ARLINGTON, Virginia (June 25, 2019) -- The U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force (REF) recently presented at the Future Soldier Technology USA 2019 conference in Arlington, VA. The event focused on the latest developments in enhancing Soldier capabilities and equipment modernization projects.Distinguished guests include military leadership from the Army and Marine Corps, subject matter experts from cutting-edge businesses in the tech industry, academia, and government professionals. LTC Nick Sanchez, REF Outreach Team Chief, led an invigorating discussion on how the REF leverages innovative and agile materiel solutions through commercial off-the-shelf and government off-the-shelf to meet the urgent requirements of Soldiers employed globally. He stressed the importance of partnerships and collaboration, and encouraged industry experts to submit their new technologies or ideas to the REF in order to forge future partnerships in support of the Warfighter. The audience was particularly interested in the concept of rapid acquisition, as many were more familiar with the traditional Department of Defense acquisition process. LTC Sanchez explained the benefits of rapid acquisition, describing how it is a crucial part in allowing the REF to equip in 180 days or less and often at no cost to the unit. Participants were also captivated by the REF's enhanced capabilities through its deployable Expeditionary Laboratories and a fabrication facility located at Fort A.P. Hill. The presentation was met with great success and fueled excitement about the REF's mission and purpose. LTC Sanchez was asked by multiple vendors to tour their booths and demonstrate their technologies and equipment. Ultimately, the event afforded the REF to explore the opportunity to forge new partnerships and engage with forward-looking technology.###About the REFThe REF provides innovative materiel solutions to meet the urgent requirements of U.S. Army forces employed globally, informs materiel development for the future force, and (on order) expands to meet operational demands. The REF supports priority equipping efforts over a wide range of challenges such as subterranean operations, electronic warfare, unmanned and counter unmanned aerial systems, intelligence, and expeditionary force protection.For more information, contact the REF Public Affairs Office at usarmy.belvoir.tradoc.mbx.ref-ops-center@mail.mil.