Undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, ellen Lord, briefs reporters in the Pentagon. Credit: DoD
Businesses are chosen based on information provided to DoD leaders by the Defense Logistics Agency and the Defense Contract Management Agency.
WASHINGTON — Businesses are chosen to receive emergency coronavirus rescue funds in the Defense Department based on elements, said the Pentagon’s top procurement official Ellen Lord.
“We’ve got a team” that reports information on a weekly basis to choose which businesses should receive contracts financed under the Defense Production Act,” Lord said June 22 in a Pentagon news conference.
President Trump in April oversaw the Defense Production Act in response. The 1950 law gives authorities spend in sectors critical to national security and to produce purchases to the president emergency.
Six space launch providers in the small launch industry were chosen last week to receive contracts.
Lord said the Pentagon because April has given $472 million in contracts directed at fostering domestic sectors such as fabrics, shipbuilding, aircraft production, and medical equipment. “And we expect more activities will be announced during the next few weeks,” she said. DoD has not revealed the amounts of the small launch contracts.
VOX Space, Space Vector and aevum X-Bow Lab every will receive contracts to launch two missions for government customers during the next 24 weeks.
The small launch business was identified by the Pentagon as one of the industries fiscally impacted by the pandemic as venture funding pulled . By some reports there are more than 120 companies from the launch business and many are not likely to survive.
Financial distress is one of many factors considered in assessing suppliers said Lord.
Lord said firms are chosen by a senior level team — called the Defense Industrial Base Council — that comprises members of the division of the secretary of defense and officials by the military agencies.
“We examine the impact to our readiness and modernization,” said Lord. “So it’s comes down to getting the forces prepared, and the team looks at it and comes to a consensus and makes decisions.”
The investment made by Defense Production Act funding is”critical to help re-open the economy,” Lord said. “The increased production will guarantee the U.S. government gets committed long term industrial ability to help meet the needs of the nation.”