New focus on engineering and civilian contracts helping create and retain jobs

Last updated: August 28. 2014 1:44PM - 507 Views
By Zach Maxwell Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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McALESTER – Choctaw Defense is expanding its capabilities by seeking and fulfilling contracts for engineering, building and remodeling structures.

As the U.S. war machine slowly returns home following a decade of action in the Middle East, support service providers such as Choctaw Defense are diversifying their portfolios to include civilian enterprises.

“You’ve got to be entrepreneurial,” said Stephen Benefield, President and CEO of Choctaw Defense. “What we’ve got to do as the Choctaw Nation is build more sustainable businesses.”

There are numerous recent examples of Choctaw Defense moving into civilian contracts and other opportunities. The recently acquired company Architects in Partnerships Enterprises, a Moore-based “design-build” firm adds a commercial design and construction capabilities to the Choctaw Defense portfolio.

“We’re off to a rip-roaring start,” Benefield says, explaining that the company has already grown to over $4 million under contract currently, with the latest being a new contract with the Federal Aviation Administration to refurbish aircraft hangars at the FAA Center in Oklahoma City.

Another job will take Choctaw Defense to an FAA project at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport while yet another has them designing and building a $1 million elder living center in Stigler for the Choctaw Nation.

“This is the product of the dedication of a lot of hard-working, smart people,” Benefield said. “All of the profits from Choctaw Defense go right back into the tribe.”

Choctaw Defense also recently took over the contracts of a Tulsa-based information technology firm, hiring all 35 people from the firm with the expectation of rapidly expanding the “structured cabling” business. One of its first projects is providing all the security, communication, and computer cabling at the Tulsa International Airport ongoing remodeling effort, but the project “has the potential to expand into some very large operations.” Benefield said Choctaw Defense has set its sights on a $300 million contract with the Air Force to provide a variety of maintenance-level services at military installations. The winner of that contract should be announced later this year. Choctaw Defense is a business totally owned by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

About The Choctaw Nation

The Choctaw Nation is the third largest Indian Nation in the United States. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, the historic boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma. The vision of the Choctaw Nation is “To achieve healthy, successful, productive, and self-sufficient lifestyles for a proud nation of Choctaws.” Tribal business success over the past few years has enabled the Choctaw Nation to begin to achieve this vision, as well as to assist the communities that are in the Choctaw Nation. Servant leadership is an important value to Choctaw people. For more information about the Choctaw Nation, its culture, heritage and traditions, please go to www.choctawnation.com

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