Industry Day brings high-tech companies to AFTAC
By Susan A. Romano, AFTAC Public Affairs
/ Published February 27, 2018
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
The Air Force Technical Applications Center hosted a Nuclear Treaty Monitoring Industry Day Feb. 9 to give high-tech companies an opportunity to network with center scientists, engineers and technicians and share ideas about the capabilities contractors can offer that affect AFTAC’s mission areas.
Held at Patrick AFB’s Shark Center, more than three dozen agencies attended to discuss topic areas ranging from geophysics and seismology to directed energy weapons and air and space operations.
AFTAC is the sole organization in the Department of Defense responsible for monitoring nuclear treaties, and operates the largest sensor network in the U.S. Air Force. The center also maintains the U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System – a global network of precision nuclear event detection equipment that can detect disturbances underground, underwater, in space, or in the atmosphere.
Industry Day was held in conjunction with the release of AFTAC’s first Broad Agency Announcement contract vehicle used to efficiently award research and development contracts. The BAA also includes Other Transaction Agreement language, which allows for contracts with companies the government does not traditionally seek partnerships with.
Maj. Kelly Greiner, program manager for Nuclear ISR Field Systems and Industry Day’s event coordinator, was impressed with this year’s turn out and the degree of expertise each attendee brought to the table.
“I was thrilled to see the varied and diverse turnout we had,” said Greiner. “The 38 companies represented large and small businesses, both local and national, as well as from academia. Most haven’t worked with AFTAC in the past, so I’m hoping we can broaden our industry base and allow for an influx of innovative solutions to AFTAC’s most pressing needs.”
Chief Executive Officer of The Morris Analysis Group LLC, John Morris, represented one of the companies that attended Industry Day. His organization focuses on engineering, research and management industries, and has been associated with the DoD for more than 30 years in various capacities.
“The reason I wanted to attend this event was to try and help improve AFTAC’s tech sensor program,” Morris said. “From a business perspective, my company looks for opportunities to integrate cyber into all mission areas, and bring new capabilities and quality platforms to the forefront in order to move the mission space forward. It seemed like a perfect fit to attend.”
After lunch, companies with security clearances were invited to attend a classified session at AFTAC’s headquarters building. Many of the topics discussed pertained to directed energy weapons, materials technology, and air and space operations – significant mission sets that help AFTAC accomplish its nuclear event detection role.
“My company was drawn to this event to see how we can form a partnership with AFTAC and help them find the right IT solution while also mitigating any potential risks,” said Alexandria Faulkner, account executive for Gartner. “We are the largest IT research and advisory firm in the world, equipping businesses with cross-domain solutions to achieve their organizational goals. Participating in events like this is a great opportunity for us.”
While most of the companies that attended Industry Day were from out of town, one owner calls Melbourne, Fla., home, and was excited about attending the event and networking with other professionals from various industries.
“This has been a very informative program,” said Michael Ballard, president and founder of TechRev. “As a systems and software engineering firm and a veteran-owned small business in Brevard County, I am always looking for ways my company can tailor proposals to suit the customer’s needs. Our goal is to introduce solid business practices like cloud applications to older legacy systems while delivering exceptional quality to our clients. I’m glad we had the chance to attend and meet with the AFTAC staff. It was highly beneficial.”