2018 Sea-Air-Space Exposition and Forum for SBIR/STTR Transition

April 18, 2018

Rear Adm. Matthew J. Kohler, Commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) spoke to a group of more than 100 on May 17 at the Sea-Air-Space “Global Maritime Expo,” at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. (U. S. Navy photo by Robert Fluegel / Released)

The Navy League held its annual Sea-Air-Space Expo at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. The three day event started on April 11th, and this is the the fourth year in a row I’ve attended. The Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition was founded in 1965 as a means of bringing together the U.S. defense industrial base, private-sector U.S. companies, and key military decision makers at an innovative, educational, professional maritime based event. Hosted in the heart of the Washington DC area, Sea-Air-Space is now the largest maritime exposition in the U.S. and continues to be an invaluable extension of the Navy League’s mission of maritime policy education and sea service support.

In addition to the prime contractors and many subprime contractors exhibiting on the show floor, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) and Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) provided informational sessions throughout each day of the event. Rear Admiral G. Dean Peters, the program executive officer overseeing more than half of the Navy’s aircraft inventory, spoke about budget increases and how that translates to more aircraft and better systems for naval aviators. Click here for details on the admiral’s remarks. Together, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps form the world’s second-largest air force, with over 3,700 aircraft of all types in service.

Sea-Air-Space had over 290 exhibitors ranging from the big primes to smaller companies. Some of our member companies had a exhibits, including L3, Curtiss-Wright, and BAE. Walking the floor was a great way to meet people and see equipment and assemblies made on Long Island.

Running concurrently with Sea-Air-Space, and in the same convention center, was the annual Department of the Navy Forum for SBIR/STTR Transition (FST), which is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience first-hand the future of the Navy and Marine Corps. More than 70 businesses were there, exhibiting all types of innovative products. Use the following link to visit their Virtual Transition Marketplace. Whether you see it online, live on the Exhibit Hall, hear about it during the Tech Talks or experience it during a 1-on-1 or networking event, you’ll see why we must be focused on Tomorrow’s Technology, Today.

As you can see from the NAVY FST Schedule of Events, the Forum provided an excellent opportunity for small businesses to attend very informative education sessions regarding the Navy’s Small Business Programs, and to network with the individuals responsible for administering these programs. Further, there were also networking opportunities with the people responsible for the prime contractors’ small business programs as well.

The Sea-Air-Space Expositions and the FST are worthwhile events and Maryland is less than four hours away by car. Perhaps next year ADDAPT can organize a larger group to make the trip down to DC for the day. For more information, please contact Bob Arnold, Jr. at ra2@arnoldstandard.com.