REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- (March 12, 2014) -- Defense industry leaders converged on the Bob Jones Auditorium here for the first Advance Planning Briefing for Industry to be hosted on the installation, March 11-12.

During the two-day meeting, government officials and defense industry representatives embraced the opportunity for open and collaborative communication.

"Redstone Arsenal and Huntsville have become a major center of coordination with defense industry," said Gen. Dennis L. Via, the U.S. Army Materiel Command?'s commanding general during his opening remarks.

Via reminded the audience that in addition to AMC's recent Small Business Outreach, the Association of the United States Army in February hosted its winter symposium in Huntsville for the first time. Both events drew top leaders from the Army and the defense industry, providing opportunities to find out more about the Army, AMC and ways to partner.

The top concern for government and industry alike was the nation's budget and resourcing the Army.
"During the last 13 years of war, you've been with us -- deploying equipment, resetting and sustaining, and providing support in some of the most austere environments," Via told business representatives. "You've been committed to supporting the warfighters and so we?'ve been committed to you."

Via said budgets historically decline after war and that budget recommendations will adapt and reshape the Army.

With the Department of Defense's announcement of a leaner budget, many Army discussions have focused on spending smarter with investments in research and development and science and technology. Via's comments were in sync with that sentiment.

"As our end strength, budget and footprint decreases, we must be responsible and innovative," said Via. "Together we must move forward to develop the next leap-ahead technology. We are depending on you to help us equip the future force."

Another key point Via stressed was investing in the industrial base through Public-Private Partnerships.
"There are currently 205 Public-Private Partnerships and we are aggressively looking for more," said Via.
Via also echoed the comments of previous speakers saying, "We are open for business."

"I encourage [my commanders] to open the doors of communication, especially now in a time of declining budgets, we cannot hold our cards close," Via said. "We have to communicate, so you can plan accordingly."

Page last updated Wed March 12th, 2014 at 14:01