Monday, October 9, 2023

Army leadership talks transformation for future fights at AUSA Expo

A panel of U.S. Army leaders and defense contractor General Dynamics provided insight on Monday as to how the U.S. is using Russia’s war against Ukraine as a stepping stone to transform the Army for future fights.

The panel consisted of: The Honorable Douglas Bush, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) and Army Acquisition Executive; Army Gen. James Rainey, Commanding General of United States Army Futures Command; and Firat Gezen, President of General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems. The three spoke at a military form at the AUSA 2023 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Washington, D.C.

The panel explained how the U.S. Army is keeping a watchful eye on the war in Ukraine and the new conflict in Israel.

“There's a war going on in the Ukraine, and a war started three days ago,” said Rainey. “We have a duty to be able to see what's happening, learn from that, and rapidly turn those observations into real capability in our formations. Not talking about combat development fast, but the ability to see something that exists and rapidly acquire it and inject that into our formations in a way that it turns into real capability.”

One capability the Army has focused on recently is the ability to counter attacks from a swarm of drones, and the development of a kamikaze drone, according to contract documents released in July and August.

recent report by says Russia is stepping up production of one of its most effective weapons in the war against Ukraine, the Lancet-3 loitering munition or kamikaze drone. The article also talks about Lancet having a new swarming attack version.

“The focus on transforming, not just modernizing, is absolutely vital,” Bush said on Monday. “Equipment by itself does not transform the Army. We have to have trained soldiers, and everything else that goes with training, units that go to combat, is necessary.”

In the meantime, defense contractor General Dynamics has been ramping up the production of missiles and artillery shells to support Ukraine’s war with Russia.

“On the equipping side, we’ve moved out, providing Ukraine 1,000s of missiles, millions of artillery shells, hundred of armored vehicles, with more coming every day,” Bush said. “In terms of funding, that’s required the Army to get on contract, close to $25 billion in less than a year actually, to replace equipment that we’ve sent, or foreign military sales for Ukraine. Its been a big year.”

Bush added, “We are responding. America, the arsenal of democracy. We’re still the arsenal. We have to do it. We are leading the whole free world in this effort and American business.” One business leading the support toward Urkaine is General Dynamics.

General Dynamics is a global leader in defense technology, offering cutting-edge innovations in aviation, aerospace, land systems, maritime systems, and more. Its main component is a preferred partner in electric power, precision weapons, missile defense, and munitions.

With such a diverse portfolio, the company has been actively involved with Army modernization priorities since its inception. Back in 2017, Gezen said on Monday.

“With the Ukraine ramp up we were talking almost on a daily basis with our customers,” Gezen added. “Not only are we increasing capacity six-fold, we're also introducing modernized technology having a much better healthier industrial base after. We're also doing it in record speed.”

The annual AUSA meeting, hosted by the Association of the United States Army, continues this week on Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

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