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USA looks to industry to maintain technological strength

National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) : 16 January, 2014  (Company News)
A new initiative launched by the NDIA engages defence industry suppliers in delivering technological advantage during periods of budgetary constraints
USA looks to industry to maintain technological strength

Retired Major General Arnold Punaro, Board Chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), has announced that the NDIA will kick off a new industrial base initiative in 2014 to help the Pentagon chart its strategy for managing the defence industrial base during a period of budgetary constraint. The initiative will look to produce evidence-based and actionable proposals that NDIA’s leadership can discuss with executive and legislative branch stakeholders.

“Our country [has] high-quality people, realistic and persistent training and cutting-edge technology and we count on industry to provide that technology,” said Punaro. “Having a technological advantage in war doesn’t happen by accident, and we can’t afford to have that slide backwards. We need a strategy and a plan to preserve it during this period of persistent fiscal constraint. That’s exactly what this initiative aims to produce.”

To lead the effort, Punaro has recruited Brett Lambert, whose resume includes more than 20 years working in the defence and intelligence industry, and most recently a stint in the Pentagon as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy. One of his major achievements in that role was the creation of the sector-by-sector, tier-by-tier analysis of the defence industrial base, a first-ever map of defence industrial capabilities. Lambert will lead a team of industry and policy experts experienced in government-industry collaboration.

“NDIA represents our base at every level and I look forward to working with them to better define and articulate the importance that base provides our [military personnel],” said Lambert. “This effort is all about gathering facts, not advocating for a particular company or sector. NDIA offers a unique platform to produce a fact-based assessment which hopefully will better inform the Department leadership as they make tough programmatic decisions in the years ahead. I have seen from both sides of the industry-government partnership how necessary it is for industry to offer its views to policy makers. We need to put forward the facts to get a conversation started.”

Lambert further explained that the initiative will involve consultation with NDIA’s member base of nearly 1,600 companies. NDIA is defence industry’s largest association and represents defence contractors from Fortune 100 system integrators down to small businesses with just a handful of employees. Lambert sees this as a strength.

“We can’t really say that a plan will work for [the] defence industry unless it accounts for industrial capabilities across product sectors and up and down the supply chain. The industry upon which our [military personnel] depend to accomplish their mission is more global, commercial and financially complex than most recognize.”

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