As part of The Modern Battlespace’s “Experts in the Field” series, our editorial team connects with various experts across the defense community to share their experience and insights with our readers. This month, we spoke with Ryan Bunge, Vice President and General Manager of Communications, Navigation and Guidance at Collins Aerospace.
Bunge has had a long career in the military, starting off as a graduate of the Air Force Academy before working in acquisitions for the U.S. Air Force as a contract officer and then a program manager. “As a kid, I was always passionate about space. I knew from an early age that I was destined to be in the Air Force,” he said during our interview. His love for technology and his experience in acquisitions made the transition into the aerospace and defense industry seamless. “Working with an organization like Collins Aerospace has allowed me to continue to work with the technology and support the warfighter in their mission.”
Bunge reflected on the changes to the battlespace since his time in active duty and what he has learned as he has stayed connected to the military community, on the other side of the table. “What we are seeing is a return to near-peer threats and how to prepare for the future threat across all domains,” he told us. It’s not a new concept, but rather a different way of looking at the future threat with a higher focus on the cyber domain and connectivity than ever before, Bunge explained.
“There is really a recognition that data is the new currency of the battlespace,” Bunge said. In this new connected environment, it is critical for the warfighter to operate faster than the enemy, and it’s core to what Bunge and his team do. “We are in the business of connectivity and helping get the right data to the right place with appropriate levels of security and resiliency.”
Bunge highlighted the tools that enable the connectivity and the situational awareness needed on the modern battlefield. “We’ve been introducing software defined radios and data link solutions that can be integrated into multiple domains and are modernized with the latest crypto and waveforms, to provide crucial connectivity on the battlefield.”
Listen to the full podcast with Ryan Bunge here: