Navy League's 2012 Sea - Air - Space Expo

The State of Georgia Department of Economic Development and representatives from TEAM CAMDEN recently exhibited at the Navy League's SEA AIR SPACE Expo held at the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, right outside of DC.

The SEA AIR SPACE EXPO is the largest maritime expo in the world and hosts all of the Nation's sea services – the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marines as well as over150 defense contractors. More than 12,000 people attended the event over a three day period.

This year, SEA AIR SPACE was held on April 16-18. The State of Georgia and Team Camden jointly manned a booth at the expo to promote opportunities for defense missions and contractor business expansions in Georgia and Camden County. That means jobs for Camden! Camden County is home to the only Navy base in Georgia - the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. This base is host to several tenant commands and missions for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Team Camden included representatives from various community organizations, including the Camden County Joint Development Authority ("JDA"), The Camden Partnership, the Camden County Chamber of Commerce, the local council of the Navy League, and the cities of Kingsland, St. Marys, and Woodbine.

Hosts at the booth were: Christine Daniel, Joel Hanner, Chuck Hunsaker, AJ Jones, Matt Kircher, David Keating, Marty Klumpp, Sheila McNeill, Shannon Nettles, Keith Post and Royal Weaver.

Chuck Husaker with the Georgia Department of Economic Development who is the point man for increasing the footprint of military contractors at our Georgia military installations was with us the entire time. We owe a debt of gratitude to our State for co-sponsoring this exhibit. In addition, VT Group, and especially Dave Daquino and Walt Yourstone, were great co-tenants and neighbors at the event. This was a wonderful opportunity for TEAM CAMDEN to shine and I believe we did. Team Camden made an impact!"

Our message to the sea services, contractors, and expo attendees was clear - you can improve your bottom line and quality of life in Camden County, Georgia. We exhibited at the expo to let the sea services know we value their presence and mission at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, that we have capacity and desire to support additional missions at the base, and that we are recruiting new business and industry to enjoy close proximity to the base and other nearby bases located in Georgia and Florida."

There were dozens of speakers during the three days including remarks from Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., and Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, General James F. Amos. Rear Admiral Barry Bruner, former Group 10 Commander at Kings Bay was also a featured speaker. Former Secretary of Defense, Bob Gates was presented the Navy Leagues' Admiral Nimitz Award at the Tuesday night black tie event.

This was an amazing opportunity for Team Camden. Exhibiting at Sea Air Space was a proactive approach to furthering economic development and providing true southern hospitality. We are poised for growth, have a qualified workforce, abundant resources, great quality of life, and capacity for more missions and development. The comments we received back from those we visited or those visiting our booth were equally impressive They were impressed that an entire community could proactively come together and promote the assets and opportunities available to further economic development.

Some of the notable visitors to the booth included officials from Electric Boat, Northrop Grumman, L3, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, as well as Admiral Jon Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Bob Papp, Commandant of the Coast Guard, Rear Admiral Karl Shultz, Director of Governmental and Public Affairs for the Coast Guard, and Rear Admiral Barry Bruner, Director of Undersea Warfare Division (N97), former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (who was receiving an award from the Navy League), Adam Sullivan, Chief of Staff for Congressman Jack Kingston, many other flag and general officers, as well as acquisition, intelligence, budget, legislative affairs, and program management officers.

Like all expos, everyone loves to collect something from each booth and SAS 2012 was no different. Our TEAM CAMDEN booth was the best low tech booth in the exhibit hall, and each of our promotional items represented a Georgia based company. Those items included: Peach Cookies from Savannah Georgia Peanuts, TasteKakes, chocolate submarines, stress ball submarines with TEAM CAMDEN printed on them, coffee mugs, luggage tags, pens etc. A special thank you to Flowers Baking Company, Byrd Cookie Company, Marty Klumpp and her sisters for the delicious and beautifully packaged chocolate submarines, Georgia Welcome Center and Navy Federal for graciously donating their items for our use. This entire project was a huge TEAM effort.