NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (NNS) -- Assistant Secretary of the Navy (ASN), Research Acquisition and Development (RDA), James Geurts participated in a roundtable discussion with Industry Small Business Liaison Officers at the Sea Air Space Expo April 11.
The roundtable discussion, conducted with small business liaison officers from large prime contractors, allowed Secretary Geurts to better understand whether the present Department of the Navy (DON) acquisition policies and practices help or hinder prime contractors in their ability to provide subcontracting opportunities to small businesses.
"It was very reassuring to see that large businesses have a strategy to incorporate small business participation in the acquisition process," said Guerts. "I think it is very important to put the adaptability and innovation of small businesses with the sustained performance and infrastructure of large businesses, to help meet the Navy mission."
Secretary Geurts was joined at the roundtable by Mr. Elliot Branch, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Acquisition and Procurement and Ms. Emily Harman, Director, Department of the Navy Office of Small Business Programs (DON OSBP).
Director Harman, who moderated the discussion, consistently makes a concerted effort to listen and understand the concerns of large and small businesses. "This was a productive meeting, as it allowed senior Navy leadership to hear directly from our large prime contractors. Small businesses are key members of our robust industrial base and resilient supply chain, which are necessary to meet our nation's military and economic objectives," said Harman. "We are looking for ways to utilize small businesses as a strategic advantage as we improve readiness and modernize key capabilities within the Navy and Marine Corps. We intend to continue the dialogue and pilot different approaches to maximize opportunities for small business participation."
After the roundtable, Secretary Geurts along with Ms. Harman conducted a Facebook (FB) Live broadcast to spark dialog and provide information to industry and the public. In the FB Live broadcast, Secretary Geurts articulated his vision in his new role and stressed the importance of small business participation in the DON acquisition lifecycle. He also addressed several questions from the viewing audience.
"This FB Live broadcast was great opportunity to reach out to small businesses to help articulate the DON mission and communicate the importance of small businesses to implementing the National Defense Strategy," said Geurts.
The live broadcast is a part of a larger series from the DON OSBP titled, "Industry Talks."
Director Harman intends to leverage diverse platforms like FB Live to reach businesses seeking opportunities to support the Navy and Marine Corps as prime and subcontractors.
"These talks allow us to reach a wider audience concerning a variety of topics and issues important to small businesses." Open communication with the industrial base allows for greater understanding of the challenges they face and how businesses can get their products, service or technology into the hands of the warfighter," said Harman.
The roundtable discussion and FB Live broadcast highlight Navy leaderships' desire to proactively engage both large and small businesses to ensure that they have tools to provide the warfighter with the products and services to win the fight.
In addition to the roundtable discussion and "Industry Talks" series, DON OSBP conducts outreach events across the country to promote small business participation and demonstrate the importance of small business in the industrial and innovation base. One such event, the DON Gold Coast Small Business Procurement Event, will be held in San Diego, CA on 7 and 8 August 2018. The theme of the event, "Small Business, Sharpening the American Military's Competitive Edge" provides a forum to educate, guide, and assist small businesses in contracting with the DON.
To find out more about the FB Live Broadcast "Industry Talks" series and upcoming news, Like Us on FB at: https://www.facebook.com/NAVYOSBP. For information on how to do business with the Navy and Marine Corps, go to the website at: smallbusiness.navy.mil.
The DON is an advocate for small businesses across the country. The mission of the DON OSBP is to foster acquisition opportunities where small business can best support Sailors, Marines and their families through policy, advocacy, counseling and training.