An institution in the military world and a city within itself, Fort Liberty’s resiliency and spirit have come to represent strength and tradition for North Carolinians and military communities alike. In the past year however, Fort Liberty has undergone the beginnings of a series of changes that will lead to forward progress, economic growth, and a breadth of opportunities for North Carolina businesses. New leadership, new funding, and a new name…. factors that are guaranteed to prove change can be for the better.
Approximately one year ago, Fort Liberty welcomed the installment of a new Garrison Commander, Colonel John Wilcox. At the time of his assumption of command, Wilcox emphasized that he views Fort Liberty as his “home,” and in the 15 years his family has spent within the community, “we’ve come to know it to be a special place of special people.” Since his placement, Fort Liberty has seen the departure of several leadership changes, including the departures of Directors at the Department of Public Works and the Department of Human Resources, and the assumption of responsibility by the new Garrison Command Sergeant Major, CSM Gregory Seymour. Wilcox and Seymour have each pledged to encourage all soldiers, civilians, families, and contractors to strive to improve the overall infrastructure and status of Fort Liberty and are personally invested in seeing to the success of upcoming projects.
In addition to new leadership, new funding being directed toward Fort Liberty is sure to add to the success of improvements. The most recent National Defense Authorization Act signed into law authorized more than $27.2 million in military construction projects specifically for Fort Liberty. Per North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis, this funding will ensure that Fort Liberty will “have the support and resources they need to continue to play a critical role in protecting our nation.” Projects funded through this measure include a microgrid and emergency water system, improving the self-sufficiency of installation infrastructure and greatly reducing critical threats to that infrastructure.
Perhaps the most talked about “new” for the installation is the highly discussed and anticipated transition from Fort Bragg to Fort Liberty. Identified as one of nine Army installations to undergo a name change, the official announcement came on January 5 to “begin full implementation” of the recommendations of the Commission on the Naming of Items of the Department of Defense. Economically, this change is expected to cost approximately $6.37 million. According to the Commission, the transition to the new names, including that of Fort Bragg to Fort Liberty, is to take place before the end of this year. Fort Liberty is getting ahead of the game, so to speak, by formally changing its name in a dedication ceremony taking place on the installation on June 2.
What do these changes mean for the North Carolina small business community? Put quite simply, these changes could equal millions of contract dollars at large, readily attainable for those small businesses located in Fort Liberty’s own North Carolina backyard. Contracting and subcontracting acquisition tools, including Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity Contracts (IDIQ), Multiple Award Task Order Contracts (MATOC), Government Purchase Card purchases, and other transactional authorities have already begun to be solicited through the Sam.gov website. Commercial off-the-shelf products will also be solicited; new signage, new swag, new products, new marketing, new branding…. the possibilities for product sales are endless.
NCMBC resources are available to all North Carolina-based businesses that may need assistance or direction moving forward in the federal market. The NCMBC.us website includes a large collection of free resources including webinars on all levels of federal procurement, a checklist on “Getting Started in the Federal Market,” regionally based Business Development Professionals, a team of Strategic Industry Professionals prepared to support, and other tips and assistance on proposal writing, marketing, and networking. NCMBC also offers several statewide events including the recent Southeast Region Federal Construction, Infrastructure and Environmental Summit that took place April 12-13 in Wilmington, NC. This Summit included panels from the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Public Works, and other relevant organizations giving a preview of upcoming projects on Fort Liberty and other North Carolina military installations, providing an in-depth look at future opportunities coming to the small business community. For more information on the NCMBC, visit: www.ncmbc.us.
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