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NEWS | Sept. 13, 2017

Communicate and collaborate

By Col. E. John Teichert 11th Wing

Several years ago I was able to spend an afternoon at the Pratt & Whitney headquarters and assembly line in Hartford, Connecticut.  Pratt & Whitney is one of three major worldwide advanced engine manufacturers, and they are constantly in stiff competition with Rolls Royce and General Electric.  If there is an industry where business is considered a zero-sum game, this is it.  A win for one seemingly implies the loss for another.


Interestingly, though, as I wandered through the advanced Pratt & Whitney complex I noticed something surprising and encouraging.  Just off the high-tech assembly floor were liaison offices of Rolls Royce and General Electric.  Yes indeed, Pratt & Whitney had employees of their competitors embedded in their operations.  Their rationale for doing so was simple but powerful - even in the most competitive businesses, there is a strong need for communication and ample opportunities for collaboration.


This is a great reminder to all of us who are on the same team to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.  There is a strong need for communication and ample opportunities for collaboration, and we should do so at every opportunity.  Even when we view those around us as our competitors, we must remind ourselves that there is outreach to be done and mutually beneficial partnerships to be formed.  It should be our constant priority at Joint Base Andrews, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, and beyond to seek and find these great opportunities.  If Pratt & Whitney, General Electric, and Rolls Royce can do it, then so should we.