NAWCAD Lakehurst, small businesses talk opportunities at industry day
Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Lakehurst joined more than 150 members of small business for the fifth annual Lakehurst Small Business Roundtable Industry Day Oct. 30 at the Ocean County Library in Toms River, New Jersey.
The industry day focused on opportunities in Support Equipment (SE) and Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE), which are managed by a team at NAWCAD Lakehurst to assure that fixed and rotary wing aircraft operate safely and effectively from aircraft carriers, air capable ships and expeditionary airfields worldwide.
New this year, was the addition of formal one-on-one introductions between the small businesses and NAWCAD Lakehurst representatives.
"One-on-ones give the NAWCAD Lakehurst program and procurement offices an opportunity to meet with some of the small businesses and learn first-hand what products and services they are capable of providing,” said NAWCAD Lakehurst Office of Small Business Programs Deputy Director Dawn Chartier. “By knowing what small businesses can provide, it helps us meet our mission and ultimately grows our capability to provide products and services to the warfighter faster.”
NAWCAD Lakehurst Officer-In-Charge Cmdr. Walter A. Reynolds opened the event with an overview of the organization and examples of small business success stories. He explained the shared sense of urgency and why it’s important small business seek out opportunities to support the Navy.
“What you bring to us is critical for what our commanders have asked of us right now, and that is we have to find ways to be able to accelerate our timelines of getting critical combat capability to the fleet faster,” Reynolds said. “We want speed, readiness and to be highly responsive and adaptive. We won’t do that without small business.”
Attendees heard briefings from NAWCAD Lakehurst representatives on upcoming opportunities in SE, ALRE, Prototyping and Manufacturing. The Naval Aviation Systems Consortium also briefed its services of connecting small business with government opportunities.
The event was hosted by the Lakehurst Small Business Roundtable, a self-governed organization of independent Small Business companies formed in 2014 to provide a “forum for government and industry to collaborate in order to enhance small business participation in naval aviation contracts and address small business issues and concerns,” according to its charter.
“Not every organization is small business friendly,” said Sheila Harris-Adams, chair of the Lakehurst Small Business Roundtable. “Not every agency, not every contracting office does a great job in working with small businesses. That’s not the case at NAWCAD Lakehurst. They continue to exceed the small business numbers, they’re our partner in this process, they look to us to help them achieve the mission, and honestly if you’re not working there and you can provide them with support and execute, there’s no reason why you aren’t working there. You just need to make it happen.”