Al Abramson

NAC VP Strategic Engagement

about

Brigadier General (Retired) Al Abramson serves as the Vice President of Customer Engagement for the National Armaments Consortium (NAC). In this capacity, Al will focus on the development and implementation on the NAC’s business strategies, communications, and customer activities as envisioned by the Executive Committee (EXCOM) and Executive Director (ED). Al will represent the NACs interests to member organizations, current and prospective customers, as well as government and congressional stakeholders.

Al was initially commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Chemical Corps after graduating from Virginia State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. Al served in a variety of operational assignments until his transition to the Acquisition Corps in 1996. Over his thirty-year military career, he served in positions within the continental United States as well as overseas. He culminated his career while serving in a dual-hatted role. He served as the Joint Program Executive Officer for Armaments and Ammunition, as well as the Commanding General for Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey.

Al’s education includes a Master’s degree in Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University, in which they recently awarded him the Woodrow Wilson Award for Distinguished Government Service. Al also has a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the Army War College.

Q&A

Meet the National Armaments Consortium Vice President of Customer Engagement

A Q&A with Brig. Gen. Al Abramson

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Today, we’re welcoming a new addition to the NAC’s leadership team: Al Abramson, who is joining us as our Vice President, Customer Engagement. Al comes to the NAC with over two decades of experience in the U.S. Army. To introduce Al, we asked him a few questions about his background, his experience, and his vision for NAC in the future.

1. What drew you to the NAC?

I served in the U.S. Army for just over 30 years, and the mission was to get cutting-edge capabilities into the hands of our warfighters. To me, that is key to the defense of our nation and our sustained prosperity.

In my experience, no organization brings together industry, academia, labs, and government better than the NAC. Quite simply, there is no other entity where such a diverse group of scientists, technologists, engineers, and academics develop solutions to complex problems to create more effective capabilities for the United States military.

I am incredibly excited to be a part of these efforts and continue the mission that has always motivated me – to give our warfighters the decisive edge on the battlefield.

2. How did your experience working with the NAC previously in your career inform your
decision?

Let me start by saying: we are trying to address incredibly difficult scientific and technological problems as quickly as possible. This is difficult. My experience in the military showed me the NAC allows government customers to think outside the box to get the over-the-horizon capabilities and pull them into the present in a way that standard acquisition cycles simply don’t enable. That’s why I believe it is critical to have acquisition processes and procedures which make it easier to get capabilities into the hands of our warfighters quicker and at less cost.

3. How will that experience help in this role?

It was an absolute blessing and honor to serve as Commanding General and JPEO Armaments & Ammunition. It was a time and experience for which I am very grateful. What I learned in this role is that our customer base is very diverse in terms of their focuses and needs – a one size fits all approach does not work. I really look forward to engaging with our customers to make sure we are focusing our efforts to resolve challenges and meet their needs.

4. Based on your experience, what is the value the of Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs) to rapid and effective prototyping efforts?

The requirements for the successful defense of the United States are rapidly changing. Technology advancements, particularly in information systems, is making the world smaller. As we advance, so do our adversaries – both in terms of nation-states and terrorist networks. We need to be able to build weapon systems not just for today, but tomorrow, to maintain or in some cases regain our advantage. That is incredibly difficult to do under traditional acquisition processes. The NAC – under the OTA – allows us to develop an emerging capability as quickly as possible, as affordable as possible, and with testing which is critical to determining if it is worth continued investment.

The message from Army Futures Command has been clear: we have to go fast, and we need to develop the capabilities fast. The NAC, armed with the agility of OTA, is the only way I see Army Futures Command getting the capabilities they are asking for in a timely manner.

5. In your opinion, how do we continue to ensure continued innovation so our men and women in uniform maintain the edge they need?

For me, continuing to maintain a culture of collaboration where industry gets direct information from the government in terms of what they need is crucially important. This helps keep our members dialed in to what the government wants so they can meet those requirements. The efforts of the NAC and its members to convene and collaborate on a regular basis is so important. Without this collaboration, I just don’t see how we provide capability sooner, more affordably, and with more lethality for the fights of tomorrow.

6. Is there a specific message you’d like to share with the NAC membership?

Absolutely. For 30 plus years, I wore a uniform and always pursued a mission to build capabilities for our warfighter in the defense of our nation. Today, I join the NAC on the industry side of the equation.

The uniform may have changed, but the mission and passion with which it will be pursued are just the same. I look forward to working with you to ensure our warfighters continue to receive the cutting-edge technologies they need.

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