Aviation is an essential piece of the American Army and Modern Warfare. Rotary and fixed wing aircraft bend the throttle across every sky on the earth, moving soldiers, equipment and gathering intelligence at any given hour of the day at any given place on the planet.But how do we safeguard these aircraft? The Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) Symposium in Huntsville, Ala., an event sponsored by the Army Aviation Association of America, aimed to answer that question and more this November.Since 1983, this Annual AAAA ASE event has brought the community together to develop solutions for the Aviation Soldier. From Avionics and Survivability Equipment Repairers to Aviation Mission Survivability Officers to the project offices and policy makers, the results in training, materiel and doctrine have literally saved lives.The need for Aircraft Survivability Equipment is always thrown into stark relief with every downed aircraft, arguably since the loss of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter to an enemy missile in November 2003, then Acting Secretary of the Army, R.L. Brownlee called for a plan, "…to equip all our helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan with the most effective systems we have in development or procurement.""The one thing I will say we all have in common, is we have fielded some of the most advanced aircraft survivability equipment to our Army aviators," said Col. R Ryan Coyle, U.S. Army TRADOC Capability Manager. "When you have multiple PEO's, Multiple PM's across TRADCOC, Special Operations, Army Aviation Missile Command, the Science and Technology community, Department of the Army Aviation and Force Development Aviation, everybody working together and messaging, we really can make things happen."Maj. Gen. Kirk Vollmecke, the Program Executive Officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors in his Keynote speech made a major point of "converged domain activities.""We must realize the domains have converged," said Vollmecke to an audience of seasoned professionals. "I'm talking about ground, airspace, cyberspace and space. Because of that and because of where technology is moving we must rethink within the domains how we apply our solutions and our activities.""ASE is part of the information environment, and the question is are we going to stay 'stovepiped,'" Vollmecke began, "Or are were going to understand the converged activities, between cyber, intelligence, signal intelligence and electronic warfare and bring it to bear?"The core of Vollmecke's challenge to ASE community was to "sense, understand and act," or, his mantra "'deliver now,' which is about agile and adaptive program models and constructs."The chief executor of Vollmecke's "deliver now" mentality at the symposium was Col. Kevin Chaney, the Project Manager for Aircraft Survivability Equipment. One of Chaney's big goals was to "change the culture" of acquisition for ASE programs."A key focus area for us is getting the technology out to users, out the field as fast as possible. Which means we're going to have to do that in smaller increments," said Chaney. "The days of 'pure fleeting' are probably gone, we're going to have multiple configurations that we're going to have manage out in the fleet. That's done purposefully, so that we get the best technology out there in the fight."In addition to speakers, professionals from across the United States Armed Forces and even some allies were in attendance.Chief Warrant Officer 4 Dan Cosson, an Air Mission Survivability Officer with 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) was in attendance to share SOAR-unique lessons learned with fellow warrant officers, leaders and industry partners."Through sharing some of the lessons learned of the 160th over the last couple of years, there's lots of people that can learn and benefit from those stories so they don't have to re-create the wheel," said Cosson. "We've already done it, and everyone's time is precious."Chief Warrant Officer 3 Luciana Spencer, a Survivability Officer with the Maryland Army National Guard, summarized a key point of the conference. "We're starting to look more toward the future," she said. "With a near peer adversary and how are we going to fight those threats. Those threats have the equipment that we have, which is really strong…stuff. Lots of radar. We're starting to push the equipment to be better detectors and push ourselves to be able to understand tactically how they're fighting."The AAAA will have another conference, The Army Aviation Mission Solution Summit, in April and another ASE Symposium in autumn of 2019.