Modernization Momentum Builds Despite Pandemic
The Army continues to build momentum for its modernization efforts despite grappling with delays and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commander of Army Futures Command said.
“We are learning a lot of lessons from this experience,” Gen. Mike Murray said June 10 during the Association of the U.S. Army’s Thought Leaders livestream event. This was the first of a series of events that will feature key Army leaders.
Keeping the Army’s modernization programs on track “hasn’t come without some workarounds and some trying times,” but everyone—from industry partners to academia, start-ups and prime defense companies—has put in “a tremendous effort,” he said.
“To me, what’s the most important date is the date we promised to get [new equipment] into soldiers’ hands,” Murray said, and “across the board, none of those dates have shifted.”
The key as the Army moves forward is figuring out how to modernize the force while soldiers remain in demand around the world, he said. “You can’t modernize the entire Army overnight or in a year or, really, over a decade,” he said.
Complicating the effort is the high operations tempo, he said. “It has to at least be an assumption, if not a fact, that op tempo will not slow down. The worldwide demand for Army forces continues to increase,” he said. “One of the challenges is how do you modernize the Army under this op tempo umbrella? How do you turn the current force into that future force you envision? That’s the hard work you have to do.”