HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Huntsville small businesses received an update on future opportunities in space and missile defense technology areas recently during the Huntsville Association of Small Businesses in Advanced Technology monthly meeting.

James Johnson, the deputy to the commander, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, explained the opportunities to a group of about 80 members of the HASBAT at the Jackson Center Dec. 1.

The members in attendance represented approximately 45 small businesses in the Huntsville technology arena according to Chad Leathers, of HASBAT.

Johnson discussed how and in what areas SMDC will have contract opportunities for small businesses in space, missile defense and related technology areas.

"There is always more demand than capacity," Johnson relayed to the audience.

Johnson provided details of some SMDC space missions including satellite communications and space superiority. He also told the audience that SMDC was recently assigned proponency in the Army for navigational warfare.

Johnson said the bottom line is SMDC is "really healthy" when it comes to small business opportunities and "it's always good when your organization is in demand."

"The charter for HASBAT is to open opportunities for small businesses that we represent to communicate." Leathers said. "We invite government speakers in to identify what their needs are from small businesses and what the challenges are that they are facing on Redstone Arsenal.

"This gives us a venue for leaders like Mr. Johnson to speak to many small businesses at one time and to provide them with what the current needs are and what may be coming in the future for his organization," Leathers continued. "Part of our charter is to open up opportunities for small businesses in forums like this meeting."

Johnson told the attendees that SMDC had exceeded all its Small Business Program goals with almost $300 million of its contract dollars going to small businesses for fiscal year 2016.

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