PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (April 11, 2019) -- More than 100 personnel from across the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's world-wide footprint convened for a Global Workshop held at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, April 9-11.
The workshop, hosted by the CCDC Global Technology Office, served as an opportunity to unify the command's expansive network of global personnel who maintain CCDC's international relationships.
According to Brig. Gen. Vincent Malone, CCDC's deputy commanding general, the workshop was an important forum for establishing a shared vision for the command's international activities, and aligning these activities under the strategic priorities of Army Futures Command.
"Why did we bring people here from all corners of the world? To share ideas…We need to talk to you about what's going on broadly [across CCDC, AFC and the Army], but we also need to hear your thoughts," Malone said, addressing attendees. "We need you to share your deeper view, to share what's going on in your area."
CCDC personnel maintain a presence in combatant commands, embassies and other offices in countries across the globe through its Forward Element and International Technology centers, Science and Technology Advisors, and countless international points of contact.
Through this international presence, CCDC is able to tap into an expansive, global network of military, industry and academic partners, expanding its ability to discover, develop and deliver the capabilities U.S. Warfighters will need to succeed on a future battlefield.
"We need to leave here with a clearer vision, the same vision," Malone said. "We want to leave here with a clear sense of purpose so you all go back out and know exactly what the Army needs you to do…so we'll never get surprised again on a future battlefield."
Working toward that shared vision, the three-day workshop included a variety of sessions focusing on Defense Department and Army strategy and priority alignment; Army Futures Command; Modernization priority updates; and a series of break-out sessions. Attendees also learned about CCDC's Campaign Plan and its Global Strategy and Engagement Plan.
This year's event marked the first time two historically separate events-- one for International Technology personnel and another for Field Assistance in Science and Technology advisors-- were combined, in an effort to promote collaboration and networking across the Global Technology Office, according to GTO Director Collier Slade.
Slade said the event received positive feedback from participants, who noted it was "a much needed opportunity to share information and to expand their networks."
"Combining the two events provides increased situational awareness of each other's activities and is a critical step in better defining outputs and telling the international story," Slade said. "You can't leverage what you are not aware of."
Attendees found the event to be a valuable networking opportunity.
"A lot of times, even between us [the Forward Elements] we don't get to see each other and there's a lot of commonality, a lot of common issues or things we can join to work on," said Denisse Szmigiel, the CCDC-Americas deputy director. "The partnerships, to get to know each other and network. That's a big deal, to get the whole community together."
CCDC-Atlantic Director Col. Steve Ansley echoed similar sentiments, and noted the importance of synchronizing efforts across the Global Technology Office now that the command has transitioned to Army Futures Command.
"As we come under Army Futures Command, we have some new direction, some new expectations for all of us," Ansley said. "This brought us all together so we can synchronize our operations, better improve our outputs to meet the new commander's intent, and ensure that everything we do is in support of the Army modernization priorities and getting us closer to a capability in the hands of the warfighter."