A key part of Army modernization is creating academic partnerships with universities. The Army now has approximately 300 academic partnerships with universities across the nation to support modernization efforts into the future. The U.S. Army Futures Command, which stood up in 2018, is located on the University of Texas campus in Austin as part of that effort.
During a visit to El Paso and Fort Bliss on Dec. 16, Gen. John M. Murray, commanding general of AFC, continued that effort to partner with universities during a visit to the University of Texas at El Paso. The commander of the U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command, Brig. Gen. Johnny K. Davis, joined the visit to UTEP, as did U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar. UTEP President Heather Wilson spoke to the group about UTEP's capabilities in engineering and science research.
"UTEP has done exceptional research work for the Army for many years," Wilson said. "Today we explored how we might increase the research we do for the Army on some of their toughest and most important problems."
Murray toured facilities and spoke with faculty researchers about advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, cyber security, quantum computing and counter-unmanned aerial systems, among other topics.
"Army Futures Command is focused on modernizing our Army to ensure our soldiers have what they need in the future ... and in the 'future after that,'" Murray said to UTEP leaders. "To get that right, and to stay ahead, we're drawing on the very best cutting-edge science and technology ... from advanced materials and artificial intelligence to hypersonics. Our leading research universities around the nation are part of our overall effort."
In the past year, the Army has established the University Technology Development Division, which serves as the primary link from the headquarters into academic partnership efforts and demonstrates the Army's commitment to partnering with academia to find solutions to modernization challenges.
After a morning at UTEP, Gen. Murray joined Brig. Gen. Davis at JMC to hear about JMC's efforts to modernize the Army. JMC is a subordinate command to AFC. This was Murray's first visit to JMC, so it gave him a chance to hear from JMC senior leaders. Murray was joined by his command group, including Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Crosby.
Before ending his daylong visit to El Paso and Fort Bliss, Murray spoke to the students at The NCO Leadership Center of Excellence, providing them an update on the progress the Army is making in the Army's new operating concept of Multi-Domain Operations. Murray told the students that the Army of 2028 needs to be able to join with its joint and multinational partners to fight and win in all five warfare domains: air, space, cyber, land and maritime.
During his time at JMC, Murray asked for leaders' assistance in assessing what the MDO concept looks like at the brigade combat team level and on helping provide focus and insight on the more than 30 signature modernization efforts.