The US Air Force’s (USAF) 6th Contracting Squadron (CONS) at MacDill Air Force Base (AFB) has awarded $325,000 worth of contracts to small businesses.

The contracts are the result of MacDill AFB’s second pitch-day event, which was conducted to obtain innovative solutions or potential new capabilities by partnering with the industry.

During the event, selected companies were invited to pitch their solutions to MacDill AFB leadership.

Proposals were presented to help accomplish requirements, supply potential technology advancements and close capacity gaps at the 6th Air Refueling Wing.

The 6th CONS flight chief Jace Anders said: “We set up the pitch-day events to expedite the process of securing solutions to some of the difficulties we face at MacDill (AFB).

“We cut down on the time of the acquisition significantly because payments are made to small-business owners immediately, and in turn, we are able to obtain goods and services much faster.”

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The companies whose solutions were selected signed contracts and received 50% of the initial payments at the event. The remaining balance will be paid upon completion.

Among the companies that were awarded contracts, Rini Technologies secured a deal for a personal cooling system.

Rini Technologies president Dan Rini said: “It’s always exciting to get a contract award, but what’s most exciting about this process was the speed. Usually, these deals can take a year, but today, the deal was completed in under an hour.”

The CONS continues to prioritise USAF initiatives and provides a fair chance to small businesses to impact the national defence.

Anders added: “It is really important for the government to interact with small businesses. We want to make sure that small-business owners get a fair opportunity to get on board with government acquisitions.”

The first pitch day was held in August last year and saw three contracts awarded to small businesses for a combined $100,000.