I believe in teamwork. While individuals often get the credit, it’s great teams that accomplish great things. It’s why I’m such a fan of the National Armaments Consortium’s approach to its mission—hand-in-hand with the DoD Ordnance Technology Consortium, the NAC/DOTC alliance places the Warfighter’s needs at the center of every conversation and demands teamwork on the part of its membership.
In the spring of every year, members of the NAC gather together to seek a better understanding of current and future warfighting challenges, to collaborate, and to meet those challenges head-on. I love the construct—the chance to stand apart from day-to-day business commitments, and remind ourselves just who and why we serve. The defense of liberty requires an extraordinary personal and professional commitment on the part of America’s Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines—a commitment that I greatly admire, and that those of us in the industry work hard to honor through our own dedication to exceptional performance. Several years ago, I was privileged to attend a briefing by Mr. James “Hondo” Geurts, then Acquisition Executive, USSOCOM, now Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition. Mr. Geurts’ advice was simple, “Never measure your importance by your proximity to the fight.” A generous perspective that stuck with me. In a similar way, my membership and participation in the National Armaments Consortium reminds me of that noble cause.
What’s more, the NAC/DOTC is backed by the power of an “Other Transaction Authority/Agreement”. Or, more commonly, an “OTA”. The OTA contracting model was designed by Congress to help streamline America’s ability to solicit, acquire, and deliver innovative solutions to the Warfighter. OTA’s offer an attractive alternative to the traditional and burdensome Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), and perhaps most importantly, include a “baked-in” incentive for collaboration. Without significant participation on the part of one or more “non-traditional defense contractors” (read, “small business”), a large prime contractor is required to contribute 1/3 of the total program cost. With NTDC participation, the government covers the entire amount—effectively mandating large business/small business teaming. The result? An eager coalition of America’s very best large and small businesses working together to ensure our Nation’s defense.
For these reasons, and more, I am personally and professionally committed to the continued success of the NAC/DOTC Consortium. As we like to say here at McCormick Stevenson: “We Serve America’s Heroes, as Only Engineers Can”.
See you next year… If not before!