Wednesday, August 24, 2011

REF Seeks SB Nimbleness for Solutions

Our community is lucky to have a new, dynamic Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA), Jimmy Collins. Mr. Collins wants to connect Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber members to Army procurement opportunities.

First focus: the Rapid Equipping Force (REF) portal that has been responsible for several of the gains made in quickly equipping Stryker Brigade Combat Teams from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

During every war, Army units are confronted with shortfalls that require immediate action to neutralize an adaptive enemy. These urgent warfighting needs often emerge faster than the institutional acquisition processes can address them.

In November 2002, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army created the REF as a unique, singular organization designed to address an Army-wide, systemic deficiency in providing immediate and innovative technology solutions.

Many of the most innovative solutions the Army has employed have come from small businesses, yet the Army is challenged with making this part of the business community aware of both their requirements and the opportunities to partner with them to better serve our soldiers.

Enclosed is an information paper about the REF to help increase awareness among small businesses about ways they can contribute to satisfying our soldiers most urgent equipment needs. Look for future articles in the coming weeks with more detailed information on REF's current focus areas and the most urgent problems to solve.

The REF is located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Together, small businesses can meet critical warfighter needs faster.

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