Choctaw Defense, a leader of innovative technology for our troops on the battlefield
From the desk of Assistant Chief Gary Batton
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma has numerous businesses, all of which are wholly owned by the tribe. One of the most fascinating is Choctaw Defense, which is the nation’s leading Native American defense manufacturer. Just recently, the executive directors and I were honored to be toured through the facility in McAlester and shown the latest in manufacturing technology that is helping produce items that support our troops overseas.
The first part of the tour took us through the assembly line of the Medium Tactical vehicle replacement MTVR trailers. These trailers are built in several designs in order to haul whatever the soldiers need, whether it be water, generators, ammo or other cargo (all while being able to handle an off-road pounding). They have a lot of special systems that allow for the unique conditions faced in Afghanistan and Iraq.
We were shown the Improved Army Space Heater (IASH), a 14,000-BTU multi-field space heater, which is used worldwide. Choctaw Defense has produced over 15,000 of these in the last 10 years.
Choctaw Defense began production of Battle Damage Assessment and Repair kits (sometimes called “MacGyver Kits”) in 2002. These are used on the battlefield to make repairs on Army vehicles that have been damaged in battle. These battlefield repairs allow the vehicle to remain mobile and return to base.
It was great to hear the staff at the manufacturing facility say with confidence that they were committed to doing whatever they could to support the troops to help them return home safely.
Choctaw Defense has been nominated for the Excellence in Innovation – Manufacturing Innovations Award through the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Congratulations to the team at Choctaw Defense and “Thank you” to all of the 260 employees who work there for all they do in support of the members of the United States military, as well as what they do to support the business vision of the Choctaw Nation!