MISAWA, Japan — More than 100 local vendors from the Misawa area learned about new U.S. Air Force contracting practices at a training conference last week at the city’s Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s to inform them about our processes and changes that have occurred in contracting over the last year,” said 2nd Lt. Jon Hobart, 35th Contracting Squadron plans and programs flight commander.

The 35th Contracting Squadron offers training annually for local Japanese companies that provide supplies, services and construction on base.

One change in practice, Hobart said, is that the Air Force will tell contractors “the end result but we won’t tell them how to do it.”

Also, the best value, not necessarily the lowest cost, will be determined when selecting a contractor for a project, Hobart said.

Local vendors provide numerous base services and supplies including base telecommunications, runway repair, snow and ice removal and ground maintenance. In fiscal 2005, about $30 million was spent on projects awarded to local contractors, base officials said.

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