Air Force Col. Jamie Adams, chief of staff at the agency, said workers would be hired as emergency personnel who could be deployed within 90 days of starting their jobs. The agency needs them because continuous deployments are straining civilian and military personnel at DCMA who can manage overseas contracts, Adams added.
According to Adams, the jobs were not being created out of any concern about poor contract oversight overseas. Also, he stressed, DCMA would not add any new positions to its payrolls, but would create them from existing vacancies.
DCMA has about 80 military and civilian personnel deployed for up to six months in hotspots such as Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.
Kathy Greenlaw, a human resources specialist at DCMA, said civilians are only sent overseas on a volunteer basis. She said the agency has 11,000 civilian employees, but only a fraction are qualified to manage overseas contracts, and even fewer are willing to take on potentially dangerous assignments.
Greenlaw said the new civilian hires would have to agree to overseas assignments and could be deployed for two six-month tours during their first three years at the agency. She said workers would then have the option of taking a similar job at the agency that does not require deployment.
The agency is looking for GS-11 and GS-12 employees with experience in contract and property management for positions as contract administrators, quality assurance specialists, industrial property management specialists and industrial specialists. The agency expects many of those signing up for overseas hitches will be current DCMA employees or former military personnel.
DCMA employees going overseas can increase their salary by as much as 50 percent because of extra pay for hazardous duty and serving in a foreign country. The vacancies are expected to be open until next summer; since June, about 60 of the positions have been filled.