Someone who followed my blog asked why I quit posting FM updates. I don’t know why I stopped….I guess I felt like I had said everything interesting. But after thinking about his email – I’ve decided to start posting again and I realize I’ve actually got a lot to say.
So what am I doing now?
Right now, I am the Contracting Officer Representative (COR) for the Operations and Maintenance Support Services (OMSS) contract in Iraq. I’m based at the Baghdad Embassy Compound (BEC) and support three Alternate-COR’s (A/CORs) throughout the country. I am not a Facility Manager (FM) here in Baghdad even though the COR job must be held by an FM.
|Not my office....or my view. :(|
Unlike a “normal” Embassy where the maintenance technicians work directly for the FM, in Baghdad the maintenance services are handled by a huge maintenance and construction firm called PAE based in Arlington, VA. The FM shop here Baghdad has no technicians…all of the technicians and supervisors work for PAE. FM instructs PAE staff do maintenance and construction work, but all of FM’s requests need to be within the scope of PAE’s OMSS contract with the US Government. That’s where my team and I come in. The COR (me) and the A/CORs ensure that PAE performs the work required by their contract and doesn’t perform work outside their contract. If a request for work outside PAE’s contract comes up – then my team works with AQM to get funding for the w. It’s a very different way of doing maintenance and it was a big adjustment from “normal” FM work.
The work is very admin intensive and I work +65 hours per week to stay on top of things, but it’s been an interesting change from a regular FM assignment. Besides, I can do anything for 1 year. J
Jacci and the kids are still in Jerusalem. When you take as assignment at a Priority Staffing Post (PSP) like Baghdad or Kabul, your family has the option of returning to the USA or staying at your previous Post. Since Jacci, Max, and Siena like Jerusalem and it’s “close” we opted to keep them in Jerusalem and not uproot the kids too many times. It really makes R&R’s and Skype calls easier as Jerusalem and Baghdad are on the same time zone.
Speaking of R&R’s – I get 3 during the course of the year. So that’s one R&R about every 3 months…..believe me – you need it. There is so much work and since we do not leave the Embassy after 3 weeks I was climbing the walls to get out. I just got back from our first R&R. Two weeks in Greece and one week back in Jerusalem. It was wonderful!!