WASHINGTON, March 12, 2015 —
Without the efforts of small businesses across the country, the Defense Department wouldn’t be able to meet the needs of warfighters around the world, Army Lt. Gen. Robert S. Ferrell, the Army's chief information officer, said today.
Ferrell spoke before the presentation of the 2014 Nunn-Perry Awards, which recognize DoD mentor-protégé teams that have excelled in technical developments, cost efficiencies and increased business opportunities for small disadvantaged firms.
Awards went to a total of 14 teams representing 27 companies providing services to three military services and four defense agencies.
Awardees Represent ‘Best, Brightest’
These companies are “the best and the brightest in this program,” said Kenyata L. Wesley, acting director of the Office of Small Business Programs.
Small businesses eligible for the program can spend three years partnered with a qualifying mentor company, developing their workforce’s skills and knowledge.
The program is like a marriage, Wesley told the awardees.
“With marriages, you have good times and you have bad times. But in the most successful marriages -- just like the most successful business arrangements -- you work through those troubled times together.”
He added, “Each and every one of you has hit snags along the way. You've had differences of opinions along the way. But you've weathered that storm.”
And in doing so, Wesley added, the companies have been providing for warfighters -- the most important job of all.
The industries represented at the ceremony make up America's "first team," Ferrell said. "We in the Department of Defense cannot do it alone. We cannot do it without you," the general said of the award winners.
DoD’s Partnership With Industry
"Our partnership with industry has always been the foundation of our security," he said. "... America's small businesses offer a wealth of talent and ingenuity to our armed forces."
The nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States represent an opportunity that the department can't afford to pass up, Ferrell said. The ability of small businesses to develop innovative technologies will keep the U.S. military the best military in the world, he added.
The mentor-protégé dynamic of shared knowledge is vital to business, the general said. This information transfer accelerates the learning process and prepares small businesses to work with the department, Ferrell noted.
"Thank you for helping make the American industrial base more robust, and for keeping our war fighters ready," he said.
This year’s 14 award recipients, by team and military service or DoD agency component, are:
-- The Boeing Company, Huntsville, Alabama, and Victory Solutions, Inc., Huntsville, Alabama, for the Missile Defense Agency;
-- CSC, Falls Church, Virginia, and Strategic Operational Solutions, Inc., Vienna, Virginia, for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency;
-- HP Enterprise Services, Herndon, Virginia, and Emagine IT, Fairfax, Virginia, for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency;
-- L-3 National Security Solutions, Reston, Virginia, and Cyberspace Solutions, Reston, Virginia, for the National Security Agency;
-- Leidos, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Minerva Engineering, Temple, Arizona, for the U.S. Army;
-- Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Huntsville, Alabama, and IERUS Technologies, Inc., Huntsville, Alabama, for the Missile Defense Agency;
-- NCH Chem-Aqua, Inc., Irving, Texas, and Green and Sustainable Services, LLC, Ponder, Texas, for the Defense Contract Management Agency;
-- Planned Systems International, Inc., Columbia, Maryland, and Favor TechConsulting, LLC, Arlington, Virginia, for the Defense Intelligence Agency;
-- Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, and Sonju Industrial, Kalispell, Montana, for the U.S. Navy;
-- Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, and Advanced Powder Solutions, Inc., Cypress, Texas, for the Missile Defense Agency;
-- Rockwell Collins, Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and TEVET LLC, Mosheim, Tennessee, for the Defense Contract Management Agency;
-- TASC, Chantilly, Virginia, and Allegheny Science & Technology, Bridgeport, West Virginia, for the Defense Intelligence Agency;
-- Tec-Masters, Inc., Huntsville, Alabama, and PROJECTXYZ, Inc., Huntsville, Alabama, for the Missile Defense Agency; and
-- Whitney, Bradley & Brown, Inc., Reston, Virginia, and Edaptive Computing, Inc., Dayton, Ohio, for the U.S. Air Force.
(Follow Claudette Roulo on Twitter: @roulododnews)