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Special submission from NAWCTSD
Attendees of the event were welcomed by Small Business Programs representatives, Tara Wagner from PEO STRI and Anthony Delicati from NAWCTSD. Delicati explained that the Small Business Information Forums were first started about a year ago, and they can be expected to be held quarterly from now on.
“We are here today to give you (small businesses) an opportunity to hear directly from the senior leaders across the commands here in the research park and beyond. They are going to tell you how they feel that small business may be able to assist them in achieving organizational objectives and missions,” Delicati said.
After the introductions, Kent Gritton, Director of the Joint Training Integration and Evaluation Center explained the role of Team Orlando, describing it as “a coalition of the willing.”
The general went on to discuss PEO STRI’s priorities and how they relate to small businesses.
Following Maddux, NAWCTSD Commanding Officer, Capt. Wes Naylor talked about his personal connections to small business. “I come from a family of small business people. My mother, my sister and my father are all small business people,” Naylor said highlighting the fact his mother still runs a farm that has been in the family for 150 years.
“Small business is very near and dear to my heart,” he said. “It truly is the engine of America,” Naylor said. He explained how critical small businesses are, pointing out that even large business need to rely on small business subcontractors to get the job done. “We actually do put a lot of pass-through money out to small business,” he added.
Naylor encouraged small businesses to think of themselves as a part of a larger government-industry team. “My challenge to you is to not only interface with us, but also reach out with others in the industry.” He encouraged small business to seek “industry mentors” to help them “work in the system as a part of the team.”
NAWCTSD’s commanding officer is optimistic about the future of military modeling and simulation. “I tell people that if you’re going to be in one sector in DOD, training, modelling and simulation is the field to be in, especially in regard to the Navy. We saw a 20 percent increase in our top line at NAWCTSD last year. We’re looking at probably another 20 percent increase in our top line this year, so the work is there.”
Naylor explained how the Navy’s senior leadership realizes that modeling and simulation-based training is critical to readiness. “We have a responsibility to be fiscally responsible and to execute the taxpayers’ dollars in a way that gets the training done, ensures proficiency, and does it in a cost effective manner. Across DOD and DON it is not even an argument anymore as to whether immersive environments, gaming technology, simulation are things that we should look at in order to build (warfighter) proficiency. It’s now a requirement.”
Naylor closed with an invitation to small businesses. “We are reaching out to you. If you want to talk to us, come see us; we make the time for that. If you want us to come visit you, we love to do that. We want you to engage us,” he said.
The Skipper said communication between NAWCTSD and industry should ideally take place at all levels of the workforce. “It’s important for your engineers to get together with our engineers – for your working level to get together with our working level. If our folks don’t know what you have, then the Navy doesn’t know what you have, so you have to make sure you are building those relationships.”
In addition to PEO STRI and NAWCTSD, other Team Orlando organizations represented at the meet and greet included representatives from:
• PM TRASYS — US Marines Program Manager Training Systems
• AFAMS — US Air Force Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation
• RDECOM STTC — US Army Research Development and Engineering Command Simulation and Training Technology Center
• SPAWAR PEO EIS — Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Program Executive Officer for Enterprise Information Systems
• JTIEC — Joint Training Integration and Evaluation Center
• FLETC — Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
• VA SimLEARN — Veterans Health Administration – SimLEARN
• ADL — Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative
• IST — Institute for Simulation & Training at UCF
• DoD OSBP — Department of Defense Office of Small Business Programs
• NCS — National Center for Simulation
Team Orlando is a growing community of organizations across Defense, Government, Industry and Academia working together to accomplish their respective missions with a common goal of improving human performance through simulation.
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