On October 16, the Florida League of Defense Contractors held their inaugural First Coast Defense Expo at Cecil Airport. The Jacksonville JetPort hosted the nearly 325 attendees in their newly constructed hangar.
The event provided a powerful opportunity for regional defense contractors and suppliers to showcase their capabilities to national prime defense contractors.
In addition, a town hall style discussion on the importance and role of the defense industry to national security and the economy was conducted.
Participants on the panel included Congressman Ander Crenshaw, Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll, Jacksonville’s Mayor Alvin Brown and key industry representatives.
“The First Coast is an anchor to our national security -- a standing not possible without the dedication of our men and women in uniform and the support and expertise of the companies that make up our regional defense industrial base,” said Crenshaw. “Events like this are a fabulous opportunity to view exhibits, network, participate in workshops and meet the people who play a central role in supporting the mission of our men and women in uniform wherever they serve."
Thirty-five sponsors and exhibitors including General Dynamics, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Fleet Readiness Center Southeast and Boeing were set up inside the hangar. A static display of seven aircraft, a Cougar ISS armored vehicle and a Go-Fast boat added flavor to the event.
Given the success of this inaugural event, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority looks forward to the opportunity of hosting the expo on an annual basis.