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Connecting industry and government for mission completion

  • Published
  • By Abigail Meyer
  • Air Force District of Washington

The Air Force District of Washington provides a complex, unique set of skills to the Air Force mission. The AFDW contracting directorate is a prime example of this, it is one of a few major command-level organizations that operates both operationally and tactically- awarding and executing contracts.

“AFDW PK is a unique contracting organization to the Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Mark Mizzell, AFDW’s military deputy for contracting. “AFDW stands alone as a one-off because it operates both as a MAJCOM with contracting oversight of two wings and the contracting squadrons within those wings, and also as an executing entity where it awards and manages contracts to the tune of 25 billion dollars.”

As a way to stay informed about the market and to connect with industry partners, AFDW hosted its annual Industry Week for more than 300 participants at the Gen. Jacob E. Smart Conference Center at Joint Base Andrews, Md., April 5-8, 2022.

 “The whole point of industry week is to share with you all what it is that we do so we can be better teammates. So you have a better understanding of what we do, and we can answer your questions,” said Maj. Gen. Joel Jackson, AFDW commander in his opening address to participants. “We have a large portfolio, everything from helicopter support to cyber infrastructure. We have to have good contractors doing work for us in the NCR or we’re just not going to get our mission done.”

As the premier acquisition entity in the National Capital Region, AFDW contracting works for a larger purpose. It enables and supports AFDW, Air Force Headquarters and the Secretary of the Air Force as well as two wings, the 844th Communications Group, and operationally supports a myriad of other mission partners across the NCR.

The conference sought to increase industry and government interaction and provide information on potential opportunities in coming years. The event included panels, keynotes speakers and opportunities for industry members to meet one-on-one to ask specific questions about publicly posted requirements.

Continuously fostering and building relationships with the industry works toward the goal of strengthening national defense through contract support.

“We do Air Force contracting not just to buy stuff. We’re delivering tailored contracting and acquisition solutions and capabilities to strategic-level decision makers in order to further our Air Force, Defense, and National objectives” Mizzell said. “Further, we’re not holding Industry Week simply for networking, it’s for a bigger purpose and the bigger purpose couldn’t be more evident than what is in the news today with the conflict in Eastern Europe.”