Interoperability and transformation must be more than just buzzwords if the United States and its allies are to achieve a lasting victory against global terror. “Turning Ideas Into Reality” is the theme of the 2005 AFCEA Transformation TechNet
symposium, to be held June 21-22 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, Hampton, Virginia.
The annual event’s agenda encompasses warfighter success stories, the delivery of new technologies to joint and coalition forces, and business models for military transformation. According to Gen. John A. Dubia, USA, (Ret.), AFCEA International’s executive vice president for operations, the two previous Transformation TechNet events allowed U.S. and coalition commanders to express their needs directly to industry officials on both sides of the Atlantic.
Gen. Dubia explains that the symposium reflects the ideas of Joint Forces Commander Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., USN, regarding maintaining U.S. and coalition momentum in the face of technological change. This year’s theme of turning ideas into reality establishes the goal of leveraging industry’s capabilities as a creative engine in the transformation process. Like AFCEA’s annual TechNet International event in Washington, D.C., the Hampton Roads forum presents information technology requirements gleaned from commanders in an effort to translate these needs to industry.
The event will launch with a keynote speech by Maj. Gen. Svante Bergh, Swedish Army (Ret.), vice president, strategic marketing, Ericsson Microwave Systems. The day’s first panel, moderated by Maj. Gen. Tommy F. Crawford, USAF, will highlight warfighter success stories. The second panel examines technology delivery and will be moderated by Dr. Janet Fender, chief scientist, Air Combat Command. Dr. F. Russell Richards, technology transfer officer, U.S. Joint Forces Command, is scheduled to moderate Wednesday’s panel on business models for transformation.
David Wennergren, chief information officer, U.S. Navy, is Tuesday’s luncheon speaker, and Wednesday’s keynote address will be given by Lt. Gen. William M. Fraser III, USAF, vice commander, Air Combat Command. Adm. Giambastiani is scheduled to deliver the luncheon address on Wednesday.
Gen. Dubia notes that this year panels will focus on three areas. One panel will discuss success stories from recent combat operations. Other panels consider technology delivery and how private industry can help accelerate the development process. “Bring deliverables so we can go to the next level of sophistication. Because as you do this, you’re also potentially saving lives,” he says.
The key goal of the event, says the general, is to allow industry and government experts to meet and exchange information and ideas about where to target research funds. “Everybody is fiscally constrained, whether it’s government or industry. So the better that government can explain to industry what is needed in forums such as Transformation TechNet, the better industry is able to spend precious research dollars and—most important to us—get the products in the hands of men and women in uniform in a more timely manner,” Gen. Dubia maintains.