New U.S. Army Office to Facilitate Private Sector Engagement With Aberdeen Proving Ground in Support of National Defense

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Pictured from left: Lisa Swoboda, Director, Office of Military Affairs, MD Department of Commerce; Karen Holt, Harford County Federal Installation Administrator; MG Peter Gallagher, Director, Network-CFT; Barry Glassman, Harford County Executive; and Len Parrish, Director, Harford Office of Community & Economic Development.

The U.S. Army has opened a new office in Harford County to advance the mission of Aberdeen Proving Ground through private sector engagement.  The U.S. Army Futures Command’s Network-Cross Functional Team (N-CFT) office opened on December 2 in Havre de Grace, just outside the APG gate.  N-CFT’s goal is to work with industry and entrepreneurs on technology solutions to emerging threats to national security.

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman joined MG Peter Gallagher and Lisa Swoboda, representing Maryland Commerce, and other officials at a ribbon cutting for the new office in the Harford Business Innovation Center (HBIC).  The HBIC is a collaborative effort housed by the Harford County Office of Community & Economic Development to consolidate small business resources and leverage the technology developed at APG for commercialization. HBIC’s convenient location, just 1.5 miles outside the APG gate, avoids cumbersome procedures for visitors to access the installation. 

At the ribbon-cutting, County Executive Glassman talked about the importance of partnerships between APG and the private sector.

“As the missions change and grow at Aberdeen Proving Ground, these collaborative efforts are vital for Harford County, the Army, the country, and our role in defending the American warfighter,” County Executive Glassman said.

MG Gallagher said that having an outreach center outside the APG gate will bring people together on behalf of the Army to create original solutions for the nation’s defense. He said that APG was chosen to host N-CFT capabilities because of the installation’s dedication to modernization, innovation, and collaboration, which are the pinnacles of the mission of the Army Futures Command.

“Team Aberdeen [Proving Ground] was absolutely essential in helping us take on this mantle of responsibility to modernize the Army’s network,” MG Gallagher said. “What we realized is that Aberdeen is the ‘center of the universe’ for all things command and control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance [C5ISR].”

Lisa Swoboda, senior director of the Office of Military & Federal Affairs at the Maryland Department of Commerce, discussed how collaboration between industry, academia, and local and state government is critical to achieving readiness goals, fulfilling the mission of APG, and supporting innovation through technology transfer.

“We are surrounded by partners that make up the APG defense community, and they are dedicated to making a difference,” Swoboda said. “Through the partnership [the state] has formed with Harford County and APG, we look to accelerate innovation through the commercialization of Army technologies developed right here at APG.”

N-CFT representatives will be available on Thursdays, by appointment only, at the Harford Business Innovation Center located at 2015-B Pulaski Highway in Havre de Grace. Call 443-395-1501 to make an appointment. In addition to N-CFT, the HBIC hosts the Maryland Defense Technology Commercialization Center (DefTech), the Maryland Small Business Development Center, the Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and APG Technology Transfer Offices. More information is available at 410-638-3059.

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