REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — During her first trip to Redstone Arsenal, the Army’s top civilian applauded the installation’s synergy, chemistry and teamwork.
Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth, who was confirmed May 28, visited Redstone to learn more about the work being done to advance the Army’s priorities of people, readiness and modernization, August 2-3.
“It’s great to visit Redstone Arsenal and see firsthand the strategic impact this installation has globally,” she said. “It is very remarkable, the federal family here on Redstone, the partnerships with the communities and local universities, and the overall growth of the installation and community together.”
While meeting with Gen. Ed Daly, Army Materiel Command commander, Wormuth remarked on the command’s reach and impact across the Army.
“In my short time as secretary, I’ve been shocked by the incredible scale of the Army’s global enterprise and a lot of that happens right here with you,” she said. “This visit allowed me to better understand the herculean work that happens within this organization and across this installation.”
Daly emphasized AMC’s global reach.
“As you visit different installations and facilities, you will continue to see the AMC patch and gain the firsthand look at how we are supporting our Soldiers and their families,” he said.
During her visit, Wormuth saw multiple efforts to advance the Army’s modernization priorities, including Army Futures Command’s Future Vertical Lift Cross Functional Team Director Maj. Gen. Walter Rugen, who teamed with Program Executive Office for Aviation Brig. Gen. Robert Barrie, and Aviation & Missile Center Director Jeffrey Langhout, to update her on the status of FVL’s signature efforts: Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, and Modular Open Systems Approach.
“The FVL ecosystem is integral to the Joint Kill Chain and Joint All Domain Command and Control,” Rugen said. “Our modernization efforts are critical to the Army’s future operations, providing an asymmetric advantage in peer and near-peer competition. Dominating the lower tier of the air domain remains crucial to the freedom of maneuver for our ground force commander.”
Current projections have first units equipped with FARA and FLRAA aircraft in fiscal year 2030, with initial prototypes in units in the next few years. FTUAS, having wrapped up a yearlong Soldier touch point earlier this year, expects for first units to be equipped in fiscal year 2023 and its Air Launched Effects two years later.
She also met with Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, Space and Missile Defense Command commander, who spoke about how SMDC develops and provides current and future global space, missile defense and high altitude capabilities to the Army, joint force, and allies and partners in the command’s mission to protect the nation.
“We are glad Secretary Wormuth had the opportunity to come to SMDC and see firsthand how the command is leading the Army and joint force into the future,” Karbler said. “Our Center of Excellence and Technical Center are at the forefront of the nation’s space, missile defense and high altitude technologies and enable battlefield dominance today as well as enabling the next generation to prevail in future conflicts.”
Karbler said it was great to highlight the command’s civilian teammates, especially the interns participating in the SMDC Underserved Community Cybersecurity and Engineering Education Development (SUCCEED) and Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) programs.
“Secretary Wormuth made it a point to thank us for leading the effort to develop our next generation of Army science, technology, engineering and mathematics leaders,” he said. “She saw that we are a ‘People First’ team of professionals providing space, missile defense and high altitude forces and capabilities to support joint warfighting readiness in all domains.”
Wormuth finished her Redstone visit at the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, where she discussed the development of rapid prototyping efforts in Hypersonics, Mid-Range Capability, and Directed Energy.
“It has been my pleasure to have this opportunity,” Wormuth said. “I’m very impressed with the efforts to integrate Soldier touchpoints into these systems, RCCTO has accomplished so much in a short period of time. Today, I was able to experience those accomplishments from the operational perspective.”
Following Wormouth’s visit at Redstone, she toured two industry partner’s facilities, Kord and Lockheed Martin. The RCCTO is responsible for prototyping a land-based Long Range Hypersonic Weapon to Soldiers by fiscal year 2023. It is also developing a ground-launched, prototype MRC for delivery to an operational battery by fiscal year 2023. In fiscal year 2022, the Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense, a 50 kilowatt-class High Energy Laser weapon system, will be fielded to a Stryker platoon.