FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. -- Military representatives from around the country came together in Sierra Vista this week, during the 2011 Joint Interoperability Conference, to share insight and increase their understanding on the interoperability issues faced by today's joint warfighter. The three-day event, which began on Tuesday, is being hosted by the Joint Interoperability Test Command on Fort Huachuca and co-sponsored by the local chapters of the Southern Arizona Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association and the International Test and Evaluation Association Huachuca Chapter. The conference is being held at the Windemere Hotel and Conference Center, and wraps up today.

The theme of this year's event is, "Information Dominance Through Interoperability." It focuses on the principle that information dominance is achieved through the fielding of integrated and interoperable joint information technology and national security systems.

More than 300 people attended the conference, which hosted 19 guest speakers and panelists. It served as a venue for those involved in the development, acquisition, testing and fielding of IT/NSS. The goal is to inform stakeholders of interoperability issues. These include a better use of current programs, implementation of integrated testing, training on the development and use of joint mission threads, information support plans, and identification of a way ahead to help resolve these issues.

Day one of the conference began with opening remarks from Col. Joe Puett, commander of JITC. He asked attendees to share ideas and solve problems with one another to deliver an ever greater capability to the battlefield.

Keynote speaker, Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, deputy command general, Joint Forces Command, spoke to those attending the first session about technology as it ties into communications. He urged people to think about what problems they want to solve and asked if technology is really the solution.

"The skill set of being able to do things without technology is something that we can't forget. So as you offer technology, as you offer interoperability,...if you were to look at what interoperability means, it means taking diverse systems and making them work together. ... That's the common leadership challenge of everyone in this room," Huber stated.

The general went on to explain that people need to first define the problem, ensure the solution is collaborative, and then share it.

This is the 15th conference JITC has held. The department decided to reestablish the conference, as the last one was held in 2004. The reemerging of the annual JIC will serve as a way for leaders to come together to share ideas and increase their understanding of the need to rapidly field systems to the warfighter.

This mission of JITC on Fort Huachuca is to professionally test, operationally evaluate, and certify IT capabilities for joint interoperability, enabling information dominance and increasing warfighter effectiveness for the nation.

Today, members of the conference had the opportunity to tour the JITC test facilities on post.