WASHINGTON — The Army officially kicked off Project Convergence 2022 on Monday with a PC22 Warriors Corner at the Association of the United States Army annual meeting and exposition in Washington.
Army Futures Command leaders Brig. Gen. Guy Jones, deputy director of the Futures and Concepts Center, and Maj. Gen. Miles Brown, commander of U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, led the Warriors Corner — the first in this year’s Warriors Corner series — to share details and objectives of the experiment, which begins this week in the West Coast region of the U.S.
During the Warriors Corner, Jones and Brown showcased the evolution of Project Convergence as a campaign of learning that incorporates lessons from other service experiments, such as the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System and the Navy’s Project Overmatch, to inform the development of Joint All-Domain Command and Control.
"Project Convergence is a campaign of demonstration and experimentation," Jones said. "It allows the Joint Force and multinational partners to collect data, evaluate effectiveness, reduce risk and optimize warfighting capability. The multi-phase effort is helping the Joint Force to develop the transformational concepts and capabilities required to fight and win, developing breakthrough technologies and systems that we were contending with."
"Building the Army of 2030” is this year’s theme at AUSA and highlights the Army’s current transformation, which is being accelerated by efforts like PC22.
Jones and Brown clarified that Project Convergence is not an exercise but an Army-hosted experiment that focuses on drawing key insights from successes and failures to solve problems from a Joint Force perspective. Project Convergence was small in scale when it started in 2020; however, the Army quickly realized it wanted to take tests out of the laboratory and put them out into the field. Project Convergence 2021 focused on harnessing new technologies, while PC22 will assess how to employ cutting-edge technologies in close coordination with sister services and international partners, exploring questions like “Can we take a Navy Aegis sensor, pull target quality data out of it, and give it to a Patriot missile system?"
While doing so might seem simple enough, making the systems talk to each other can be quite challenging. Though the services have four joint message systems, for example, they didn't fit the technology currently in use and needed to be updated for PC22.
Another primary focus of PC22 is testing new and older experiments at a larger scale, particularly in the air and missile defense field.
"We're over 50% simulating because I can't put 100+ missiles in the air at one time during an experiment," Jones said. "Can we handle a hundred, two hundred missiles in the air? We can't, so how do we enable an AI to do that? This was one of our biggest challenges for this year."
PC22 takes place through November and includes maritime and land-based scenarios, as well as a Technology Gateway. The Technology Gateway acts as an entry point for industry and small businesses to work on a generic scenario with a separate network for those already briefed and who want to experiment with their technology. This is to ensure that new ideas are generated and implemented in the years to come, enabling the Army to stay ahead of its near-peer adversaries.
During a question-and-answer session with press members and industry leaders, Jones spoke about how lessons learned in Ukraine were being implemented in PC22.
“We've adjusted some [tactics, techniques and procedures] over the last three months, both in simulation and live threat,” Jones said.
Another question posed was how a small business could engage with the Technology Gateway element to share new technology with the Army. Brown explained how for the first time, Army Futures Command had created an industry portal, which is scheduled to become available in the next 60 days, but also emphasized that new technology will not always be the answer to persistent challenges.
"Oftentimes, especially with small businesses, it's not necessarily about new technology, but envisioning technology that we already have in different ways," Brown said. "I would tell you 25% of the things we are looking at is the same technology we had before, but we're applying it now because it's integrative."
For more information, please visit the Project Convergence website.