Leaders from major defense contracting firms met with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to discuss the importance of fulfilling contracts on time and on budget, while being assured the relationship between the federal government and defense contractors will continue to benefit both parties down the road.
Attendees included executives from contracting powerhouses Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems, along with General Dynamics, Raytheon, L-3 Communications, Harris Corporation and Boeing.
According to Reuters, Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, quoted Gates telling the executives that he would desire to see “steady, consistent growth in defense budgets.“
The dialogue comes on the same week of the announcement that Gates would serve at least one more year as President Obama“™s Secretary of Defense. Gates is the sole remaining cabinet member from the George W. Bush administration.
“That“™s the best for us. It“™s best for them, so that there“™s predictability and one can plan going forward,“ Morrell said. “The booms and busts that we“™ve experienced over the decades help neither of us frankly. Our partnership is critical to national security.“
Also in attendance were Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn, Pentagon Acquisition Chief Ashton Carter and the Aerospace Industries Association, trade group for U.S. aerospace companies.
Another major point addressed by Gates in the meeting was the reform of rules surrounding the export of items with potential military implications.
“He is among those who (have) championed efforts by the administration to reform the way we“™ve historically done business in this arena,“ Morrell said.