Military officials and industry partners have come together to celebrate 245 years of the U.S. Army, and how it is modernizing to prepare for the future multi-domain battlefield. Nothing has more poignantly highlighted the everchanging nature of communication on and off the battlefield than the rapid adoption of virtual and remote communications technologies in response to COVID-19. Secretary of the Army, Ryan McCarthy, pointed to these Army modernization efforts and innovations, among others, in his keynote speech.
Those in the industry know that the Army has been undergoing a systemic modernization push, and after three years, “the payoff is starting to arrive,” remarked Sec. McCarthy. “Transforming and modernizing for the future fight is now a reality,” with new approaches to modern problems at the forefront of the Army’s innovation processes.
However, with new communications solutions come new concerns. Fittingly enough, AUSA 2020 is taking place during Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which notes the inherent difficulties with virtual or hybrid communications systems. “We must prepare soldiers, leaders, and commanders for modernization,” Sec. McCarthy noted, adding that new equipment and capabilities will bring new responsibilities and commitments from all in the service.
While the process continues, soldiers are finding themselves placed in the future fight with more security than ever before, thanks in large part to the work of industry partners. Sec McCarthy noted that “the army has been busy but at no point has it been alone,” as industry partners have worked in lockstep with their Army contacts throughout the process.
The most evident example of the joint work being done between the private sector and the military is Project Convergence. A shining example of a potential product of Army modernization efforts, Project Convergence has quickly become a litmus test for battlefield comms in the future fight. McCarthy noted that the project “focuses on increasing the speed in which our different platforms integrate in real-time,” and providing the best responses to relevant parties in an operation.
Project Convergence has relied on the innovation of both in-house engineers and on the private sector for its rapid testing and iterative development. As a standalone, it represents an achievement but taken as part of the modernization process, Sec. McCarthy has every reason to be impressed with the work that has been done.
Concluding his keynote remarks, Sec. McCarthy noted that there is no turning back on transformation and that the U.S. Army is charging ahead into the future prepared to deliver to its soldiers, leaders, and commanders with the detailed communications training and latest generation equipment to win. The future is now and the Army, with the help of industry partners, and state and local leaders, will “maintain the delicate balance of ensuring peace in some areas and countering threats in others.”
For archived sessions of AUSA 2020, click here.