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Our association is on the move. (President's Perspective).

Our magazine this month features one of the flagship products of the association, the National Defense Mega Directory. For years, it has been one of the most widely used reference guides for the defense community.

I do not intend, in this space, to describe in derail the value of the Mega Directory. You can see that for yourself.

The publication of our annual directory, however, presents an opportune time to remind current members and inform potential new members of the association about NDIA's programs, our vision for the future of our community and about the numerous opportunities that are available to those who want to get involved.

As you can see by glancing through the pages of our directory, our association is growing and expanding its scope in many ways.

Of note is the fact that we now have two new affiliate organizations: the Precision Strike Association and the National Correlation Working Group. Both these groups bring unique talents and expertise to NDIA. We are pleased to have them onboard. They join our other affiliates, the National Training Systems Association, the Association For Enterprise Integration and Women in Defense.

Needless to say, these affiliates are vibrant organizations and, like NDIA, always are seeking ways to innovate their programs and make them more relevant to current national and global defense priorities. Our long-term objective is for NDIA to address every piece of the defense industrial base. Our continued growth in affiliates is part of that program.

In addition to new affiliates, we have revamped our industrial committees, which are now called "divisions." Our divisions are at the core of what NDIA is about. They are composed of industry and government volunteers who invest much time and effort to define, articulate and coordinate important issues, which matter to both the private and the public sectors.

If you have not yet signed up to participate in one of our divisions, you should consider doing so. A detailed description of each division's mission and capabilities is included in this edition of our directory. We will continue to adjust the mission focus of our divisions to keep them relevant to current and emerging defense issues.

We also have a section devoted to our chapters. There are many opportunities to get involved with NDIA chapters nationwide. Like the divisions, they offer invaluable networking venues for military, government civilians and industry executives to team up on critical issues that affect our national security.

Additionally, we are working on several other projects aimed at enhancing our value to members.

For example, we are trying to develop new ideas and concepts for studies, which would be sponsored by our divisions. NDIA divisions already have published a number of renowned studies on topics such as a ballistic missile threats, submersible technologies and the state of the U.S. space industrial base. But we want to conduct more studies in the future, on topics that address many of the burning issues in the defense industry today, as well as the needs of our government partners.

In the post-9/11 era, we obviously are putting more resources into our support for homeland security. We have established a Homeland Security Coalition, which successfully sponsored a major symposium on the West Coast this summer and has plans for many more top-notch technical programs and industry-government exchanges.

Even though our heritage is about our work with the Defense Department, we are now expanding our reach into other federal agencies, particularly those dealing with homeland security.

It is not clear today what the exact makeup of the recently-announced Department of Homeland Security will be. But, as plans for standing up that new agency continue, we are taking a proactive role in establishing ties with the Coast Guard, the Veterans Administration, the State Department and organizations that have not traditionally been in our radar scope. We are confident that these efforts will help the nation's cause in terms of homeland security. We have just concluded two very successful events with the Coast Guard highlighting the new Deepwater Program, and have on rap a conference with the Veterans Administration at the Ronald Reagan building, in Washington, D.C.

As I stated before, the opportunities to get involved are plentiful. At NDIA, we are looking forward to the years ahead, which will be challenging but nonetheless stimulating for the defense industry, the military customers and the civilian leadership.

Don't hesitate to contact our offices if you have any specific initiatives you would like to discuss or if you would like to know more about our divisions and affiliates. Our fundamental objective is to keep a tight focus on the three elements of our mission: 1) provide a framework for a legal and ethical dialogue between government and industry, 2) advocate for a strong, healthy industrial base and 3) support the development and production of cutting-edge weapons systems for our men and women in uniform. We will perform this mission as we look to constantly improve the services we provide to our members.
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Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Farrell, Lawrence P., Jr.
Publication:National Defense
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2002
Words:833
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