During Project Convergence 21, a small group of unsung heroes facilitated the Joint integration and technological leaps needed to push forward military capabilities in all domains. At both Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona; and White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, a strong group of warrant officers allowed the Army modernization enterprise to accomplish many successes and noteworthy “firsts.”
The success of Project Convergence rests on the technical expertise of this critical group of leaders, who worked to innovate solutions to complex problems in integrating technologies and capabilities across the Joint Force. Warrant Officers with backgrounds in Fires, the Network, Electronic Warfare and Intelligence worked collaboratively to stitch together experimental conditions that facilitated critical Joint learning and a number of notable accomplishments for both the Army and the Joint team.
While much of their work is highly classified, meet the quiet warrant officer professionals who deserve accolades and credit for what the Joint Force accomplished during six weeks of experimentation:
CW3 Wavell E. L. Williams Jr. serves as the Systems Integration Officer in the 112th Signal Battalion (Special Operations) (Airborne) in the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). In this position, he is responsible for modernization, innovation, and integration of Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence systems into the Special Operations Forces (SOF) Information Environment (SIE). During Project Convergence 21, CW3 Williams’ focus was to enable interoperability between SOF and Conventional Forces. He successfully facilitated communications through video, chat, and position location indicator via secure but unclassified systems into the Joint Common Operational Picture with successful integration of all Institutional Research and Assessment Division and Science and Technology Programs aligned to USASOC for PC21. His technical prowess enabled cross-domain communications in support of Joint Fires and effects in ways that had never before been exercised.
CW4 Mark Townsend is the Signals Intelligence Officer in Charge for I Corps. Chief Townsend enlisted in the United States Army in 2000 as a 98C Signals Intelligence Analyst and graduated as a 352N from the SIGINT Warrant Officer Basic Course in 2007. He has served at echelons from Brigade through Corps and in specialized positions at the Intelligence and Security Command Headquarters and various Intelligence Battalions. His diverse background and vast experience afforded success in integrating critical Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance platforms that enabled lethal and non-lethal fires during experimentation.
CW2 Darryl Tillman is the GEOINT Technical Advisor for I Corps. CW2 Tillman enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2007 as a 35G Imagery Analyst. He graduated 350G GEOINT Warrant Officer Basic Course in 2016. Chief Tillman has served in strategic (MI BDEs), institutional (ICOE) and tactical (BCTs) positions prior to joining I Corps. He worked creatively with the Joint Force to overcome frictions associated with data standardization in order to provide fidelity and targetable data to appropriate entities. CW2 Tillman’s hard work in overcoming incompatibilities between intelligence and fires technologies identified critical gaps and requirements that will enable the Joint Force in future experimentation.
CW5 Jeremy Sager is an All-Source Intelligence Technician assigned to the Intelligence Capabilities Development Directorate at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. In his more than 28 years of military service, he has served at every echelon from company to unified combatant command, including multiple tours abroad in support of named operations within the USCENTCOM and USEUCOM AORs. During Project Convergence 21, CW5 Sager led the planning and integration of emerging intelligence sensing and processing capabilities key to Multi-Domain Operations.
CW4 Jessy Carr is the Long Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team’s Targeting Technical Advisor. Chief Carr enlisted in 2000 as a 13M Multiple Launch Rocket System Crew Member and graduated as a 131A from Field Artillery Technician Warrant Officer Basic Course in 2008. He has served as a Targeting Officer at echelons from Brigade through Division. During PC 21, Chief Carr and his team successfully integrated emerging fires technologies to enable multi-dimensional kill webs, optionality and effects at MDO-relevant ranges; his efforts were instrumental in advancing essential sensor-to-shooter digitization.
CW3 Kirk C. Scarlett is the Long Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team’s Targeting Technician. CW3 Scarlett enlisted in the Army in 2000 as a 13B Field Artillery Cannoneer. He graduated 131A Field Artillery Warrant Officer Basic Course in 2012. Chief Scarlett has served in all tactical positions within a Division and below. He was selected by the LRPF CFT as their lead planner for PC21. His technical expertise was integral to the Configuration Integration and Validation of SHOT, RAINMAKER, and AFATDS during multiple risk reduction exercises and the successful execution of PC21. Chief Scarlett consistently provided critical inputs throughout the planning process and was instrumental in developing experiment design and interpreting outputs.
CW4 Robert Balch is the Air and Missile Defense Cross Functional Team (AMD CFT) Command and Control (C2) Systems Integrator. Chief Balch enlisted in 1998 as a 14T Patriot Launcher Operator/Maintainer and graduated from C2 Systems Integrator Warrant Officer Basic Course in 2006 as a 140A. His diverse background serving in tactical through strategic organizations enabled him to advise ground-breaking milestones within Joint AMD experimentation during PC21. CW4 Balch facilitated live-fire executions with emerging technologies and brainstormed innovative ways in which to connect Joint firing control systems in support of Integrated Fires.
CW3 Dwayne Gow serves as the Joint Modernization Command’s (JMC) Electronic Warfare Officer responsible for the integration of Cyber Electromagnetic Activities into the planning process. He advises JMC’s command group and staff on the employment of electronic warfare and management of the electromagnetic spectrum. He assists in the development of plans and orders in support of Joint Warfighting Assessments, Positioning Navigation and Timing Annual Exercises and Project Convergence. He provides connectivity with national and theater level EW agencies and was a critical enabler of D/DIL conditions during PC21 experimentation. His initiatives to implement nonlethal effects allowed the modernization enterprise to identify critical requirements gaps and a way ahead for the hardening and resiliency of emerging capabilities.
No one becomes a Warrant Officer for attention or praise. Our best Soldiers commission into the Warrant Officer Corps to solve our toughest, most technical problems. With unsurpassed domain expertise and incredible problem-solving abilities, they are, perhaps, the best value in our Army. The Warrants highlighted above are only a few of the invaluable professionals who demonstrated the unique and exquisite power of the human mind during Project Convergence 21.
Convergence isn’t just about combining emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, autonomy and robotics in new and innovative ways. Convergence is also a melding of human intellect, from various backgrounds with unquestionable proficiency. Given the time, space and resources, these Warrant Officers demonstrated patience, tenacity and unparalleled intellectual agility. They deserve all the credit, and stand as exemplars of the talent required to fight and win on a multi-domain battlefield.