Four Arizona alliances have formed the Arizona Defense and Industry Coalition whose mission is to act as a united voice for the state's defense and industry communities.
AZDIC will promote "transparency and engagement" among defense industry organizations, military installations and Congress, according to a release.
"We are proud to form AZDIC and carry out Senator John McCain's legacy," said Lynndy Smith, president of WVDA and AZDIC.
"He believed in the importance of collaboration between Arizona's defense industry, installations and Congress, and we will actively work with U.S. Congress to address ongoing defense concerns and positively influence both state and nationwide policy."
AZDIC intends to unite the defense community in Arizona, which is home to six military installations, four national guard operations and 1,250 defense contractors, specializing in numerous fields including electronic systems, smart automation, precision machining and advanced materials, the release stated.
The Arizona defense industry produces more than 76,000 direct and indirect jobs and generates $10 billion in economic impact, AZDIC officials said.
"As a member of AZDIC, we are dedicated to preserving U.S. military assets by ensuring that U.S. policies allow for proper allocation of U.S. resources," Robert Medler, president of SADA, said.
Julie Engel, president of Yuma 50, said AZDIC is "taking immediate action" to influence U.S. defense policy and bring about "lasting change to better support U.S. national security, military installations and warfighters."
AZDIC officials said they invite other Arizona organizations to join and carry out the group's "action-oriented mission."