Hot from GVSETS
Those of you who saw my post from this symposium last year will recognize the acronym; GVSETS is the Ground Vehicle Systems Engineering and Technology Symposium run by the NDIA (National Defense Industrial Association) in Michigan.
Wow: what an event! This year blew last year’s attendance away; over 900 folks attended on the first day to listen to the most eminent leaders in the Army ground systems industry. The keynote was delivered by Dr. Paul Rogers, Director of TARDEC, who provided a great overview of the progress being made by the increasing partnership between the Army and industry. (I’m pleased to note that we have been a part of this over the last year.)
As Dr. Rogers pointed out: “The Army this year is a very different place than last year.” I think that is very true, as speaker after speaker who followed Dr. Rogers attested. They spoke in terms of new concepts and ways of accomplishing Army goals through more pragmatic and streamlined processes, acknowledging the fact that the world we live in today is more complex and uncertain than ever before.
General David Perkins (Commanding General, TRADOC) was most impressive as he talked about the need to develop capabilities that transcend predictions of the future because the future will surprise us. “We need to focus on capabilities, not ‘innovate by differentiation’ against what we think the threat will be.” Innovation instead should focus on training and "things" that are flexible, agile and adaptable. If we design for what we see as a threat today, we will be unprepared for what we need tomorrow.
It is clear to me that the Army is (as it must be) focused on “equipping the man” (or woman) as opposed to the Navy and Air Force who are in the business of “manning (womanning?) the equipment.” Land forces directly engage threats, and the combination of capabilities that best suit the three goals of mobility, lethality and protection are of paramount importance.
The day was filled with other meetings and sessions; we met (as we have been doing) directly with Army technical leadership to discuss the role that embedded computing plays in enabling these cardinal principles. I’m happy to say that our vision has been shaped by these contacts and our offering today is resonating with these fine folks. It bodes well for our company, but also for the Army and our country.