ST. MARY'S COUNTY, Md. (June 20, 2016)—Senator Steve Waugh (R, Calvert & St. Mary's Counties) and the St. Mary's Delegation are honored to jointly announce the formation of AeroMaryland, an exciting new venture of local businesses, the Navy Alliance, the Patuxent Partnership, and the County Government in cooperation with the Maryland Department of Commerce.
AeroMaryland will be an umbrella of businesses pursuing fast new contracts to deliver critical technologies to the Department of Defense. It will enable businesses and universities in St. Mary's County to quickly respond to the needs of the Naval Air Warfare Center—Aircraft Division (NAWC-AD) through AIRWORKS, their rapid prototyping and integration office.
"We've got to grow the economy and diversify our industry in St. Mary's County and the State. AeroMaryland is how," Senator Waugh stated.
Delegate Deb Rey (R, St. Mary's County) said, "AeroMaryland will uncover hidden technical potential and value from research and development facilities," first at NAS Patuxent River and eventually Aberdeen Proving Grounds. They will use commercial service contracts and cooperative research agreements to optimize and leverage each other's resources.
AeroMaryland will make the State an aviation powerhouse and provide diversification for Southern Maryland. It will apply the preeminent technical capabilities from across the entire state to new areas of the civil and commercial aerospace and autonomous systems economy.
Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Mike Gill stated, "I'm all in for growing our target industries in Maryland, and aerospace is one of the sectors that is so important to the state as well as to the nation. With NAS Patuxent River and Indian Head, Southern Maryland is a center of naval aviation and I wouldn't trade those assets for anything."
"The Navy's acquisition requirements are changing and we have to change with them." stated Retired Rear Admiral Steve Eastburg, who has spearheaded the AeroMaryland effort for months.
The official backing of the State comes after months of meetings in Senator Waugh's Annapolis office and in St. Mary's County with delegates, commissioners, the Maryland Department of Commerce, local businesses, non-profits and initial customers to discuss the best path forward. The program will officially launch with the hiring of an Executive Director who will be tasked with executing business planning and market analysis.
Incoming President of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance, Brian Norris, stated "The Alliance is ready to commit a share of the funding needed to help make this a reality. AeroMaryland is a path to further economic prosperity for Southern Maryland and the State."
Patuxent Partnership Executive Director Bonnie Green said "AeroMaryland is the route to aviation technology innovation and growth, including autonomous and manned systems, additive manufacturing, and increased foreign military sales opportunities."
AeroMaryland, once active, will attract businesses from across the country to Maryland. St. Mary's County Commissioner Tom Jarboe (R) stated, "Maryland is Open for Business, and St. Mary's is nailing up the shingle for AeroMaryland."
Delegate Matt Morgan (R-St. Mary's County) stated, "Exciting things are happening as Maryland expands the A,B,C's of a new economy. For years, Maryland's Department of Commerce focused on building Bio-tech and Cyber-tech as the State's primary industries, and AeroMaryland creates a third leg to Maryland's economy."
Governor Larry Hogan's (R) business friendly policies made AeroMaryland possible. Capping spending prevented tax increases for two years, creating a more favorable business climate.
"Jobs are the issue, and AeroMaryland will bring completely new jobs here from existing Navy customers, then from Army customers at Aberdeen, and ultimately from foreign military and commercial customers around the world. AeroMaryland is a better return for the State than anything else we've done," Senator Waugh said.