ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- U.S. Army science and technology leaders, along with industry, convened Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 to discuss manufacturing initiatives.

The 2016 Defense Manufacturing Conference in Denver highlighted challenges in developing, fielding and maintaining DOD weapons platforms, said Andy Davis, program manager of the Army Manufacturing Technology Program, commonly known as ManTech.

More than 150 exhibitors showcased manufacturing technology.

"DMC 2016 highlighted the advances in additive manufacturing, specifically as it relates to transforming DOD toward model-centric practices," Davis said. "The vision of achieving distributed manufacturing -- both domestically and close to the point of need -- is becoming a reality."

The Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's commanding general and senior enlisted adviser -- Maj. Gen. Cedric Wins and Command Sgt. Maj. James Snyder, respectively -- attended the conference to learn about new R&D capabilities.

"The warfighter panel was among the best sessions ever offered at DMC," Davis said. "Hearing straight from senior NCOs provided the audience with a perspective on how weapons systems are truly used, the importance of reducing the Soldier's load, the type of trade-offs made in real life situations and the impact new technologies have on battlefield dominance. This type of feedback is invaluable."

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The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the Joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.