WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — The Air Force Materiel Command’s Small Business Office was recently presented with the 2017 Verdure Award of Excellence for their efforts in championing small business solutions for warfighter needs.
The Verdure Award recognizes small business teams that best demonstrate industrial competitiveness and innovative solutions that balance the development of efficient buying methods and the utilization of small business.
During fiscal year 2017, AFMC managed more than 73 percent of the Air Force contract spending and 56 percent of the Air Force small business prime awards. To put that into perspective, of the $39 billion budget obligated by the AFMC finance team, $6 billion was awarded to small businesses.
“These are the highest percentages for three years, more than double our dollars,” said Farris Welsh, the AFMC Small Business Executive Director.
Welsh further explained that AFMC efforts aligned directly with Department of Defense objectives that include strengthening alliances by bringing innovative, agile, cost-effective solutions to the table.
The SBO’s objectives align with the DOD’s mission to create and deliver strategies that bring these solutions to the Air Force. Small businesses are not as bureaucratic. They derive quick solutions to problems at reasonable prices.
“In 2017, small businesses across the command received approximately 11 thousand contract awards for things ranging from the Government Purchase Card to multi-million dollar supplies and service awards,” said Matthew Howard, SBO specialist at AFMC.
“This is great for us because it demonstrates we can successfully bring small business and DOD together to solve some of our Nation’s most challenging problems,” said Welsh.
Welsh often conducts multiple small business outreach events throughout the command. Through speeches, briefings and panel discussions, participants are able to examine different aspects of small business interaction with government agencies. The goal is always to assist small businesses to become, or continue to be, strong members of the industrial base.
The Verdure win by AFMC enabled an overall Air Force nomination for a prestigious Vanguard Award as the DOD component that best exemplifies a commitment to small business industrial competitiveness. The Vanguard Award is a group of five DOD small business awards. The Verdure is one of the five awards.
“That’s the bottom line. Small business brings cost-effective, Band-Aid solutions to Airmen. These solutions successfully support society but also transfer to the commercial arena. After all, Wright Brothers Airplanes was a small business,” said Walsh.