It's all about maintaining our ability to surge, said CCAD's new chief of the Business Development Office, Bob Straiton.

The former executive officer for the Army ROTC program at Texas A&M Corpus-Christi and lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves was speaking of what he feels should be one of the depot's primary goals in preparation for a decrease in DoD workload in conjunction with a slowing of the Global War on Terrorism.

"Historically depot workloads from the Department of Defense tends to slow down as wartime subsides," said Straiton. "That is why it is so important to maintain the relevancy of the depot within DoD and not just look to traditional means of gaining workload."

Not that traditional means of acquiring DoD workload should be considered an afterthought. According to Straiton, a significant role of the Business Development Office is its work with Force Modernization.

"We have three folks in our office working with the Program Executive Office on Force Modernization," began Straiton. "What that basically involves is when the Army is procuring a new weapon system we make sure the Depot is in a position to support that system."

Some of the "nontraditional" ways Straiton mentioned of achieving workload are Public-Private Partnerships and Public-Public Partnerships.

"One of the major roles of the Business Development Office here at CCAD is to serve as a liaison between the Depot and our OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers)," said Straiton.

Straiton continued, "Having our four OEMs-Boeing, Sikorsky, Honeywell and GE-on site has been a tremendous asset for the Depot. The OEM's possess the expertise and knowledge about the aircraft we support, because they created them. They have done all the necessary research and development, so they have a level of knowledge that although CCAD would be capable of achieving, it would take a great amount of time and resources."

Straiton also pointed to Public-Public Partnerships, like the wildly successful program with Tobyhanna Army Depot. Tobyhanna has partnered with CCAD to reduce turnaround-time and improve the quality of avionics support.

"Being able to help relieve other DoD branches of workload as needed is critical to our success," said Straiton.

Straiton, who assumed his new position this past November, went on to say how the onslaught of awards, certifications and accolades (including the Shingo Public Sector Bronze Medallion, ISO 9001:2000 certification, AS9100 certification and AS9110 certification) CCAD has achieved in recent years, has helped to make it easier for the Business Development Office to do its job.

"When we go out and try to compete for a contract, our certifications and awards show the validity of what we do here at CCAD," said Straiton. "They basically tell our potential business partners that we can do what we say we can do."

Bob Straiton holds a bachelor of arts in history from the former Texas A&I, now Texas A&M Kingsville, a post-bachelor's certificate in Management Information Systems and an Masters of Business Administration from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He has been married to former CPA-turned stay-at-home mom, Meg, for 15 years. They share four children Julia, 13, Robert, 10, Michael, 9 and Samuel, 7.