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Government and industry representatives meet in Aggieland, discuss future of warfare

Posted at 7:53 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 20:53:34-04

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — Several hundred people and a vast community interested in national security came together Monday.

Military officials, members of the U.S. Department of Defense and defense industry professionals made a trip to Aggieland this week for the second Joint All-Domain Command and Control and All-Domain Warfare Symposium.

Held at the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, the symposium was presented by the National Defense Industrial Association, or NDIA, an organization educating attendees about national security issues.

"We are listening to concepts, looking at different technologies, and listening to what the services have to say to their academic partners and their industry partners as well," said Ross Guieb, Executive Director of the George H.W. Bush Combat Development Complex.

Guieb said they are working on the future of warfare inside the complex advancing military innovation.

"Some of the things are hypersonics, directed energy, laser diagnostics, resilient networks, [and] autonomy," Guieb said.

Leaders at the conference say these meetings are crucial because this is where the community, interested in national security, comes together to talk about the future.

Texas A&M is hosting the conference because of its emerging role as a U.S. hub for national security research.

"I said this was the future of warfare but really this is mostly about deterrents because if you are ahead, against your peer adversaries, in these areas hopefully you won't have to fight the next war," Guieb said.

Leading efforts alongside NDIA to bring the conference to the A&M campus, Stephen Cambone, says the conference is about protecting the country.

"The subject of the conference is called Joint All-Domain Command and Control," Cambone, An associate vice chancellor for the Texas A&M System said. "The idea is that the U.S. Armed Forces are going to have to be able to fight in the air, in space, on the ground, at sea, and in cyber space simultaneously across the globe. So how do you command and control those forces in a way that allow them to accomplish their mission and succeed in protecting the country? That's what the conference is about."

Cambone says discussions being held over the next couple of days are critical.

"It's important from the point of the view of the university and the system to have these folks here with us. This is the first time they will have been on campus. Our ambition is that it will be an annual event," Cambone added. "Because in the world we are moving into, as we all know, unless you are able to talk and communicate across every circumstance you can imagine... once those communications fail, you are lost. To the extent we can advance the capability of the country, in that direction, the better for us."

Just to name a few, government attendees, aerospace and defense executives and academia from the A&M community, were among those at the conference. The purpose is to help participants talk to one another about how to make progress.

President and CEO of NDIA, Hawk Carlisle, says NDIA is the largest defense trade association in the United States.

"Basically our objective is to bring industry and academia together with the government, the Department of Defense and Congress to solve the most challenging problems that our young men and women in uniform face and to give them the best technology," Hawk Carlisle, President and CEO of NDIA said.

Carlisle says JADC2 is the mesh that holds all of the war fighting capability together.

"....and how we do it in the future and move information is going to be critical. The objective is to bring industry together with government speakers and academia from Texas A&M and other universities to talk about solutions with JAC2," Carlisle said.

Monday's event on A&M's campus was NDIA's first in-person event since the pandemic began.

"We have to do it. It's a case where everything has to tie together in Joint All-Domain Command and Control and if you don't have conversations you get stove-piped solutions where one company or where one service picks a solution, but it doesn't match the other services or the company's capability, so it really is about bringing them all together and getting common solutions that works across the entire joint force," Carlisle added.