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Mississippi Defense Initiative Hosts Business Forum on Defense Readiness

Wed, 09/11/2019 - 16:49pm | By: Van Arnold

Business forum groupEighteen years ago, the United States of America was viciously attacked on U.S. soil. As the nation remembers the 9/11 terrorist attacks, emphasis is continually placed on the lessons learned from that horrific day. Among those is to continue improving our state’s defense readiness while building support among our nation’s international allies and partners.

To support that mission, the Mississippi Defense Initiative housed at The University of Southern Mississippi partnered with the Mississippi Development Authority in hosting a two-day Defense Facility Innovation Industry Forum Sept. 10 and 11 in Gulfport, Miss.

Special guests from Naval Air Systems Command’s International Program Office and multiple federal agencies shared key information with state defense contractors and businesses regarding anticipated and pending contracting requirements.

The forum consisted of business-to-business and business-to-government interactions beginning with a day-long tour showcasing infrastructure assets along the Gulf Coast, followed by a forum where business leaders received briefings on federal contracting requirements.

Briefings focused on ways in which the state’s industry partners can provide support vital to the nation’s defense by increasing material readiness and speed of delivering new capabilities to our U.S. Fleet and international partners.

Led by Gov. Phil Bryant, the Mississippi Defense Initiative is a state-wide consortium of federal, state government, academia and local defense business working in collaboration to provide a collective approach for improving U.S. and global support for our defense forces.

About The Mississippi Defense Initiative

Mississippi Defense Initiative led to the creation of the 2019-2023 Statewide Master Plan to align efforts and synergize relationships among military, government, education and private-sector partners. The plan is a guide to protect, grow and diversify defense and national security assets as an economic driver for Mississippi. The planning process consisted of cataloging existing assets and investments; establishing a tangible and achievable roadmap to build capacity; improving missions, facilities, and operations affecting military installations; and creating a strategy for developing a vibrant economy in support of defense. For more information, go to