Attendees at the February 6 AUSA Coffee Series featuring General Randy A. George, Chief of Staff, US Army did not leave disappointed. The Army’s senior officer covered a wide-swath of the Army enterprise’s portfolio, from vehicles to munitions. Of interest to MS&T were the Chief’s focus on the imperative to enhance, and even transform, missions for future operations – certain to generate ripple-effects across the Army learning (training and education) portfolio.
George set the stage for his discussion, by first pointing out the 2024 operating environment, when compared to when he assumed this leadership office last September, has a “volatility that is completely different and just how fast things are spinning on the technology side has many implications: how we do business, how we change and such.” Having recently visited Army forces in diverse global theatres of operations, he also emphasized that as his service learns lessons from around the world, he is personally interested in “what we are doing to change our training and professional military education.”
It's time for simulation and training industry business development and pursuit teams to pay particular attention. George then provided his vision of Army mission growth and evolution – with implied S&T support through program life cycles.
Noting Europe and the Indo-Pacific are “great places for Army formations to learn,” the uniformed service leader offered the Army is “going to adjust the network inside those formations. We’re going to adjust the small UAS that they have inside those formations. We’re going to add EW capability inside those formations. We’re looking at adding robotics. We have Next-Generation Squad Weapon coming onboard.” At the end of the day the UAS and other capability enhancers will differ by echelon – adjusted through exercises and other training events and activities.
In a nod to his service’s increasing focus on multi-domain operations, General George pointed out his service’s MDO task forces “are doing a lot with cyber and space, and have a great partnership with SOF [special operations forces.]
The Chief also emphasized missions in which he expects growth – all certain to require S&T support. “We have to grow UAS. We have to grow counter-UAS. I think we have to grow long-range fires. And integrated air and missile defense overall is a big focus area of ours that we will have to continue to work on.”
Beyond warfighting, George focused on logistics and support missions. In an interesting, parallel activity to maintainers in the commercial aviation industry, the four-star officer said, “We’d like to get predictive on maintenance.” While the Army ground and aviation maintenance portfolio is much broader than the commercial aviation sector’s, this technology thrust will be certain to trickle down into the classroom.