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This article was Originally Published on Aug 25, 2005 in Volume: 4  Issue: 2

Growing the Aerospace Base

Industry group launches drive for long-term development of defense industrial base.

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An aerospace industry group has launched an effort to become more involved in defense issues.

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) recently announced plans for a defense advocacy initiative “to promote positive changes to the nation’s defense capabilities and ensure future safety and security.”

At a luncheon with a small group of aerospace journalists, AIA President John Douglass described how industry leaders had decided to focus for the rest of the year on the defense part of their business base. “We don’t see defense’s long term development being promoted properly,” he said, “or a plan for maintaining the defense industrial base.”

Douglass emphasized the need to protect the nation’s manufacturing capabilities to prepare for global challenges that go beyond the current terrorism threat. For example, he suggested looking at development of a tactical air fighter beyond the F-22 and F-35, to keep the industrial base going and foster the nation’s supply of skilled workers.

Along with involvement on export controls and “buy America” restrictions, Douglass said the association would pay special attention to the subject of acquisition reform, while acknowledging, “We’re not unhappy with the current system.” He pointed with particular interest to the work of the Defense Acquisition Performance Assessment Panel, which is investigating the topic under the leadership of Lieutenant General Ronald T. Kadish (Ret.).

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