Face of Defense: Guardsman Supports Contracting Efforts
By Air Force Master Sgt. Scott Sturkol
380th Air Expeditionary Wing
SOUTHWEST ASIA, April 14, 2010 Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tyson Hall's hometown motto in Middleton, Wis., is the "Good Neighbor City."
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tyson Hall, a contracting officer with the 380th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron, works in his office in Southwest Asia, April 8, 2010. He is deployed from the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing at Truax Field in Madison. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Scott Sturkol
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
As a contracting officer with the 380th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron here, Hall also might be considered a "good neighbor" to the many people he supports throughout the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing.
"If you got it, we bought it," said Hall, who is deployed from the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing at Truax Field in Madison. "As a contracting officer, we appear to be a 'behind-the-scenes' career field within the Air Force. However, we are involved with every squadron or group on base in one way or another."
Hall said the squadron’s mission is separated into three flights to service the majority of base acquisitions: commodities, construction and services.
"I work within the commodities flight with three other contracting officers, purchasing for all other squadrons and groups," Hall said. "We purchase items per the customer's request, while remaining within the guidelines as established, and get these items in the hands of the end users as soon as possible at a fair and reasonable price with the best quality commercially available. The workload and days are long, with most guys staying here until midnight -- six days on and one day off."
In a deployed environment, Hall said, the majority of base purchases are directed through the contracting squadron.
"That's done to ensure a streamlined and efficient transaction for a broad range of services, supplies and construction projects," Hall said. "These purchases range from the cleaning of restrooms, providing personnel for food services, construction of living quarters and the installation of slide barriers and traffic spikes. It also includes routine purchases of office furniture, cleaning supplies, medical supplies, security equipment and a variety of other items."
Hall started off his military career as an Army National Guard transportation specialist. He said he soon realized the benefits the Air Force and the Air National Guard had to offer. He re-enlisted to the Air National Guard in 2004 and said he enjoys his time here while being deployed.
"I feel fortunate and privileged to be located in the best squadron on base and working alongside with the best active-duty contracting officers the Air Force has to offer," Hall said. "I joined the military to explore a challenge. It has always been something that has interested me since I saw my dad's basic training yearbook when I was elementary school or heard the stories of and from my grandfather, Jack Hall -- a distinguished World War II veteran.
"The decision was sealed to further explore the opportunities the military had to offer when my cousin, Jon Hall, enlisted in the Marines and my best friend, Jeff Killian, was accepted at West Point," Hall said. "It is, and has been, an honor to be the third generation serving in the military and has made for some interesting and entertaining stories and experiences."
The 380th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron is part of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing. The wing is home to the KC-10 Extender, U-2 Dragon Lady, E-3 Sentry and RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft, and its deployed mission includes air refueling, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa.