By Miles BrownJuly 19, 2019
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command hosted Team Redstone's 2019 Center of Excellence - Advance Planning Briefings to Industry, July 17 and 18.
The theme for this year's APBI was Building Supply Chain Depth through Strategic Partnerships and Increased Industrial Capacity.
The partnership aspect of this year's theme was front and center during remarks from William Marriott, AMCOM Deputy to the Commanding General.
"We cannot provide support to the Soldier without [industry]," said Marriott. "What makes our contracting efforts work is collaboration. It's you understanding our requirements and us understanding how your business runs."
Marriott highlighted billions of dollars in contracting opportunities with the Army over the next five years, with many opportunities available to small businesses. He went on to emphasize the command and the Army's top priority.
"The number one priority for the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Army is readiness," said Marriott. "It's about taking care of Soldiers and making sure they are ready to 'fight tonight.' We can't provide that support without you and our continued collaboration."
The annual event provides a forum for information exchange and discussion between industry, academia and Team Redstone government participants. The event focused on Team Redstone's core technical capabilities, acquisition needs and future opportunities. Team Redstone leaders and subject matter experts delivered presentations that concluded with question-and-answer sessions. Many of the industry partners have attended these events for years.
According to Tim Ford, a business development manager who attended, the event offers more than just great networking opportunities.
"I have been coming to this forum for more than 20 years," said Ford. "I really like to see all the business opportunities coming our way in the next three to five years."
Eddie DeVore, a senior vice president for business development who also attended, added that he sees this event as very important to his company.
"The overviews are high-level but informative," said DeVore. "What is most important to me is the networking and getting to meet all the new people we will need to work with in the future. A lot of names and faces change around [Redstone Arsenal], and this is a good event to meet those new people."
The briefings enable government agencies and industry to consolidate resources, gain synergy and maximize the return on investments by providing a venue through which to discuss all government contracting opportunities within Redstone Arsenal's geographic area, according to Eric Lampkin, APBI lead coordinator and AMCOM Ombudsman.
"The APBI gives our industry partners a read on upcoming business opportunities and allows them to plan resources to sustain and enhance our warfighting capabilities," said Lampkin.
Along with the U.S. Army Materiel Command and AMCOM, other government agencies within a 50-mile radius participated in the event. Presenters/exhibitors included the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, the Missile Defense Agency, the Program Executive Office for Aviation, the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
AMCOM's participation included AMCOM headquarters, the AMCOM Logistics Center, the Security Assistance Management Directorate, the U.S. Army Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Activity; Corpus Christi Army Depot, Texas; Letterkenny Army Depot, Pennsylvania; and the Army Contracting Command-Redstone.
More than 350 industry representatives from 19 states attended this year's APBI. More than half of the industry representatives were from Alabama. Approximately a third of the participants are business developers.