Marine Corps Opportunities Abound for Small Businesses
Sensors and fires are two hot areas for contracting.
Small businesses can find many areas for doing business with the U.S. Marine Corps, if they research the field properly, says the head of a Corps small business office. Kyle Beagle, associate director of Marine Corps Systems Command (SYSCOM) Office of Small Business, told attendees at a virtual meeting of the AFCEA Small Business Committee that the Corps will be looking to boost contracting with small businesses in the coming year. But companies must be prepared to work with the Marine Corps early in the process if they are to be a contractor.
“Do your homework,” Beagle told audience members. “Know who you’re trying to target in the Marine Corps, and know what area you’re trying to target.”
He emphasized that would-be contractors should read two key documents—the Commandant’s Planning Guidance and Force Design 2030. The guidance was posted in July of last year, and the force design was released in March of this year. “Read them, read up on what the Marine Corps plans to be doing in the future and where we see ourselves going, and also understand the structure of the Marine Corps,” he declared. It is important for businesses to know whether to target a SYSCOM office or an installation and logistics (I&L) office.
The U.S. Navy has $88.5 million to spend on small business, he said, and SYSCOM is looking to exceed its achievements in small business contracting. This includes a greater push for women-owned and HUBZone businesses, Beagle said. SYSCOM will be spending “a lot more dollars as a whole in this fiscal year,” he added.
SYSCOM has a lot of primes and subcontractors, he continued. The office has many opportunities for small businesses in those contracts, and it is happy to connect small businesses with primes. Marine Corps I&L focuses more on service contracts, and engineering services is one of the biggest small business areas.
One Marine Corps area that will see increased budgetary funding is long-range fires, he stated. Another key area is sensors, and the Corps is looking for a cutting-edge company to be a part of a requirement for sensors. Among niche areas, artificial intelligence and data analytics are high on the commandant’s wish list for war gaming.
Beagle alerted attendees to keep an eye out for the upcoming SYSCOM forecast, saying it will have good information in it.