The Bayonet

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016

Army tests new warfighting tech at Army Warfighting Assessment

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FORT BLISS, Texas - The first full "Army Warfighting Assessment," AWA 17.1, kicked off here Monday.

The two-week exercise is meant to gather feedback from Soldiers on the performance of new warfighting capabilities like robotics systems and autonomous weapons systems in a life-like combat situation, according to Maj. Gen. Terry McKenrick, commander of the Army's Brigade Modernization Command.

"How well do these capabilities perform?" he said during a media day Friday, describing the questions the AWA is intended to answer. "Do they meet the requirements? Are the requirements right? Is there a way to make this capability better?"

Participants in AWA 17.1 include Soldiers from the regular Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve, as well as soldiers from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Denmark and Italy.

During the AWA, Soldiers will implement 41 concepts and capabilities designed to meet 20 "warfighting challenges" posited by the Army. The exercise will be stopped three times so the Soldiers can provide insight on how the new capabilities helped or hindered the execution of their mission.

McKenrick said the feedback will be analyzed by the Brigade Modernization Command.

"We determine some findings and recommendations; we then brief that through a series of governance forms, and then it goes up to the Department of the Army, where senior leaders ... can prioritize and make decisions," he said.

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