The main part of the Convergence project begins in October and runs through November. In its third year, Project Convergence will focus on both the Indo-Pacific and European regions while identifying ways to fight this battle with capabilities on a larger scale. The experimental event evolved from an Army exercise in the desert of Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in 2020 to a joint assessment in 2021; this year will involve international partners from the United Kingdom and Australia.
Project Convergence will grow in size and scope this year to further explore how joint forces and international partners can conduct fully networked combined operations. Another new element of the U.S. Army’s annual experimentation event is a “gateway” where industry can test new technologies in an operational environment. The Army had a number of industry partners “knocking on our door to be part of Project Convergence 2021,” Brig. Gen. Brig. Gen. Guy Jones, director of the Army’s Center for Future and Concepts, said in an interview with Defense News ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.
In many cases, the past year has shown that industry is too close to testing new technologies, so the Army partnered with industry to create the Gateway experimentation event, Jones said. Participation in the first year of the Gateway is high, with about 50 different technologies being evaluated in theater-independent scenarios. The Army will provide a separate network for participating companies to connect to, and the event will be held during Project Convergence at Yuma Proving Ground, Jones said.
“The intent is that industry partners who understand and have been briefed on some of the challenges that we may have will “bring in some of the developments and things that they’ve been working on” that, if successful, would then be fully incorporated into the next Convergence project or subsequent versions, Jones said. “That way, we’ll continue to develop new and innovative ideas for the overall learning campaign.”