Manufacturing is such an important part of America...it has strong ties to our economy, history and even our culture. This is why we so strongly support American manufacturing and take pride in the goods made in our country. Whether you’re a consumer buying merchandise or a business looking for suppliers, you feel better about your purchase when you see the Made in the U.S.A. label. While we are proud to promote all of our manufacturers, it’s particularly special to highlight the American-made products that support our military.
At last year’s Manufacturing Innovation Conference, we had the opportunity to conduct a video interview with Douglas Hinkley, the Director of Operations of GPS Source. Doug also serves as a Lt. Colonel in the Army National Guard. Based in West Pueblo, Colorado, GPS Source is a wholly veteran-owned company that specializes in the design and production of global positioning system (GPS) re-transmission units.
Employing approximately 30 workers, GPS Source’s re-transmission units play a vital role in aiding our troops. Their technology is used with different military platform applications to re-transmit GPS data to soldier and airman-level devices. Plainly speaking, this technology gives our soldiers accurate and immediate information that provides them with more situational awareness during military missions.
GPS Source’s technology has been used in numerous ways. Their systems outfitted the first striker brigades in Iraq and are used in C-17 aircrafts for aerial supplies, allowing planes to drop important resources such as water and blood supplies to soldiers within 50 meters of their location. Notably, the technology is used by the Navy Seals and was actually utilized during the mission that found Osama Bin Laden.
Doug’s company worked with the Colorado Association for Manufacturing Technology (CAMT), a NIST MEP affiliate, to improve its processes, explore opportunities to expand market share and identify and develop new products at a quicker rate. Most critically, CAMT helped GPS Source on a reverse engineering project that involved deconstructing a Heads-Up Display (HUD) for the T-45 Jet Trainer Aircraft.
GPS Source connected with CAMT as a result of a partnership between NIST MEP and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). NIST MEP and the VA entered into an Interagency Agreement in 2010 to help address the supply needs of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). There were crucial items that NAVAIR required for Navy aircraft applications, but were difficult to identify American manufacturers. Through this multi-agency partnership, the MEP Centers used their nationwide network to help increase the percentage of veteran owned small businesses and service disabled veteran owned small businesses serving as the suppliers for these critical items. GPS Source is one of them.
Watch the video with Doug and learn more about how this veteran-owned company made it in America.