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AUSA Global Force Symposium and Exposition Looked to Army Future

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Thursday, April 02, 2015

The Global Force Symposium and Exposition wrapped up April 2 in Huntsville, Ala., after three days of events that concentrated on the Army’s future.

The professional development forum, sponsored by the Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare, gathered Army leaders from around the globe and representatives from the defense industry for speeches and panel discussions focused on what lies ahead for the Army. The theme was “Win in a Complex World,” which is also the title of the Army’s Operating Concept.

Two exhibit halls were stuffed full of equipment and weapons in a show of technology that many believe will help the Army deal with a smaller force and limited resources, but a dangerous world.

In a keynote speech, Gen. David G. Perkins, the Training and Doctrine Command commanding general and architect of the new doctrine, said force structure, training and acquisition will all be important in the future, and that buying smart will be a key. The Army needs to buy things to stay ahead of adversaries, not just to replace existing weapons and capabilities, he said.

The Army has to always “be moving forward,” he said. “Whatever position you have today, even if it is a position of advance, it is just a matter of time before it is a position of disadvantage or, at best, neutral.”

“We have to be able to innovate at least faster than the life cycle of technology,” said Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster Jr.,Training and Doctrine Command’s deputy commanding general for futures and the Army Capabilities Integration Center director. The goal, he said, is to “stay ahead of determined and elusive enemies.”

Huntsville officials made clear they were pleased with AUSA returning to Huntsville’s Von Braun Center for a second consecutive year, recognizing the boost to the local economy and AUSA’s reputation as the premier advocacy group on behalf of the U.S. Army.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Roger Thompson, AUSA’s vice president for membership and meetings, said the exhibits and the professional discussion are both important.  “There are a lot of things that you’ll see on this exhibit floor that some people in the Army may not know the first thing about. It could be an emerging item of technology. It could be an emerging lesson learned that needs to be more fully discussed."