Defense Associations meet with Defense Secretary Carter and Under Secretary Kendall for Joint Government/Industry Discussions

Press Release Graphic

Arlington, Va. — Three major defense trade associations met with Secretary of Defense, Dr. Ashton Carter and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall at the offices of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) today to discuss a range of issues critical to the aerospace and defense industry. The CEOs and senior leadership of AIA, the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), and the Professional Services Council (PSC), provided the defense leaders with direct insight and better understanding of the challenges that the aerospace and defense industry faces in today’s unique acquisition and budget environment. 

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook shared Secretary Carter’s sentiment from the meeting during the Department of Defense press briefing this afternoon, calling it a “productive meeting with key industrial partners.”

“It’s important for industry and government to have open and frank dialogue, especially on the most difficult problems,” said AIA President and CEO David F. Melcher. “As the voice of America’s aerospace and defense industry, AIA strives to convene stakeholders to address matters of importance to our industry and to the nation.  Based on what I heard around the table, we accomplished that here today.”

“We are all committed to supporting a strong and innovative national defense,” said NDIA President and CEO Gen. Craig McKinley, USAF (Ret.). “Incorporating large, mid-sized and small businesses into the discussion ensures the safety and security of our nation through the development of the best products and technology possible. As always, we appreciate the ongoing and open conversations with Secretary Carter and Under Secretary Kendall as we work together in the best interest of our national security.”

“Today’s session addressed important issues for both the short- and long-term government- industry partnership,” PSC Executive Vice President and Counsel Alan Chvotkin. “Continuing to provide DoD with the perspectives and experiences of PSC’s member companies – and hearing directly from the department’s senior leadership – is exactly the right path forward on our shared objectives.” 

Topics from today’s meeting included the Defense Department’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposal now before Congress, innovation in both government and industry, personnel and resource management, and the importance of security cooperation with our international partners and others.