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Nakasone: Virtual Meetings Keeping Army Connected

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Steven Stover
Friday, August 07, 2020

The virtual meeting, once reserved for general officers and senior defense officials, has become a “tremendously powerful” platform that has helped the Army continue its mission during the COVID-19 emergency by connecting soldiers for meetings and even training, a senior Army officer said.

Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, said there is no substitute for personal interaction when it comes to how commanders influence what’s going on, but he noted that the Army has maximized the Commercial Virtual Remote enterprise, an unclassified platform developed by DoD, to keep the service going virtually.

“We are working in the midst of a pandemic. We're working with a population that is very, very comfortable in operating in this type of space. This is the underpinning of telework,” Nakasone said July 20 during a Thought Leaders webinar hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army. 

Nakasone pointed out that in March, the platform had zero users, and by mid-July there were 1.2 million users. As a recent example, he said, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston used the new system to conduct training over a three-day period with 180 senior NCOs at the Sergeants Major Academy.

“The fact that every single day, I can touch any part of a worldwide global enterprise and be able to do it virtually is tremendously powerful,” Nakasone said.