American forces have been at war for more than 15 years. Combined with spending constraints imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), our armed forces – and our industry – have come under significant strain. Despite the dedication of our troops, and the noble work of our companies, neither the government nor the private sector can operate properly under these conditions; it is no surprise that senior civilian and military leaders have publicly warned that they are struggling to maintain readiness and modernize capability.
In light of this situation, President Trump signed an Executive Order July 21, 2017, requiring a report, “Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States.” The Aerospace Industries Association has begun the process of coordinating and organizing industry’s response to DOD’s initial outreach, and has convened a working group to lead the effort to ensure industry speaks with one voice on the assessment.
As its agenda develops, the working group has begun to focus on four pillars of the industrial base – robust, balanced and stable defense spending, streamlined acquisition policy, a talented workforce, and stewardship of key capabilities – this white paper identifies ten initial priorities spread across these four pillars.