The sheer scope of Army news coming out of the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting last week may have left soldiers wondering what’s most important to them.
Senior leaders attending the annual expo, which brings together the military and defense communities for one of the biggest industry events of the year, often present and discuss Army programs, national security issues, developments, rotations and emerging tech.
Here are 10 significant news developments we learned from this year’s AUSA conference:
ReARMM started: The Army is implementing a new readiness model, dubbed the Regionally Aligned Readiness Modernization Model, or ReARMM. The plan, which went into initial operating capability this October, would see units spend eight months each in a modernization-training-mission cycle, while preparing to deploy to a specific part of the world.
Precision Strike Missile gets green light for development: The Army has approved the Precision Strike Missile program to move into the engineering and manufacturing development phase, just ahead of a major test at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, where the weapon will be shot to observe its range.
Project Convergence may go overseas: The first Project Convergence took place in late summer and early fall 2020 at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. This year, operational and experimental Army units, including the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the first multidomain task force at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, will attend. Gen. Charles Flynn, the head of U.S. Army Pacific Command, told Defense News in a Sept. 30 interview he would like to eventually see part of Project Convergence take place in the region.
The Army is preparing to release its climate strategy: The Army plans to release its upcoming climate strategy this fall, which is expected to push the service to adapt so it can both operate in and protect itself against increasingly harsh environments, while also becoming more energy-efficient.
A California Guard unit is taking the lead on urban ops: Between Oct. 17-23, at least 50 soldiers, allied officers and first responders will meet in person for the first-ever urban planner conference, aimed at brigade and above-level urban operations. Another 50 to 100 will meet online. The conference is being held at Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos, California.
Here are the four key problem areas for soldiers in the Pacific: Gen. Charles Flynn, the head of U.S. Army Pacific Command, says there are three regions that pull his attention: the southeast, western and northern areas surrounding Singapore. Flynn has other considerations, too. He is concerned about whether Army forces working with partners in the region are doing the work those countries and their leaders want, “not what we want to be working on.”
Guard leaders push back on some state missions — but will still do them: Senior leaders from across the National Guard sounded off on the impact of continuing state missions during an Oct. 12 panel at AUSA.
The Army wants reusable, networked landmines: Army combat engineers are looking for new ways to deploy “terrain shaping obstacles” or landmines by artillery, drone or robot ground vehicles for the close, middle and long-range fight. Better aviation platforms, networks and ground vehicles are offering a new breadth and depth to war, but terrain-shaping denies the enemy the ability to effectively use their own systems and puts the control of the battlefield tempo into soldiers’ hands.
SFAB soldiers are heading out in smaller teams to more places: Soldiers who want to deploy a lot in the coming years may want to join one of the Army’s security force assistance brigades. SFAB officials said at AUSA that they’re dispatching teams of four to 12 soldiers, headed by a captain, to work in one location for months or even a year at a time. This past fiscal year, SFAB soldiers were deployed to 41 countries.
Army Software Factory to churn out soldier coders: As the military struggles to recruit more skilled cyber employees, the Army has been experimenting with growing battlefield coders from the untapped talent within its ranks. Soldiers with the Army Software Factory, based at Austin Community College in Texas, showcased at AUSA several applications they developed.