(Annapolis, Maryland, September 5, 2007) -- The B-52 Bomber needs parts. So does the M-1 Tank. In fact, all the nation's older weapons systems have a critical need for tens of thousands of parts nobody manufactures any more. But several agencies concerned with these critical part shortages have just announced a creative solution.
The Defense Logistics Agency's Diminishing Manufacturing Sources, Material Shortages (DMSMS) Program Office, and the military's Joint Council on Aging Aircraft have joined with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) to help connect thousands of veteran-owned small manufacturing companies with the military's databases of needed parts. The Defense Sustainment Consortium (DSC) is spearheading the effort through its National Data and Integration Test Center, and ARINC Engineering Services, LLC will act as the Program Manager.
On August 15, all the stakeholders launched their program-the VetBiz Initiative for National Sustainment (VINS)-by opening the first local VINS office at Pueblo, CO. The Pueblo Economic Development Corporation made in-kind contributions to open the first VINS office, and Congressman John T. Salazar, a member of the Veterans' Affairs committee of Congress, has actively supported the program. Staff from Rep. Salazar's office were present at the VINS opening, along with staff from the offices of Colorado Senators Wayne Allard and Ken Salazar. Also present was businessman Walt Weber, a veteran whose Weber & Sons Manufacturing Company makes parts for military missiles. "We hope many Veterans with qualified manufacturing businesses will be an additional resource to alleviate the backorders for these much-needed parts," Mr. Weber said.
"We believe the nation's Veterans and Disabled Veterans represent a capable and under-utilized resource," stated Dale A. Karraker, the DSC's Executive Director and lead developer of the VINS concept and program. "Taken as a whole, parts needs are spiraling out of control, but individually they are too small to attract attention from Tier-1 prime contractors and manufacturers. The VINS program is not about entitlement-it is about tapping a tremendous pool of talent to resolve our major military sustainment issues."