By Marion C. Blakey - The current budget battles and debt debates of an impassioned Congress have made clear that America's aerospace and defense industry faces one of its greatest challenges.
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Ashton D. Carter spoke at a recent Senate Aerospace Luncheon where AIA released a report on defense investment (see Viewpoint in this issue). Senators Patty Murray and Saxby Chambliss addressed the crowd of nearly 100, discussing the contributions of aerospace and defense to our nation and economy. Dr. Carter reviewed the Defense Department's plans to be more efficient in the face of mounting budget pressures.
Record attendance marked the AIA Board of Governors meeting May 25-26. More than 200 representatives from AIA companies converged in Williamsburg, Va., for two days of business meetings, speakers and panels, with lots of conviviality to boot. The meeting was also an occasion to mark the association's rapid growth in members, which has increased by 50 percent since January 2010.
AIA was taken aback when a draft executive order came to light that would negatively impact all government contractors. Described by the administration as a tool to inject greater transparency and accountability into the contracting process, the draft order would require that companies bidding for government work "disclose certain political contributions and expenditures . . . made within the two years prior to submission of their offer."
A team from Rockwall-Heath High School in Heath, Tex., took first place at the ninth annual Team America Rocketry Challenge finals May 14, besting 99 teams from across the country to earn the title of national champion. The team will compete in an international fly-off at the Paris Air Show against teams from the UK and France. The trip is sponsored by Raytheon Company.
The Board of Governors approved changes to the Supplier Management Council that will enable it to operate more like a council, provide more opportunities for members to get involved, create greater alignment with the larger association and enable it to play a more significant role in strengthening the industrial base and in executing our Federal Budget Education Campaign.
Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller) Robert F. Hale led off AIA's first Chief Financial Officers Council meeting May 24. Held in conjunction with the AIA Board of Governors meeting in Williamsburg, Va., the CFO Council meeting featured a heavy roster of speakers and more than 20 industry participants.
High-strength magnets, computer hard drives, aerospace components, satellites and lasers have something in common – they contain rare earth elements. U.S. rare earth manufacturing began to decline between 1998 and 2005 with China now controlling 95 percent of the rare earth production.
Dale Vinson, senior manager of technical publications at the Lockheed Martin Corporation, was awarded the Leonard Ross Memorial Award May 10 at the AIA Spring Product Support Committee for his longtime contributions to AIA. He has served as chair of the Product Support Committee, leading the Tech Pubs Subcommittee during AIA adoption of S1000D, and spearheaded the updating and maintenance of the Electronic Technical Manual Functionality Matrix.
Congratulations and a very warm welcome to our new Full and Associate Members! We are continuing to break all membership records at AIA and are maintaining historic retention rates. Full Membership has grown by 50 percent since January 2010, with the addition of 52 Full Members. We’ve also added 22 Associate Members this year. We greatly appreciate your membership and the work we are doing together to advance the aerospace and defense industry.
Is sustainability a business strategy or a social myth? This provocative question framed the recent Environmental, Health and Safety Committee spring conference. Ed Fox, Chief Sustainability Officer, Arizona Public Service described his company’s job to successfully provide customers with affordable, reliable electricity produced from clean, diverse sources. Doing so requires engaging with stakeholders, building a talented workforce and acting for the long term.