Members of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory, the Army’s corporate research laboratory known as ARL, recently traveled to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., to gain perspective on how Soldiers are trained, and to learn what technical challenges they may face on the battlefields of today and tomorrow.
Fort Irwin is a U.S. Army base nearly the size of Rhode Island, located in the Mojave Desert 36 miles northeast of Barstow, Calif. The major tenant of Fort Irwin is NTC, where troops from all the services spend a three-week rotation before overseas deployments.
As part of this engagement, the ARL leaders had in-depth conversations with Soldiers about the technologies that enable them to effectively perform their duties and where the gaps in those technologies lie.
“This was an invaluable interaction and one that every researcher at the lab should consider undertaking so that they can gain a different perspective of how your work impacts our Soldiers,” said Sgt. Maj. Jeffery (David) Snipes, ARL’s senior enlisted advisor.
According to Rommie Hardy, technical assistant to the ARL director, one of the biggest takeaways was understanding that there is a big need within command and control to get from data to knowledge. This is an existing challenge that will become even more difficult given there is exponentially more available data within a multi-domain operating environment.
“There is an enormous amount of data that exists on the battlefield, and decision makers need to be able to go from data to knowledge in a short period of time,” Hardy said. “In order to do that, there is a considerable amount of research that still needs to be done to enable this capability. As the Army’s corporate research laboratory, we have positioned ourselves to answer the call and provide the solutions to address this research challenge.”