DAY ONE—JULY 9
Mayor Donald Sutherland welcomed the CSBR group—which included General Jay Lindell (Aerospace and Defense Industry Champion, OEDIT), elected officials and staff (e.g., State Representative Terri Carver and US Senator Gardner’s staffer Andy Merritt), and others—to the Colorado Springs Catalyst Campus. The campus gathers together key elements needed for innovation, technology transfer, and public/private partnerships—and is designed to be a staging platform for entrepreneurial businesses rather than a “Hotel California.”
Orion Storage, located within the Pueblo Airport complex, surprised everyone, including trip leader Joe Rice (Government Relations Director, Lockheed Martin Space Systems): “The road to Mars runs through this dusty warehouse in Pueblo.” The enormous facility houses Orion project modules that have been disassembled for transport on July 19—tests were scheduled to be finished two days after our visit. Rory Ciepiela (Logistics Operations, Lockheed Martin) described the procedure for maintaining chain of custody (per ITAR requirements) of aerospace vehicles and equipment now that the US does not have a shuttle program. Storage facility personnel came up with an innovation that halved the cost of transporting large heat shield equipment: a mobile platform that changed the orientation of the equipment so that it conformed with standard highway transport requirements rather than “wide load”—a savings of about $24,000 for transit between Colorado and Florida.
The nearby Southern Colorado Space Museum/Weisbrod Aircraft Museum is a treasure trove for those fascinated by military history—including secure communications equipment and a statue of Vice Admiral Vivien S. Crea. She was the first woman from any service, as well as the first service member from the US Coast Guard, to serve as the Presidential Military Aide for three years, during which time she carried the nuclear football for President Ronald Reagan.
Down the road is Doss Aviation, the US Air Force’s go-to for initial flight training for just about everyone (about 1500 people per year). The road to space does indeed start in Pueblo, CO, the Home of Heroes!
Portraits of more than 140 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients in the Center for American Values (seen here), where we enjoyed a delicious meal on a land-and-sea theme, reminded all of us that our shared hopes (for honor, integrity, patriotism) are more powerful than our differences. The book of quotes given to each of us captures the larger vision of what matters. Strolling along the mile-plus Pueblo Riverwalk with its inspirational art and historical “aha” moments gave a peaceful close to the day. So much to ponder.
Day One Take-Aways
- NIST MEP program ROI was 14.5: 1 (about $1.91B on its most recent investment of $130M channeled through its 51 partnering MEP centers), according to a 2018 study by the W. E. Upjohn Institute.
- Get kids excited about space exploration before aliens snatch them as adolescents! Elementary school is where workforce development begins. STEM programs help stimulate—and maintain—youth interest in engineering and coding possibilities. Pikes Peak Community College is launching STEM-related programs and hands-on technology courses. Visit the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum.
- Support US space programs and even experience a launch in-person (my grandchildren will love this—from the ground, that is; no suiting up required). Register with Citizens for Space Exploration. Spot the [Space] Station using the NASA map.
- With 23 Olympic sports governing bodies housed there, the sports industry is about a $.5B business in Colorado Springs.
- Aerospace and defense contribute immensely to the economic base of Colorado: number two nationally in private sector employment for the industry. The industry sector in Colorado embraces mega companies (e.g., Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Teledyne, Deloitte & Touche) and micro companies. There’s plenty of room to play for those who understand where supply chain needs exist, show up consistently with relevant expertise and products, and meet eligibility standards (including compliance with NIST 800-171 security standards).
Day One Video Wrap
Barbarous Neologistic Jargon (phrase coined by Mr. Teunis, my amazing high school English teacher)
SCIF = Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility. A SCIF is a facility that is designed, built, and used according to rigorous physical and logical access control specifications (ICS 705-1) to secure government-classified information assets. A formal certification process exists to validate SCIFs, which may be constructed as a permanent or temporary facility, and as a standalone facility or subsection of a larger one (e.g., the Situation Room of the White House).
SID = Security in Depth. SID is a holistic approach for protecting physical, communications, data, and personnel systems that recommends hardening all system components at multiple levels.
ITAR = International Traffic in Arms Regulations. This federal mandate is the national security defense corollary to the export administration regulations (EAR) and limits access by foreign nationals to certain controlled products and information, among other provisions.
Nuclear football = A briefcase that contains what is needed for the US President to authorize a nuclear attack when the President is away from a fixed command center (e.g., Situation Room).
Manufacturer’s Edge, chief sponsor of the road trip, was represented by Tom Bugnitz, Ali Recek, and Jennifer Kurtz.