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Industry Day 2020 strengthens base, community through COVID-19

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

Acquiring a plan, materials, a team of qualified builders while braving months of below zero temperatures and the pressure of a pandemic, one squadron is here with the answers - the 354th Contracting Squadron.

The 354th CONS uses Industry Day to connect with businesses here in interior Alaska as well as across the nation to prepare for future projects and contracts.

“The objective is to engage the public, the businesses, and the contractors within the interior of Alaska,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Alan Snyder, a 354th CONS contract specialist. “We project our upcoming projects and contracts to the community and have them engage, ask questions, and set them up for success.”

The Eielson contracting team shares best practices and tips to help contractors assemble plans and navigate the financing process to make the execution faster and more efficient.

Planning ahead allows contracting units across Alaska to prepare as well, leading to successes for six military installations and a $75 million dollar project.

“With the changes due to COVID-19, we had to think outside of the box,” Snyder said. “Holding the event virtually we reached less engagement overall, but we reached a broader audience... These contractors facilitate projects that build fencing around the perimeter, install runway lights, expand quality of life initiatives, these are major projects the base needs.”

Through the pandemic the contracting squadron has been able to continue to execute their mission on a large scale, continuing their planning to receive the F-35A Lightning II’s, expanding the base and it’s combat capabilities. Industry Day 2020 was only one of the many ways they accomplish their mission.

“The pandemic isn’t going to stop the Air Force," stated Maj. Charles Deignan, the 354th CONS commander. "But it has presented some unique challenges that we have had to overcome and the private sector plays a big role in helping us do so.”