MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) --
The willingness to implement innovative thinking has kept the Air Force ahead of near-peer competitors for more than 70 years. Innovation is often driven by necessity. The Air Force often finds solutions to some of its challenges by partnering with and employing the ideas of small businesses.
Keeping with the innovation initiatives set by the Air Force, the 6th Contracting Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base hosted its second pitch-day event Jan. 22, in Tampa.
At MacDill AFB Pitch Day, small-business vendors presented proposals to help fulfill requirements, close capability gaps or provide potential technology advancements at the 6th Air Refueling Wing.
“We set up the pitch-day events to expedite the process of securing solutions to some of the difficulties we face at MacDill (AFB),” said Jace Anders, the 6th CONS flight chief. “We cut down on the time of the acquisition significantly because payments are made to small-business owners immediately, and in turn, we are able to obtain goods and services much faster.”
During the pitch day, MacDill AFB leadership selected proposals for signed contracts and received a 50% initial payment on the spot, with the remaining balance to be paid upon contract fulfillment.
Dan Rini, Rini Technologies president, was awarded a contract for his personal cooling system.
“It’s always exciting to get a contract award, but what’s most exciting about this process was the speed,” Rini said. “Usually these deals can take a year, but today, the deal was completed in under an hour.”
The 6th CONS has remained at the forefront of Air Force contracting, and has prioritized Air Force initiatives to bridge the gap for small businesses to enter the world of Department of Defense contract work.
According to the Air Force’s posture statement for fiscal year 2020, “We want to make partnering with the Air Force easy and energizing. We created a new mechanism to get dollars into the hands of small businesses faster than before.”
The pitch-day event resulted in $325,000 worth of contracts awarded to small-business owners.
“It is really important for the government to interact with small businesses,” Anders said. “We want to make sure that small-business owners get a fair opportunity to get on board with government acquisitions.”