By mid-March the U.S. had more cases of COVID-19 than any other country. This virus has cut a destructive swath, an unseen enemy where the front lines of the battle are in the nation’s hospitals rather than on the ground, air, or sea. The DOD quickly mobilized to leverage their existing processes, networks, and logistics to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with critically needed supplies. NCMS is working alongside the DOD during this global crisis, tapping into the capabilities our manufacturing partners who immediately answered the call.
On March 25, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ms. Ellen Lord established the COVID-19 Joint Acquisition Task Force (JATF). Our partners within the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel Readiness have been laser focused on aligning the collaborative relationships with the defense industrial base. The JATF aligns with the broader DOD COVID-19 Task Force, and through it serves as the single-entry point to the DOD acquisition enterprise to address the inter-agency’s requests for acquisition assistance.
Within hours of the request, an NCMS COVID-19 Assist web portal was created. This site is serving as a data gateway for capabilities, technologies, and readiness levels from industries large and small to be shared with the JATF. Manufacturers from around the country responded quickly. Also, on the site are informational materials, such as links to events, opportunities, and resources.
From global companies such as large commercial airlines who could alter their fabrication capabilities from airline components to ventilator parts, to small manufacturing shops who were willing to transform their manufacturing equipment from picture frames to face shields—hundreds of companies selflessly offered what they could.
NCMS is a trusted source within the U.S. Manufacturing sector, the JATF and other groups looked to us to act as liaisons to broadcast funding opportunities and Requests for Proposals such as the following.
- Army Research Lab (ARL) Requests Support for COVID-19 Response
- Medical Mask Materials and Fabricators-Defense Logistics Agency
- Request for Proposals for Critically-Needed Ventilator Consumables
- Request for White Paper Proposal for DPA Title III Funding
Within a day, 500 white paper proposals from companies around the country were sent to NCMS. Those that met all criteria were formatted, organized and sent to the JATF for evaluation within hours.
NCMS rapidly created informational presentations or shared information from collaborative organizations to assist our partner network understand complex governmental initiatives that affect the way business is done during these unprecedented times.
Those efforts are just a small sampling of how the DOD and NCMS are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. While the battle is still being waged against this virus, the manufacturers, researchers, and non-profits are united in this fight, and we will win!