Industry Day at the U.S. Army War College offers students a series of engagements with a wide range of representatives of industry, the Defense Industrial Base, Defense offices that coordinate with industry. These are the seeds of partnerships, networking, and understanding about industry perspectives, said Maj. Gen. Hill, USAWC Commandant in opening the day-long event. Morning sessions reflected the depth and scope of Defense-industry relationships, with speakers representing large industry and small business vendor base, as well as Defense experts, March 29 in Bliss Hall. Afternoon sessions created dozens of small group engagements between students and 35 industry representatives.
Paul Lemmo, president of Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, related the complexity of meeting corporate and military objectives. He did not serve in uniform, but is serving the military, he said. He drew on 35 years of Lockheed experience to provide insights about the global security environment, industry investment and the benefits, risks, and affordability of new technology. Importantly, he discussed the necessity of partnering during design, production, and sustainment to ensure success for both entities.
Charlie McGillis, Vice President for Business Development, Government, and Space at Slingshot Aerospace, spoke about her experience with a small start-up company working with space systems. Setting context for the student body, she discussed the shifts in the industry, with commercial research and development replacing the government in shaping innovations in launch vehicles, reusable rocket boosters, and civilian crews. She noted the advantages of a start-up when it comes to innovation, e.g., creating a market to sell their product. She shared insights into start-up companies’ unique goals, e.g., going public or attracting a larger firm. She, too, spoke of relationships as critical to small business agility, e.g., moving swiftly to resolve a point of failure and revise the product.
Maj. Gen. Darren Werner, commanding general of the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, discussed the role of the Army's Organic Industrial Base: the 23 depots, arsenals, and ammunition plants managed by the Army. OIB gives the Army the ability to surge in support of contingencies. To convey the importance of the OIB, Werner gave a brief history of the OIB, touching on WWI and II up to the present day and beyond. He discussed reorganization, legislative reforms, Congressional response, and the Army's transformation and transition of the OIB. The future of OIB, he said, will include modern technology, advanced manufacturing, and public-private partnerships.
Young Bang is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics & Technology and shaped his discussion around the Secretary of the Army's six objectives. Highlighting the first objective - to put the Army on a sustainable strategic path within global uncertainty – he cited Ukraine and U.S. support. He stated the importance of data-centric operation regarding artificial intelligence and the continuation of our efforts to be resilient in the face of climate change.
Bang urged the students to remember, when they rejoin the force in command roles, that they can ensure that warfighters’ can and should provide feedback to the community charged with developing, testing and fielding systems. Timely feedback allows ASA-ALT to build/buy the appropriate products for Soldiers based on their feedback. Commanders’ feedback drives requirements and capabilities development.
Christopher Yuknis, highly qualified expert, Business and Investment Strategy, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army & the Army Science Board, was one of the 35 Defense-Industry guests who engaged in one-on-one discussions with students. He outlined the difference between industry and the military and highlighted that understanding and navigating differences is key to a successful partnership between industries and the military.
Industry Day exchanges with US Army War College students reflected the complexity and scope of the Defense Industry, and the depth of discussions made possible by these representatives:
Keith Barclay, Director, Strategy & Growth, General Dynamics Land Systems
Keirn Brown, Senior International and Defense Advisor, RAND Corporation
Patrick Callahan, Chief Executive Officer, AirBoss Defense Group
John Chadbourne, Senior Vice President Washington DC Operations, AM General LLC
Anthony Crutchfield, Vice President, Army Systems Defense, Space, and Security Government Operations, Boeing Company
Kim Denver, Senior Vice President, Chief Corporate Contracts Executive, Leidos, Inc.
Edward Fortunato, Vice President, Army Aviation Programs, Lockheed Martin Government Affairs
Christopher Gehler, Vice President, and Program Director, FARA Bell
Bradley Hittle, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Rheinmetall Systems, LLC
Frank Hull, Director, Army Systems, Defense, Space & Security Government Operations, Boeing Company
James Miller, Senior Director, Business Development, Combat Mission Systems, BAE Systems
William Morris, Executive Director, Army Programs, Military Systems, G.E. Aviation
Roger Nadeau, Senior Vice President, American Business Development Group
Jim Rogers, Vice President, Army Programs Integration, Lockheed Martin Government Affairs
Randolph Rotte, Director of Global Sales & Marketing, Cargo Helicopter and Future Vertical Lift Programs, Boeing Company
Christopher Thompson, Director T700 US Military Programs, G.E. Aviation
Marion Van Fosson, President & Chief Executive Officer, Sechan Electronics
Mark Stock, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, AM General LLC
Patrick Donahue, Vice President, Lockheed Martin Government Affairs, Army and SOF Programs
Mike Mudd, Strategy and Business Director, Sikorsky Aircraft
Clark Lindner, Director of Global Sales and Strategy, Textron Systems
Kathy Hildreth, Co-Founder of M1 Support Services
Jim Cannon, CEO, AM General LLC
Mike Hansen, Deputy Chief of DLA Acquisition Operations, DLA
John Dorrian, Sikorsky Communications, Sikorsky Aircraft