination of their hard work once they arrived to the exercise, with the portable showers, food and water already on site.
As the exercise neared its end, Jeyasingam’s contracting team still had work that needed to be completed.
“Towards the end, our biggest role was to respond to last minute requirements and any other operational contracting support needs,” Jeyasingam said.
As for Green, he is very complimentary of the foursome and he said he speaks on behalf of all the participants who arrived to Poland and Lithuania for Jackal Stone.
“Everyone here had the basic necessities to enjoy their exercise ‘deployment,’ whether it was within the life support area or within the CJSOTF,” Green said. “But none of it would have been possible without the effort of the contracting team.”