On August 4, Smith Anderson lawyer David Hayden participated in a panel discussion on WUNC-TV’s “Bottom Line” alongside Tammy Everett, Executive Director of the NC Defense Business Association (NCDBA), and Wendy Fletcher-Evans, President of Atlantic Coast Trucking Inc. Addressing the program’s hot topic of the week—the defense industry—the panel discussed the rapid growth of this sector in North Carolina.
When host Joe Stewart asked what makes North Carolina a robust location for businesses providing services to the U.S. military, David said the number of military bases in the State is a significant draw. “A lot of companies are trying to take advantage of the expertise of all these veterans leaving the service as well as all the talent coming from the schools here,” he said. “It is a very fertile environment for growing companies and engaging in government contracting.”
David suggested North Carolina is challenged to increase the amount of government contracting taking place in the State. He noted that over 20% of our nation’s armed forces are located in North Carolina but only 3-4% of defense dollars come to the State. “We are working in our trade association and with the NCDBA to try and attack that problem and increase the defense industry in this State, in addition to protecting our military footprint,” he added.
Discussing the range of companies that participate in defense contracting, David said contracting encompasses every type of business you can imagine. “We have companies that do everything from supporting the military war fighters that go down range with military equipment, to those moving houses, like trucking companies that move households when they go from one installation to another.”
“In addition, you have all the family members that accompany and support their loved ones to these installations, and they need help as well,” he added. “We have hospitals on the installation; we have what they call ‘base exchanges’ on the installation … all of which have to be supported. People who engage in this type of work in support of the DoD are what we call defense contractors.”
Ending the panel with a discussion about Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) processes, David was asked whether we can expect an evaluation of military installations across the country anytime soon and whether that could result in consolidation of the military’s presence in North Carolina. “I do not think we are going to see a BRAC anytime soon, but I do think inevitably the military will remove forces and then there will be no need to keep that base here,” David cautioned. “We have to be aware and if we see that going on, we must make our elected officials aware of it.”
“You hear a lot of reports about [BRACs] and a lot of people get nervous,” David said. “I would encourage our federal elected officials to speak together as one voice because when they speak with one voice people will listen. This is a non-political issue, this is one that everyone should get behind and support.”
David Hayden joined Smith Anderson in 2011 and has extensive experience in government contracting, corporate investigations and employment law. He represents a variety of defense contractors, advising on a broad range of federal contracting issues such as bid protests, teaming agreements, subcontract agreements, joint ventures, the Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development program, International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Corporate Ethics, and organizational conflicts of interest (OCI) compliance issues. COL Hayden served as both an Engineer and Judge Advocate Generals (JAG) Corps Officer in the United States Army during a 29 year active military career.