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Posted 12/26/2018

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By Julie Shoemaker
USACE Middle East District

The Middle East District’s Robert “Bob” Fox has been awarded the 2018 Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement, Flexibility in Contracting and Development Innovation Award for Facilities Engineering.

The annual Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement Awards were established as a result of the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 to encourage and recognize individuals who demonstrated the highest levels of excellence and professionalism in the acquisition of products and services for those who support the warfighter and protect the taxpayer.

While the announcement of the award has been made, the actual award presentation will not take place until late February.

Fox, a registered Professional Engineer, a Project Management Professional, Army Acquisition Corps Member and level III acquisition certified in Facilities Engineering, has made significant contributions to District and the Army Corps of Engineers as the Chief of AE Contracts Management.

"Responsible for the management of all activities of the AE Contract Management personnel in development of AE task orders, SME for AE contracting and performing and providing guidance for AE COR duties, Bob's committed efforts are directly responsible for the successful support of the $2.9 billion program for the U.S. military and foreign military customers," said Alan Zytowski, former chief of the District's Engineering Division.

Fox earned the award for implementing policies and procedures that will eventually result in awarding contracts within six weeks of receiving the final statement of work, according to Zytowski. Along with his dedicated team, he created specific templates for developing AE statements of work and trained AE managers, design managers, and project managers, which resulting in reduced time necessary for statement of work development.

“His goal was to develop a statement of work within seven days of the project kick-off meeting,” Zytowski said. “Bob took the lead role on development of seven IDIQ [Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity] contracts, valued at $267 Million, and on developing Afghanistan MIL Cost Book Database. He consistently exhibits personal courage by taking on complex tasks and achieving results.”

Fox provided detailed guidance, mentoring and training for new Design Managers and project management technical leads who had little or no experience in performing duties of a COR to ensure compliance with contracting regulations. “He upholds value of duty by ensuring all assigned work is completed on time and to the highest standard of quality,” Zytowski said.

“Earning this award is not about my accomplishments, but about the accomplishments that our team was able to achieve,” said Fox. “I had a very good group of people in the Middle East District in Winchester and other Districts who all worked well together for the common goal – to be successful in what we set out to achieve.” 

Fox is a loyal and passionate Army civilian, according to Sean Martin, chief of Planning and Requirements. “His work ethic and integrity in approaching any task serve as examples of how one performs to the expectations of the Army Values,” he said. “Bob does so without seeking or expecting accolades but because he cares about the mission and our service members. Bob is an agile process manager, able to adjust to changing courses of action without impacting the desired end state or target date. He is a leader, mentor, counselor, trusted colleague, and a difference maker. He is so very deserving of this recognition for not only all of the visible efforts he completes to keep our acquisition process moving forward, but for the countless little things he resolves and contributes that he believes no one else notices.” 

Fox started with the Middle East District in April 2011 as Chief of the Design Management Section, managing the AE contract award process for Engineering Division. He’s held several senior positions since then, including chief of Technical Services Branch and Forward PM/Technical Coordinator for Kuwait. He currently supervises all activities of AE Contracts Management personnel in developing AE task orders and serves as the subject matter expert on AE contracting and recorder of AE selection and selection boards.

“I was always fortunate enough to succeed in private industry no matter where I worked,” said Fox, “but moving to USACE took me to a different level of accomplishments from private practice. I began with USACE with the Baltimore District in October 2008,” Fox said. “I was project manager working in the Belvoir Integration Office on integrating a $4.2 billion portfolio of BRAC [Base Realignment and Closure] projects on Fort Belvoir. I was the primary point of contact on assigned projects including Fairfax County Parkway and Defense Access Road Parkway Interchange Ramps. This included monitoring and reporting on portfolio project issues, schedules, scope, and budgets to maintain a division-level common operating picture. In all matters, I worked directly with the Garrison staff to support Baltimore District project teams and customers in developing solutions, resolving issues to insure project success.”

Fox said that USACE allowed him the opportunity to share knowledge and diversified experience while supporting warfighters in a way he did not know was possible. “It has truly been an experience I will never forget.  

“Thanks to all my team members who work hard to accomplish the things we do every day,” said Fox. “Without being surrounded by these dedicated people, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to perform at a higher level. They have inspired me to want to do more and for that I am very grateful!”