HUNTSVILLE, Ala.— Completing Fiscal Year 2020 virtually due to ongoing COVID-19 safety precautions, the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville delivered the program with outstanding success for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its stakeholders, ending the fiscal year with more than 5,000 contract actions totaling more than more than $2.4 billion in obligations worldwide.
Huntsville Center transitioned to maximum telework in late March requiring its more than 1,000 professionals to quickly develop new processes for executing more than 40 ongoing programs worldwide.
Albert “Chip” Marin, Huntsville Center Programs and Business Director, said completing the end-of-year work virtually over the last two months has been a remarkable success.
“In years past, on Sept. 30, there were project managers, contracting officers, lawyers, resource management personnel and the like running all over the workspace conducting last-minute coordination through face-to-face, on-the-spot discussions on how to solve problems,” Marin said.
“Now, for the first time ever, all of this happened virtually. There was no script, there was no end of fiscal year virtual experienced personnel in Huntsville Center, there is no next cubicle neighbor. There was only the employee, a phone and a laptop. And they do not miss a beat. All the hustle and bustle happened virtually – silently to many – but nonetheless it happened and happened perfectly.”
A mere seven months ago Marin said he would have thought completing year end operations virtually wouldn’t have been possible.
“I would have been dead wrong,” Marin said. “I should have known better.”
Marin said the professional workforce of Huntsville Center always completes the mission despite any obstacles, challenges and no matter how difficult the work.
The $2.4 billion in contract actions increased not only Department of Defense readiness and effectiveness through global medical facility renovations and modernization, resilient power and water utilities projects, military training facility updates and cyber security programs aimed at strengthening our nation’s defenses, it also provided vital support to ongoing federal, state and local programs and projects aimed at improving and increasing our nation’s health and safety during the continued response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“No mission is more noble and every Huntsville Center employee is a part of this marvel,” Marin said.
“The work force has proven once again that there is no better organization in Army Corps of Engineers than Huntsville Center and as the programs director, I am both proud and humbled to be part of this fantastic team.”
Rebecca Goodsell, Huntsville Center Office of Small Business Programs chief, said she is extremely proud of the efforts made to ensure contracts were awarded to America’s small businesses, especially when so many small businesses are feeling a strain due to the global pandemic.
“Over $816 million was awarded to small business primes. Those real dollars awarded to small business concerns help drive industry growth and stabilize our nation's economy,” Goodsell said.
Unlike Corps Districts that can predict what their FY workload will be and therefore makes percentage goal assignments more easily achievable, Goodsell said Huntsville Center’s challenge has always been the unknown while taking in new work throughout the FY.
“This is why we do market research for every requirement and scrutinize whether or not a set aside for small business concerns is appropriate,” she said.
“Our consideration for small business concerns made all the difference in making this possible.”
Revolutionizing has been at the heart of the Huntsville Center mission from its beginnings in 1967 and FY20 highlighted the remarkable adaptability of this team of professionals who continue to engineer solutions for the Corps’ toughest challenges through cutting-edge approaches to contracting, program management and custom-designed solutions, successfully delivering the program year after year.