REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama -- The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command exceeded all its Small Business Program goals with almost $300 million of its contract dollars going to small businesses.

In fiscal year 2016 USASMDC/ARSTRAT's overall small business program goal was 36 percent and the command achieved 39.3 percent. Awards went to small disadvantaged business, historically underutilized business zone small business, woman-owned small business, and service-disabled veteran-owned small business.

Total contract dollars for the year was $762.5 million. SMDC's Small Business Program achievements for the small business subcategories are: small disadvantaged business, goal: 6.0 percent, achieved: 7.3 percent; historically underutilized business zone small business, goal: 0.1 percent, achieved: 0.3 percent; woman-owned small business, goal: 4.0 percent, achieved: 4.1 percent; service-disabled veteran-owned small business, goal: 3.0 percent, achieved: 7.6 percent.

Christine Ryan, the assistant director for USASMDC/ARSTRAT Office of Small Business Programs, said more than one-third of SMDC contract dollars went to small business prime contractors in fiscal year 2016.

"This accomplishment was a team effort," Ryan said. "Our dedicated Army Contracting Command-Redstone/Contracting and Acquisition Management Office and SMDC's requiring activity (Future Warfare Center, Technical Center, Operations and Staff offices) including its customers made this happen."

Including the Small Business Office early in the acquisition cycle is critical when conducting market research and developing the acquisition strategy. Market research is where small business capability is assessed to determine if a set-aside in the various programs is feasible.

One of SMDC's recent small business set-aside major enterprise contract awards, the Space and Missile Defense Advisory and Assistance Support, $460 million multiple award, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity, or MA ID/IQ, contract that was awarded to four small businesses of which three are woman-owned small businesses is indicative of this process.

The Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance Contract, $999 million, another SMDC enterprise MA ID/IQ contract has nine small business primes of which one is a woman-owned small business; one is a small disadvantaged business; and two are service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

"We expect to continue our success into fiscal year 2017," Ryan said. "Including small businesses in SMDC's programs helps the economy, creates jobs, and grows the industrial base. Our focus is ensuring SMDC's mission is achieved and the right capability -- at the right time -- reaches our ultimate customer --- the Warfighter."