REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command hosted Team Redstone's 2020 Center of Excellence - Advance Planning Briefings to Industry (APBI), March 2 through 4.
The theme for this year's APBI was "Innovating to increase supply availability and reduce the warfighter maintenance burden."
The AMCOM Commanding General Maj. Gen. Todd Royar drove home his aspirations for the three-day forum during his opening remarks.
"This event is all about making sure that we [federal agencies] can provide you [industry partners] with the details on our future plans and programs," said Royar. "We need to give you enough information so you can plan accordingly and ask the right questions to set your companies up for success. When you are successful, we [the government] get better products and services to support our nation's warfighters."
More than 650 industry partners signed-up for the annual event which provides a forum for information exchange and discussion between industry, academia and Team Redstone government participants. The briefings and panel discussions focused on Team Redstone's core technical capabilities, acquisition needs and future opportunities. Leaders and subject matter experts from across Redstone Arsenal delivered presentations that concluded with question-and-answer sessions. Many of the attendees have been coming to APBIs at AMCOM for years.
According to Michele Kochoff Platt, a small business owner who attended, the event offers more than just great networking opportunities.
"This was one of the best APBI events to date," said Kochoff Platt. "This year, the one-on-one sessions were phenomenal. The panels and speakers were also excellent. But the opportunity to meet directly with government [officials] is really important."
According to Kochoff Platt, she has been coming to the APBI events for several years and meeting face-to-face and really understanding the biggest challenges facing organizations on Redstone Arsenal is the most valuable aspect of the event.
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 provides our industry partners a look ahead to upcoming business opportunities and allows them to plan resources to sustain and enhance our warfighting capabilities," said Lampkin. "It also promotes transparency in our acquisition strategies by providing long-range technology and capabilities development objectives to industry."
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 Army Futures Command, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Missile Defense Agency, Program Executive Office - Aviation, the Program Executive Office - Missiles and Space, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and U.S. General Services Administration.
Kochoff Platt likes the Team Redstone aspect of the most recent APBIs. "It is good that it includes more Team Redstone with units like MDA and Space and Missile Defense Agency," she said.
AMCOM's participation included the headquarters, AMCOM Logistics Center, Security Assistance Management Directorate, U.S. Army Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Activity; Corpus Christi Army Depot, Texas; Letterkenny Army Depot, Pennsylvania; and Army Contracting Command - Redstone.
Royar ended the event by relaying why events like APBI are so important.
"At the end of the day, we want to have open communication and dialog with you, our industry partners," Royar said during his closing remarks. "This event is just one venue for those communication opportunities, but I would ask that this not be the only time this year that we have that dialog. Your feedback helps use acquire the products and services needed to support the warfighter. The Soldier on the ground remains our number-one priority. We need our industry partners to meet the Soldier's needs. Thank you for all you do."