While the global pandemic has made in-person events difficult at best, AUSA 2021 is back and taking place this week at the Washington D.C. Convention Center. Not only has AUSA planned a robust event, but it is also doing so under new leadership, with the appointment of recently retired General Bob Brown as president and CEO.
The Army needs AUSA “now more than ever,” Brown indicated in a recent interview. “We have a tremendous vision, and we play a huge role as the voice of the Army.” By bringing industry and Army leadership together in one space, AUSA 2021 will highlight the Army’s vision to maintain overmatch and the new and emerging technologies that will enable the mission.
Before heading onto the show floor, The Modern Battlespace editorial team is rounding up the latest news that will be pertinent to this event.
Focusing on Readiness:
To ensure global readiness, the U.S. Army and Army Forces Command are looking to support three major priorities: people, readiness, and modernization. During AUSA 2021, a senior panel of leaders will offer an update on the Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model, and how it supports those three priorities.
— U.S. Army (@USArmy) October 4, 2021
A Unified Network Strategy
Heading into the event, the U.S. Army recently awarded delivery for the Manpack and Leader tactical data radios, which support the services unified network strategy. The software-defined radios enable multiple communications options for commanders and allow for fast and flexible upgrades for waveforms as new technologies emerge.
We caught up with Rob Scott, general manager for Tactical Communications at Collins Aerospace, to ask him about the recent award. “We are very proud to be a major supplier of radios to Program Manager – Tactical Radio, that help build a strong a resilient Integrated Tactical Network for the U.S. Army,” he told us. “The PRC-162 represents the cutting edge of software-defined radio technology and brings a great capability to Army formations and platforms.”
NEWS #AUSA2021 📣: The @USArmy places ninth delivery order for our HMS Manpack radio modernization program. The secure two channel software defined radio can operate on independent channels to enable #CJADC2. Read more: https://t.co/M1bpoObl4v pic.twitter.com/38KYlWEwoL
— Collins Aerospace (@CollinsAero) October 7, 2021
Next-Generation Combat Vehicles
Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicles are a critical capability that the U.S. Army needs on the battlefield today and into the future. The Army has been working with industry to create prototypes, and released an RFP late last year.
Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross-Functional Team, said this advancement is “a major step forward for our Army as we bring a transformational change to our infantry forces.”
In an exclusive National Defense interview with Gen. Murray, the leader of the Army Futures Command, he noted that they had “set expectations pretty high for the industry.” They decided that they needed competition in the program and reset early on the process to get more participation. Industry will be showcasing advancements in this area.
BAE Systems to showcase its Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) based on Next Gen Bradley evolved from AMPV at #AUSA2021. BAE and Elbit have teamed up to develop and integrate advanced technologies such as UT30Mk2, IronFist, IronVision into the combat vehicle. (BAE Systems) pic.twitter.com/9sAAfbnlWl
— Ronkainen (@ronkainen7k15) October 8, 2021
Zero Trust Approach is a Must for Digital-Age Army
Securing and authenticating data and the network for multi-domain, cross services collaboration is critical to making real-time decisions. As the services move to JADC2, they must embrace a Zero Trust approach Army CIO Raj Iyer pointed out. At a recent virtual event, Iyer told the audience there isn’t another way. “We are heavily relying on commercial technologies to enable JADC2, we are no longer in the mode of writing our own software or building our own revenue system platforms from scratch.”
At AUSA 2021, we expect to hear more about this approach during one of the panel sessions.
The @USArmy’s future battle space will be multi-domain and technology driven.
Join #ArmyCIO at #AUSA2021 to hear about the ways that #zerotrust, #cArmy cloud, data, cybersecurity, and network convergence will drive the ADTS to achieve a digital-age Army. @AUSAorg pic.twitter.com/RefOApQrzj
— Army Chief Information Officer (@ArmyCIO) October 7, 2021
AUSA 2021 is going to be packed with topics like these and more. AUSA President Brown noted that “The better the Army is, the more they can do to deter our adversaries.” By bringing together industry, introducing the latest technology advancements, and enabling collaboration with events like these, AUSA 2021 is well on its way to helping with the mission ahead.