As stated in the Fires Fifty: if you can’t talk, you can’t win. With this in mind and COVID-19 still creating roadblocks for travel, the annual meeting of the Fires Force turned virtual. The discussion on how to achieve overmatch in large scale combat operations livestreamed Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 at tuned in, and asked questions from leaders like Gen. Paul Funk, Gen. James Dickinson and Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston.The annual gathering acted as a check for the field artillery and air defense artillery to discuss what is working for the force and what must be done to be successful in future operations. The topics ranged from high-level leadership, to the things that affect Soldiers every day.“As ADA structure evolves to meet new mission-sets and field new weapon systems, air defenders will enjoy opportunities to earn new additional skill identifiers and participate in a greater variety of training courses,” said Col. Rich Harrison, Air Defense Artillery School commandant and chief of the ADA Branch.“Air defenders will be eligible for a Stryker Leader Course ensuring ADA leaders that are assigned to M-SHORAD battalions possess the outstanding technical and tactical competencies required. Additionally, a Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortar ASI [additional skill identifier] is being created with a corresponding functional course to open this capability to Soldiers outside the 14P MOS. A Stryker master gunner ASI and training program is also in the works.”This is the first Fires Conference since the Army released its six modernization priorities naming long range precision fires and air and missile defense. As Soldiers have been moving in rapid pace to meet all priorities, this was a chance to discuss how each piece fits into the Fires powerhouse.Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, LRPF director, said his presentation to both FA and ADA audiences covered the gamut of weapon systems being tested and modernized. Those include the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon, the Strategic Long Range Cannon, Precision Strike Missile and more.“At the tactical level where most of you operate, you’ll learn about the Extended Range Cannon Artillery System and the fact that we’re bringing back general support cannon artillery to Army divisions,” said Rafferty. “It’s your professional obligation to attend the Fires Conference and learn as much as you can about the Army’s No. 1 modernization priority because it’s coming to you in 2023.”