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Laughlin hosts first Small Business Industry Day

  • Published
  • By Capt. Christine Del Aguila
  • 47th Flying Training Wing

The 47th Contracting Squadron at Laughlin AFB hosted its first ever Small Business Industry Day Friday, April 26, 2024. The event brought over 25 local and small businesses on base to educate on how to partner with the base for upcoming construction projects and services needed.

“New training aircraft will require building new infrastructure, and new backbones into the way we train and teach,” said Col. Kevin A. Davidson, 47th Flying Training Wing commander. “From maintenance, operations, to support, everything is going to have opportunity to change and that starts within a couple years.”

The event goals aimed to connect with local contractors who are invested within the Del Rio community to reduce the procurement lead time.

“This is the best time for you to be here and start this process. We have 25 businesses here that do not currently have what’s required to operate under government contracts,” said Davidson. “We’re excited to be able to teach you that process.”

The Small Business Industry Day covered how companies do business with the government, Government Purchase Cards, and included an overview of construction and service projects for Fiscal Year 2024 and upcoming ones in 2025 and beyond.

“The mission here is increasing and we have a lot of infrastructure to build and improve,” said Maj. Matthew Thorne, 47th Contracting Squadron commander. “This is an opportunity for you to be a part of that impact.”

After lunch, contractor capability briefings occurred, as well as one-on-one briefings with businesses that requested them with the 47th Contracting Squadron Personnel.

“In order to increase competition, it’s important to educate our local businesses and partner to give them the information on how to do business with the government,” said Jesus Perez, 47th Contracting Squadron Director of Business and Del Rio native. “With all our future construction projects, we owe it to our Del Rio Small Businesses to afford them the opportunity to be competitive and have a chance to do business with Laughlin.”

The 47th Contracting Squadron oversees all money used by Laughlin for services, commodities, and construction contracts. They serve as the designated representatives of the government, possessing exclusive authority to execute contracts or agreements that obligate the Governments appropriated funds.

“We prepared for this event for months to ensure it was a success,” said Perez. “We look forward to the new partnerships we’ve developed with local businesses through this event and even more companies in future Laughlin Small Business Industry Days to come.”

If you would like to be considered for future Industry Days at Laughlin AFB, please contact Mr. Jesus Perez, Director of Business Operations for Laughlin AFB at (830) 298-5641.