REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - Army Contracting Command officials participated in the Army Materiel Command-hosted Team Redstone Small Business Industry Outreach here Feb 18.

The theme for the day-long event was "Supporting America's Small Business." During the Army Materiel Command-hosted forum, representatives from the Department of Defense, Department of the Army and Team Redstone provided information on government programs and opportunities, including contracting.

"It was an awesome experience, the first of its kind in the Huntsville area," said Alice Williams, associate director, ACC Office of Small Business Programs. "Team Redstone brought in all the major players in the area, including all the senior leaders and placed them in one location. We received raving reviews and we're looking forward to next year."

According to Nancy Small, director, AMC Office of Small Business Programs, more than 400 participants from locations around the country attended the event.

"The Team Redstone Industry Outreach event will be an annual event. The AMC Small Business Office, along with Team Redstone partners, will coordinate with venues on Redstone to see if it is possible to increase the number of attendees for this event in the future.

Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC commanding general, provided the keynote address. In a welcome letter to participants, Via expressed his thoughts on supporting small business.

"The Small Business Program provides federal contracting opportunities for qualified small businesses, fosters the growth of small businesses, empowers communities, and creates jobs. Small businesses play a critical role by delivering innovative, state-of-the-art solutions for complex challenges," said Via. "Contributions made by small businesses are not only vital in executing the Army's mission, but are essential to national security."

Daphne Lin, a conference attendee, found the experience to be beneficial.
"I thought it to be very informative," Lin said. "It was well-rounded and communicative with a lot of opportunities to interact with government officials. There were a lot of giveaways, information-wise, and it was a great opportunity for discussions and networking."

Brig. Gen. Ted Harrison, ACC commanding general, served as the "Team Redstone: Collaborating for Success" panel moderator that included officials from U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Defense Logistics Agency, NASA and the Missile Defense Agency.

Harry Hallock, deputy assistant secretary of the Army (Procurement), moderated the "ACC Leaders: Commitment to Small Business Achievement" panel. The panelists were: Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Gabbert, commanding general, Mission and Installation Contracting Command, and the executive directors of the ACC contracting centers at Redstone Arsenal; New Jersey; Rock Island, Ill.; Warren, Mich.; and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.