Eielson Airmen build partnerships, reach out to Alaskan businesses

  • Published
  • By Capt. Kay M. Nissen
  • 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Members of the 354th Fighter Wing joined their Army counterparts at an industry event, which reached out to local business owners in Fairbanks and Anchorage, Nov. 14, 2018.

The event dubbed “Interior Alaska Industry Day,” gathered more than 200 Alaskan business leaders in order to answer questions, as well as inform and educate on the contracting processes with the Federal Government.

"The purpose of today's event was to inform industry of upcoming opportunities and break down barriers between us and industry,” said Maj. Cal Gentry, 354th Contracting Squadron commander. “This is important because partnerships matter and we strive to support local businesses.”

The 354 CONS brought 10 contracting officers, as well as legal and finance officers to the event to promote open and transparent information sharing. This past year, the contracting squadron awarded nearly 80% of all contract dollars to Alaskan businesses.

"Building relationships with our business partners is more than just creating opportunities. It is absolutely critical to our mission success," said Col. Chad BonDurant, 354th Mission Support Group commander. "We rely on our local community and business owners to work with our Airmen so we can execute the mission."

During the industry event, Air Force and Army contracting offices forecasted 60 construction projects for interior Alaska during fiscal year 2019. Many of the projects will directly support Eielson Air Force Base’s forthcoming mission to fully operate two combat-ready F-35 squadrons.