During the past year, the U.S. Army Futures Command has tested more than 110 technologies, with 70 different industry partners and 300 data collectors in a concerted “campaign of learning.” Project Convergence 2021 (PC21), led by LTG James Richardson, gets the right technologies into the hands of the warfighter faster before requirements are developed for a particular program.
During a panel update on PC21 at AUSA 2021, LTG Richardson explained that the exercise is designed to put “soldiers in the dirt with scientists, looking at technologies and experimenting.” He noted that these exercises inform the joint fighting concept, how to organize and fight with foresight, and how to fund the investments in the future.
Gen. John Murray, commanding general for the Army Futures Command, provided background on Project Convergence in his opening remarks. “Tomorrow is worth protecting. And it starts with what we do now, as our potential adversaries around the world will grow their strength and power, seeking to undermine our nation at every turn.” To address this, Project Convergence was developed in 2020. “Or mission is to gain the ability to converge effectively across all warfighting domains: air, land, sea, cyber, and space,” Gen. Murray explained. “This convergence of cross-cutting technologies yields the information and management necessary for decision dominance and joint force over management.
While PC20 “focused on the ability to integrate artificial intelligence, robotics, and autonomy to connect sensors with shooters, improve battlefield situational awareness, and accelerate the decision-making time,” PC21 assesses a “series of joint multi domain engagements, all of which will inform the joint warfighting concept and joint all domain command and control,” Gen. Murray said.
With 22 events that have already taken place leading up to PC21, there have been several lessons learned, which are paving the path for future expansion and testing.
LTG Richardson explained that, “We fight as a joint team and Project Convergence 21 has all of the services [involved] including Space Force.” Leveraging a multi-domain task force, PC21 is testing seven different use cases where information must flow back and forth – not only between Army counterparts, which was tested in PC20 – but across all the services.
But it won’t stop with PC21; Gen. Murray laid out the strategy for PC22 and beyond. “This year brings in the joint force. And next year aims to bring in the allies,” he explained. “We continue to advance forward, identify areas of improvement, and adapt. Because tomorrow is worth protecting. Convergence gives us decision dominance, and decision dominance gives us the overmatch we need. But we still have more work to do. Because whoever can see, understand, and act first…will win.”