Articles on the latest developments and innovations in technology affecting landpower, the Army, and its soldiers.

Futures Command Leaders Step Down

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Soldiers shaking hands
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Futures Command Leaders Step Down

Army Futures Command bid farewell Dec. 3 to Gen. Mike Murray and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Crosby, who served for more than three years as the first command team for the Army’s newest four-star command.  

During the relinquishment of command ceremony in Austin, Texas, Murray was honored as he prepares to retire after more than 40 years of Army service, while Crosby handed responsibility as senior enlisted leader for Futures Command to Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Hester.   

Army Innovation Challenge Expands to All Services

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Soldiers speaking
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Army Innovation Challenge Expands to All Services

The XVIII Airborne Corps’ quarterly innovation challenge encouraging soldiers to submit ideas to improve operations has been expanded to include competitors from all the military services.

Called “Dragon’s Lair,” the competition follows the format of Shark Tank, the popular TV show in which contestants present their ideas to wealthy investors in the hopes their ideas will get funded.

New Material Could Revolutionize Armor, Shields

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New Material Could Revolutionize Armor, Shields

Researchers at the Army’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies have identified a new material that could make armor and blast shields lighter and stronger. 

The research, done in partnership with Caltech and ETH Zürich, found that the new material was more effective than Kevlar and steel at stopping a projectile. The breakthrough is significant, as Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, or DEVCOM, must strike a balance between ensuring gear is light but also effective. 

Broader Reach Will Benefit Army Esports, Recruiting

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soldier on computer
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Broader Reach Will Benefit Army Esports, Recruiting

The Army’s esports team has helped to generate recruiting leads through its virtual platform, but it could reach a broader audience by making some adjustments to its approach, according to the authors of a paper on military electronic sports teams.

Esports engaged close to 500 million viewers in 2020, a viewership leveraged by the Army and its sister services to reach young people, according to the paper, “Esports and the Military,” published by the Center for a New American Security.

Squirrels Could Help Army Develop Agile Robots

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Squirrels Could Help Army Develop Agile Robots

The biomechanical abilities of wild squirrels are coming into play as the Army studies ways to make robots more agile.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, with Army funding, have studied how and when squirrels decide to leap and how they assess their probabilities of a safe landing.

Expanding Partnerships Help Army CFTs Solve Problems

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Brigadier Gen. John L. Rafferty, Jr., Director, Long Range Precision Fires Cross Functional Team, United States Army Futures Command, speaks
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Expanding Partnerships Help Army CFTs Solve Problems

The Army’s cross-functional teams are expanding their partnerships as the service races to deliver on its sweeping modernization priorities, several team leaders said during a Warriors Corner presentation at the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2021 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C.

“We've been expanding our partnerships and team beyond where you might think we're narrowly focused,” said Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, director of the Long-Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team. 

Army Eyes Expanded Experimentation for Emerging Concepts

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Col. David Parkes, Director of the U.S. Army's National Simulation Center, addresses attendees
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Army Eyes Expanded Experimentation for Emerging Concepts

Among the challenges presented by multidomain operations is the need to test and evaluate concepts and systems in that environment. 

Traditional testing has involved dragging systems and networks out into the desert, running the test, then breaking down the networks before they’re returned to their original locations, according to panelists at a Warriors Corner presentation during the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2021 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C. 

Army Modernization Continues to ‘Push the Boundaries’

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Karen D.H. Saunders, Senior Official Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics & Technology), speaks
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Army Modernization Continues to ‘Push the Boundaries’

When it comes to delivering next-generation capabilities to soldiers, Army leaders on Oct. 13 emphasized the importance of teamwork between the service and industry.

“It’s a team sport,” said Karen Saunders, senior official performing the duties of the assistant Army secretary for acquisition, logistics and technology.

Gen. Mike Murray, commanding general of Army Futures Command, agreed, citing the Army’s 31 plus 4 priority modernization efforts.