The establishment of JCASO
planners within each combatant command has elevated support, increased awareness, improved planning processes, and given credibility to OCS at the strategic level.
While JCASO has assigned two specialists at each GCC to assist in creating and exercising each Annex W, ultimately, the DoD Component and military services' contract warrant holders will be responsible for providing actual contract support, and must be included in the planning, exercise, rehearsal, and execution of the OPLAN.
However, despite the push toward better integration, including the newly formed JCASO, the DoD still lacks a manifest comprehensive planning and executing capability, as evidenced most recently in the final report of the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan (2011).
In the short term, the authors recommend that JCASO have more status and capability within GCC and Service staffs, particularly in assisting the GCC staff to establish, monitor, and manage Annex W within the APEX framework.
The planners, though embedded and underthe tactical control of their respective COCOM staffs, report to one of two mission support teams (MSTs) located at JCASO HQs in Fort Belvoir.
As a result of this emphasis on contingency operations, the MST's Phase 0 COCOM engagement usually focuses on planning and participating in exercises aimed at developing trust between JCASO HQs and its COCOM counterparts while gaining proficiencies in managing and synchronizingthe OCS function in the contingency environment.
While JCASO remains engaged in preparing for Phases l-V, its approach to providing Phase 0 support has evolved from the largely COCOM staff augmentation function with strong emphasis on exercise participation described above into an active "vertical" approach of productively engaging the OCS COI at all levels to produce tangible benefits for operational forces now.
As an extension of this approach, JCASO HQs also leverages its organizational proximity to OSD, JS, the COCOMs and Services to, upon request, develop and test OCS resources and tools or perform functions vital to the maturation of OCS as an operational capability.
The JCASO will oversee expeditionary contracting conducted during combat, post-conflict, and contingency operations.
In order to both train and provide that acquisition expertise, the decision was made to stand up JCASO as opposed to providing the five combatant commanders [their own] acquisition staff.
Now the JCASO will oversee and manage that, Freihofer said.
He explained to DLA employees that the JCASO will provide a contract management synchronizing capability from DLA overseas to the regional combatant commanders and provide contract management oversight, synchronization, transition planning, and strategy.