Chambersburg, Pa. -- Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD) and Depot Commander were presented three citations on June 13 at the Letterkenny Business Opportunity Showcase in celebration of LEAD's 70th Anniversary and Col. Cheri A. Provancha's tenure as LEAD Commander.

Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Cumberland/Franklin) authorized a resolution that was presented to honor 70 years of LEAD and Pennsylvania State Senator Rich Alloway (R-33) provided a citation for the recognition of LEAD's 70th anniversary. Provancha received recognition from the Franklin County Area Development Corporation, for her time as Commander and her support of the Depot and the community.

"It is the workforce that is the key to LEAD's success. I watched the workforce develop over the years. I see what they have done," said Alloway. "They have made great strides and continue to do exemplary work each and every day."

Approximately 170 individuals attended the 7th annual Letterkenny Business Opportunity Showcase (LBOS), held on June 13 at Shippensburg University and June 14 at Letterkenny.

The objective of the showcase was to bring together defense contractors, government leaders, elected officials and business leaders to talk about doing business with Letterkenny.

"The purpose is to identify and develop opportunities that support not only the retention of current LEAD missions, but the potential for future expanded work and programs at LEAD," said Rich Kutzler, chief of the Transformation Office.

In addition to dinner with presentations and a video on partnering with Letterkenny, the showcase included a trade show featuring 18 vendor exhibitions and a static display of current LEAD workload. Tours of the Depot's Maintenance Facility and Tactical Missile Repair Center were a part of day two's activities.

"This two-day showcase is a perfect opportunity to highlight the diverse capabilities and cost savings that LEAD provides to the Department of Defense and defense industry," stated showcase co-chair, Congressman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) during his opening remarks.

The keynote speaker was the Deputy to the Commanding General, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command, Ronnie E. Chronister, who, along with Shuster, acknowledged the country's peace status and its impact on the Department of Defense (DoD).

"For the past ten years of war, we have been tactical focused," said Chronister. "Now we need to do business differently."

Doing business differently, according to Chronister, means partnering with the Depot.

"Partnerships are the power of this Depot, he said. "The value is for private industry to come in and partner with LEAD. LEAD knows how much it costs to do the job, they know how to do the job, and they have the resources to do the job for the best value."

Chronister reminded the business leaders and partners to work with LEAD to continue to capture the best value. "LEAD is effective; look at their Patriot and ground equipment programs. Look at their Shingo recognition."

Congressman Shuster agreed with the efforts required to achieve and sustain that level of manufacturing excellence.

"We know what it takes to sustain that recognition," commented Shuster. "That is why the greater Franklin County community, federal, state and local officials want to help you do business at LEAD."

Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary, C. Alan Walker attended the dinner on behalf of showcase co-chair, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and recognized LEAD as the vital engine for the economic development of the region.

State Director for U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Bob DeSousa said, "I know firsthand the work of LEAD, and with the support of state and local government officials, we are prepared to fight for our Pennsylvania depots and their partnerships. They are a critical component of our national defense."

Elaborating more on the national defense, Chronister issued a warning to the assembled group by saying, "If we don't get more business-like, it is going to hurt the DoD's national defense ability to sustain the organic industrial base. Our financial system has to change. Resource Management looks at depots simply as land, buildings and people that cost money."

Chronister challenged Letterkenny to continue to improve program management by using Lean Six Sigma methodologies and maximizing the Logistics Management Program capabilities in order to show the value of the Depot. Value to the depot and its partners means bringing in more work, doing the work at the best possible cost with fewer resources and giving the savings back to the customer.

James Dwyer, Army Material Command (AMC) G4, also discussed DoD budget restrictions during his presentation at LEAD on the second day of the showcase.

"Funding is being reduced and there are fewer resources available," he said. "The force structure is changing and the Army size is being reduced. This will impact the sustainment of weapons systems and a reduction in weapon systems acquisitions."

Dwyer also discussed the Army's need to identify and assess commercial and organic base health and survivability.

"These are at risk because of the changing national military strategy," Dwyer explained. "Two of the biggest contributors to this change are the current withdrawal from Iraq and the projected FY14 withdrawal from Afghanistan."

According to Dwyer, the bottom line for the future of the commercial and organic industrial base is for the Army Acquisition and Sustainment Communities to co-support the Warfighter and right-size the industrial base.

"AMC anticipates exceeding $6 billion in revenue this year. We're open for business, we've been open for business, and we're going to stay open for business," stated Dwyer. "Partnering is one of the main ways we've got to do this."

B. Keith Roberson, Executive Director of the Integrated Materiel Management Center, discussed the industrial base of tomorrow.

"The health of LEAD's Industrial Base will depend on LEAD's ability to support the Warfighter, expand and nurture established relationships with Project Managers and partnerships with industry," said Roberson.

Roberson explained that depots need to continue streamlining and building more efficient processes to drive down costs at the depot and to customers. Depots should support and plan for future emerging capabilities.

"It all comes down to putting the Warfighter first," Roberson stated. "We will be successful by optimizing efficiencies with decreasing resources and continuing to build partnerships."

Also on day two, Provancha provided the State of the Depot brief. She laid out the goals to reach 20 percent in partnerships by Fiscal Year 2017 and increase Foreign Military Sales to 25 percent by Fiscal Year 2015.

"We want to leverage the strength of our industry partners and open the door for more business-to-industry partnerships," said Provancha.

David Keller, chairman of the Franklin County Commissioners, was the Master of Ceremonies for the event. Keller expressed his pleasure with the Franklin County Area Development Corporation's involvement.

"This showcase drove home the point; this is all about building public-private partnerships to strengthen and grow the mission at Letterkenny," stated Keller.

The showcase officially closed as the Army celebrated its 237th birthday with a cake cutting ceremony.

Page last updated Wed June 27th, 2012 at 12:57