Our Association Is on the Move
by Lawrence P. Farrell, Jr.
Our magazine this month features one of the flagship products of
the association, the National Defense Mega Directory. For years,
it has been one of the most widely used reference guides for the
I do not intend, in this space, to describe in detail the value
of the Mega Directory. You can see that for yourself.
The publication of our annual directory, however, presents an opportune
time to remind current members and inform potential new members
of the association about NDIA’s programs, our vision for the
future of our community and about the numerous opportunities that
are available to those who want to get involved.
As you can see by glancing through the pages of our directory,
our association is growing and expanding its scope in many ways.
Of note is the fact that we now have two new affiliate organizations:
the Precision Strike Association and the National Correlation Working
Group. Both these groups bring unique talents and expertise to NDIA.
We are pleased to have them onboard. They join our other affiliates,
the National Training Systems Association, the Association For Enterprise
Integration and Women in Defense.
Needless to say, these affiliates are vibrant organizations and,
like NDIA, always are seeking ways to innovate their programs and
make them more relevant to current national and global defense priorities.
Our long-term objective is for NDIA to address every piece of the
defense industrial base. Our continued growth in affiliates is part
of that program.
In addition to new affiliates, we have revamped our industrial
committees, which are now called “divisions.” Our divisions
are at the core of what NDIA is about. They are composed of industry
and government volunteers who invest much time and effort to define,
articulate and coordinate important issues, which matter to both
the private and the public sectors.
If you have not yet signed up to participate in one of our divisions,
you should consider doing so. A detailed description of each division’s
mission and capabilities is included in this edition of our directory.
We will continue to adjust the mission focus of our divisions to
keep them relevant to current and emerging defense issues.
We also have a section devoted to our chapters. There are many
opportunities to get involved with NDIA chapters nationwide. Like
the divisions, they offer invaluable networking venues for military,
government civilians and industry executives to team up on critical
issues that affect our national security.
Additionally, we are working on several other projects aimed at
enhancing our value to members.
For example, we are trying to develop new ideas and concepts for
studies, which would be sponsored by our divisions. NDIA divisions
already have published a number of renowned studies on topics such
as a ballistic missile threats, submersible technologies and the
state of the U.S. space industrial base. But we want to conduct
more studies in the future, on topics that address many of the burning
issues in the defense industry today, as well as the needs of our
In the post-9/11 era, we obviously are putting more resources into
our support for homeland security. We have established a Homeland
Security Coalition, which successfully sponsored a major symposium
on the West Coast this summer and has plans for many more top-notch
technical programs and industry-government exchanges.
Even though our heritage is about our work with the Defense Department,
we are now expanding our reach into other federal agencies, particularly
those dealing with homeland security.
It is not clear today what the exact makeup of the recently-announced
Department of Homeland Security will be. But, as plans for standing
up that new agency continue, we are taking a proactive role in establishing
ties with the Coast Guard, the Veterans Administration, the State
Department and organizations that have not traditionally been in
our radar scope. We are confident that these efforts will help the
nation’s cause in terms of homeland security. We have just
concluded two very successful events with the Coast Guard highlighting
the new Deepwater Program, and have on tap a conference with the
Veterans Administration at the Ronald Reagan building, in Washington,
As I stated before, the opportunities to get involved are plentiful.
At NDIA, we are looking forward to the years ahead, which will be
challenging but nonetheless stimulating for the defense industry,
the military customers and the civilian leadership.
Don’t hesitate to contact our offices if you have any specific
initiatives you would like to discuss or if you would like to know
more about our divisions and affiliates. Our fundamental objective
is to keep a tight focus on the three elements of our mission: 1)
provide a framework for a legal and ethical dialogue between government
and industry, 2) advocate for a strong, healthy industrial base
and 3) support the development and production of cutting-edge weapons
systems for our men and women in uniform. We will perform this mission
as we look to constantly improve the services we provide to our