Army Futures Command incorporates international partners into annual demonstration

By Lisa Ferguson, AFC Future Vertical Lift Cross Functional TeamMay 2, 2022

U.S. Army
The Experimental Demonstration Gateway Event 2022 at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, will feature an Air Launched Effect swarm as part of the annual exercise designed to asses new tactics, technologies and interconnecting architectures. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

DUGWAY PROVING GROUND, Utah – Army Futures Command’s Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team kicked off its annual Experimental Demonstration Gateway Event, or EDGE, on May 2 to assess new tactics, technologies and interconnecting architectures with more than 16 inter-service organizations and seven international partners.

EDGE 2022 includes progressive efforts connecting Joint All-Domain Command and Control to the lower tier of the air domain by extending the reach and lethality of the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft Ecosystem to accelerate combined kill chains in all-domain operations. This year seven international partners; to include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and United Kingdom; are participating, some with network and weapons systems. This inclusion advances efforts to ensure integration and interoperability among allied nations.

“The EDGE experimentation is a powerful step in our transformation towards a data-centric Army,” said Lt. Gen. James Richardson, Acting Commanding General of Army Futures Command. “The effort continues our campaign of learning by focusing in on our aviation assets ability to network and utilize data as ammunition.”

EDGE22 objectives include:

  • Interoperability: Improve ability for allies and partners to coherently, effectively and efficiently act together to achieve tactical, operational and strategic objectives. Achieved across multiple dimensions: technical, procedural, human and information.
  • Network: Advance data-centric solutions and enable the speed, range and convergence to achieve decision dominance and overmatch.
  • Interactive Drone Swarm: Technology demonstration within Future Unmanned Aircraft System signature effort. Alters battlefield geometry providing tailored capability for threat overmatch through advanced teaming.
  • Multi-INT Sensors: Pursue tailorable payloads to include electronic sense, decoy and attack. Advance AI enabled aided target recognition to improve threat detect and identification.
  • Enhanced Sustainment: Increase systems’ reliability, availability and maintainability. Critical in contested and expeditionary logistic environments.

“We’re doing a couple really big things at EDGE22,” said Maj. Gen. Walter “Wally” Rugen, Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team director. “Pulling in our international allies is an important piece, and the interactive drone swarm, testing how that needs to be fought, seeing how that concept develops and what needs to go into our doctrine. The swarm is tailored to generate overmatch, this concept of outpacing the enemy in a battlefield geometry that breaks them.”

Bottom line, he said, is that our teams are working to innovate and to “execute violently to get after innovation.” The goal is to keep pushing the envelope, working these complex problems hard and taking the risk if it’s going to bring us better knowledge.

EDGE22 is part of AFC’s Project Convergence Campaign of Learning and builds on lessons learned from previous experimentations at our nation’s Western Test Ranges, including EDGE21 at Dugway Proving Ground and Project Convergence 21 at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona.