Esper, Lord thank DIB employees for hard work during COVID response

The Pentagon

ARLINGTON, VA – Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Ellen Lord, defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, extended their thanks to employees of the defense industrial base for keeping up their jobs and “your commitment and focus” during the COVID-19 virus response, the Pentagon announced Friday.

 “You are our everyday heroes, and we thank you,” Lord said in a July 17 letter. “Every frontline worker plays an integral role for the nation and our partners and allies” keeping the defense industrial base strong during the coronavirus crisis, she said.

 “It is your unwavering commitment that has helped us support the warfighter, modernize the force and preserve readiness,” Lord said. Her letter is available here.

 In a video widely distributed on social media, Esper noted conversations with many state governors and leaders who commended the steadfastness of the DIB workforce. Because of this, the United States can “continue to execute our national security missions and maintain our military superiority,” he said.

 Esper noted that 1.6 million private-sector jobs are defense related, and 45 percent of that workforce belongs to small business, which makes up about 75 percent of Defense Department contractors. Knowing “this is a difficult time for many of you,” Esper noted the steps DoD has taken to help businesses, both large and small, weather the challenges of working during the pandemic.

 “We will continue to serve alongside you, helping in every way we can,” Esper and Lord both said. “Together, we will persevere and emerge stronger than before.”

 NDIA continues to work closely with DoD on COVID-19-related matters to support the defense industrial base and keep employees and businesses safe and sound. For more information, visit

 Media queries to NDIA should go to Evamarie Socha at Media queries to DoD should go to Air Force Lt. Col. Mike Andrews at

About NDIA

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is America's leading defense industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. NDIA and its members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training, and support for warfighters and first responders through its divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations, and events. For more information, visit