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Developing contracts; modernizing processes

Photo of woman reading documents at a desk.

Meghann Applebay, 30th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, reads the Government Purchase Card Expanded Use Guidebook March 10, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The Air Force introduced a new program called the Expanded Use Initiative, which will cost-effectively modernize the GPC program in order to increase the lethality of the force, changing the way cardholders make purchases on their card. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aubree Milks)

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Robert Bumpass, 30th Contracting Squadron specialist, instructs Col. Anthony Mastalir, 30th Space Wing commander, how to award a contract February 10, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Mastalir visited the 30th CONS to meet the team members and learn how they provide contracts for the base.

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Members of the 30th Contracting Squadron meet for a consultation to discuss how to proceed with their upcoming contracts, March 10, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. 30th CONS helps to ensure squadrons across the installation are able to purchase, renovate and modernize within their unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aubree Milks)


When it comes to enabling assured access to space, the 30th Contracting Squadron is a vital piece to making that mission happen. Without them, squadrons across the installation would not be able to purchase, renovate or modernize within their unit.

Comprised of contracting professionals, quality analysis managers and property managers, the 30th CONS works diligently to support mission partners to acquire and administer contracts, helping ensure the 30th Space Wing can enable space superiority through service, supply, construction and range support contracts.

Recently, the Air Force introduced a new program, the Expanded Use Initiative, which will cost-effectively modernize the Government Purchase Card program in order to increase the lethality of the force.

“The Expanded Use Initiative creates the opportunity to use the Government Purchase Card further, smarter and broader,” said Tonia Gladen, 30th CONS GPC program manager. “This initiative will allow units to spend more money on their GPC, which will maximize rebates and put more money back into the base.”

With purchases made on GPCs and attainment of contracts, Vandenberg Air Force Base spent approximately $104 million across the base, maintaining, renovating and improving the 30th SW and Western Range during fiscal year 2019. As a whole, VAFB accumulated $85,000 in rebates, which were redistributed back into the installation. 

With each rebate that returns to the base, a designated percentage is disseminated back to each squadron, allowing additional items to be purchased that units may not have been able to afford with their current budget. With the implementation of the Expanded Use Initiative, the additional money acquired will allow the 30th SW to grow and innovate faster every year.

According to Maj. Rheesa Paluay, 30th CONS commander, the Multiple Award Construction Contract awarded in March 2020 will provide construction support to three bases, which will allow for faster and more sufficient construction contracts.

Paluay and her team are expanding their services to neighboring bases, such as Los Angeles Air Force Base and Edwards Air Force Base. They are preparing a single construction, five-year contract that will serve all three bases, which will result in a quicker turnaround on construction projects for the bases involved.

Leading from the front, the 30th CONS is enabling the base to innovate and modernize processes that will help for years to come.

“We make sure everyone has what they need,” said Jeffrey Powell, 30th CONS director of business operations. “On top of providing our services to all the units, we also provide key range support for the base, aiding each launch from the Western Range.”