AIA AS AGGREGATORAugust 03, 2015 | in News
Author: Daniel “Dan” Stohr —
One key role AIA plays is as an aggregator — bringing together stakeholders to discuss topics of importance to the aerospace and defense industry. Last week was a busy one for AIA in that role — we hosted meetings and participated on a panel that demonstrated AIA’s value contributing to policy debates on the major issues of the day.
At AIA’s spring Board of Governors meeting, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the U.S. Government’s commitment to support elements of an aerospace & defense trade initiative, which included calls for senior-level dialogues on key international security cooperation issues. Following Secretary Pritzker’s speech, USG agencies moved quickly to begin the senior-level dialogues called for in the initiative.
On July 28, in conjunction with the quarterly Security Cooperation Industry Group meeting, AIA hosted senior officials Ken Handelman, Todd Chapman and Marcus Jadotte from the Departments of Defense, State and Commerce respectively as they discussed key topics. This was the first high-level dialogue following Secretary Pritzker’s May announcement and at least one additional dialogue is planned for later this year.
Later in the week, AIA COO Bob Durbin served as a panelist on “Defense Acquisition Reform” at a meeting of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Procurement Council. Other panelists included Stan Soloway of the Professional Services Council, Dr. John Hamre of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Dr. Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute. Following keynote remarks by Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the panel addressed such issues as: encouraging innovation in the defense industry by fostering more communication between senior DOD leaders and the broader R&D community; improving procurement accountability by re-balancing acquisition authority between OSD and the services; and speeding up the defense acquisition system by streamlining regulations and improving the acquisition workforce.
And finally, on Friday, July 31, AIA sponsored a Senate Aerospace Caucus luncheon briefing on “UAS Systems: An Unmanned Future” to educate Senate staffers on the potential uses of unmanned systems as well as potential regulatory pitfalls. Speakers included Unmanned Cowboys’ Dyan Gibbens; Kansas State’s Mark Blanks; Amazon.com’s Paul Misener; and Blue Chip UAS’ CEO Andrew Fawcett and COO Clint Stevens. The session also featured a live demonstration of Unmanned Cowboys Atlas UAV.