Yokota civilian receives PACAF’s first Defense Acquisition Workforce Award

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Spencer Tobler
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

– Joshua Grubb, 374th Contracting Squadron specialized contracting director, represented all of Pacific Air Forces contracting and received the 2022 Defense Acquisition Workforce Award, Individual Category, for International Relations.

This award is reserved for individuals who demonstrate the highest levels of excellence and professionalism in developing, acquiring, and sustaining operational capabilities that support the warfighter and protect the taxpayer, according to the Defense Acquisition Workforce.

“Here at the 374th CONS, we have a very diverse portfolio and we work with a lot of different mission partners,” said Grubb. “It may say ‘individual achievement award,’ but in reality, this is a team award.”

Grubb’s efforts in 2022 not only earned PACAF its first Defense Acquisition Workforce Award on the Department of Defense level, but also resulted in seven major command-level awards and three Air Force-level awards, for the Yokota contracting team,  including Innovation in Air Force Contracting.

“When you talk about federal acquisitions, Air Force contracting is at the pinnacle,” said Grubb, who noted that Yokota is the tip of the spear. “We have a solid team of intrinsically motivated leaders out here. We’re managing a big portfolio and we’re moving a lot of money each year. The majority of contracting actions in the entire Air Force go through our teams here.”

As the specialized contracting director, Grubb is charged with binding the U.S. government with supporting entities to aid in its mission. He is also the contracting officer of the master labor contract, managing over 23,000 local nationals across all U.S. Forces Japan installations.

“In contracting, we all wear many different hats with many different mission partners,” said Grubb. “We have to know exactly what our partners want and understand things that may not be in our wheelhouse. We then have to take our mission partner expertise and  translate their needs to our contractors.”

Having only worked with the Air Force in previous positions, Grubb had to adapt to working at Yokota, where he frequently works with all U.S. military branches and the local workforce in Japan. Grubb hopes his contributions continue to be a positive force on projects to improve  interoperability and cohesion between the U.S. and Japan.

“The mission is what gets me up in the morning,” said Grubb. “I want to be there to cut that red tape, help our operational imperatives, and accelerate change in all facets.”

Grubb acknowledges his own efforts, but knows he wouldn’t have the 2022 Defense Acquisition Workforce Award without the hard work of his team.

Grubb states that even though the award doesn’t say “team award” he cannot do his job without his mission partners at 5th Air Force, U.S. Forces Japan, and all the military installations throughout Japan. “I’m happy we could get a solid win and shine a bright light on Yokota.”