For Want of a Nail

The small businesses that support the Air Force are starting to suffer as the service slashes expenditures due to budget sequestration, said Lt. Gen. Charles Davis, the service’s military deputy for acquisition. “It does not take long for a small business to get in trouble,” Davis told the House Armed Services Committee’s tactical air and land forces panel on Feb. 28. In addition to providing routine services on bases and installations, small-sized firms, in some cases, supply critical components for Air Force weapons systems like warhead fuses, he said. “They’re not necessarily the leading edge on our weapons, but they’re things we cannot execute” if the small business support is no longer there, said Davis. To stress the importance of what small businesses provide, he cited the mantra: “for want of a nail, the shoe is lost, the horse is lost, the war is lost.” (Davis-Moeller written statement)