New postal contract saves time, money while delivering consistent service to stateside customers

  • Published
  • By Debbie Aragon
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center recently awarded a 10-year contract for official mail centers and postal support services across 38 continental U.S. installations. 

The initiative saves about $5 million in manhour and rate and process costs while establishing consistency of service and supporting the employment of underserved communities. 

The contract is the result of a partnership between Air Force Installation Contract Center’s 763rd Enterprise Sourcing Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, and AFIMSC’s Installation Support Directorate in San Antonio.  

“This decentralized requirements-type contract combined 26 individual contracts to provide needed mail support services and greatly reduced the manhours previously spent generating and managing those contracts,” said Gary Fowler, acquisition program manager at the 763rd ESS. 

“It also eliminates contract variability to provide a standardized level of service,” he said. 

The idea to centralize postal support was the result of a 2016 Postal Operations Business Process Review conducted by AFIMSC, stateside official mail managers and the headquarters Air Force mail manager. 

Following the review, stateside major command official mail and postal operations were consolidated under AFIMSC in 2018. The 763rd ESS then conducted an assessment in 2020 that determined consolidating installation contracts into one was of benefit for cost and quality of service, said Salvador Orozpe, AFIMSC official mail and postal program manager.  

Installations under the contract are subordinate to the U.S. Space Force and Air Force major commands in the lower 48 states, Air Force District of Washington and U.S. Air Force Academy. 

“Providing consistency of care across these installations will help identify the true needs of the mail service to operate more effectively and efficiently which will save time and money,” Fowler said. 

“Due to the size and number of locations on this requirement, a vast amount of information was required to make decisions,” said Karlye Keil, 763rd ESS contract specialist. 

In her role, Keil supported the team by compiling information, maintaining organization, and building documents, among other tasks.  

“Staying organized and ensuring information was accurate allowed me to provide quick information to the contracting officer, mission partners and Installation Support Directorate teammates,” she added. 

In addition to the savings and service standards, the contract also supports the commander of Air Force Materiel Command Gen. Duke Richardson’s vision for enterprise solutions and employs people with disabilities. 

“It directly supports Executive Order 13985’s goals of advancing racial equity and supporting underserved communities,” Fowler said.  

“I have a relative who is disabled, and I’ve seen firsthand how she was limited as far as employment opportunities,” he said. “I’m honored to be a part of an effort that employs and gives significant disabled people an opportunity to be a part of the workforce and contribute to an Air Force mission. It touches my heart to see the sense of pride they have knowing they’re doing something meaningful.” 

With the contract in place, Orozpe and the AFIMSC installations team is working with the 763rd ESS, official mail managers at the installations and the contractor program manager to monitor quality control, contract compliance, and identify and resolve any contract performance issues. 

“Our goal is to ensure the contact is effective for our customers and to administer it so it remains cost effective,” Orozpe said. 

Gary Fowler began his career in the Department of Defense as a combat camera specialist and in the medical field before cross training into the contracting career field about 10 years in to his active-duty Air Force career. He had never heard of contracting at that point but found the job description interesting so applied and received the final cross-training slot available at the time.  After finishing his 25-year active-duty career, he became a government civilian employee in contracting and now program management as an acquisition program manager.

On a personal note, Fowler has run about a dozen full marathons since having two spinal fusion operations! 

“Running is a passion of mine,” Fowler said. “I enjoy the comradery of racing events, especially running marathons, but I mostly enjoy a peaceful early morning or late evening run … those are moments I feel very close to God.”