“Readiness for Multi-Domain Operations” was the theme for the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2019 Global Force Symposium and Exposition, held March 26-28, in Huntsville, Alabama.

This AUSA Institute of Land Warfare professional development forum, held at the Von Braun Center, marked the sixth consecutive year the symposium has taken place in Huntsville, home of more than 900 defense contractors and a military workforce of uniformed and civilian personnel totaling over 65,000.

Senior Army military and civilian personnel from the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Lee, Va.; the Huntsville-based U.S, Army Materiel Command; the U.S. Army Forces Command, Fort Bragg N.C.; and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) were among the 6,500 attendees at the three-day event.

Among the 162 exhibitors at the event, BAE Systems made perhaps the biggest waves with the unveiling of a new technology demonstrator of its Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) vehicle or ‘light tank,’ which featured Israeli Military Industries’ IRON FIST active protection system.

Featured prominently in an outdoor display, and also featuring Israeli technology, was Elbit Systems’ Iron Vision, see-through armor technology for tanks and armored vehicles.

Also premiering a new platform at the event was Oshkosh Defense LLC, which showcased its L-ATV Ambulance. According to Oshkosh, the new L-ATV Ambulance enables Army medics and Marine corpsmen to keep up with the powerful Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) while also offering protection for medical personnel and wounded warriors as they move to, through and away from combat.

Textron’s Howe and Howe displayed its GRIZZLY tracked unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) offering for the Army’s Squad Multi Purpose Equipment Transport (SMET) program.

Sticking with the vehicles, Howe & Howe Technologies’ Grizzly™ Equipment Transport was on display in the Textron Systems booth. The Grizzly, a mid-sized tracked unmanned vehicle, is an electric drive diesel hybrid equipment transport, designed to operate in the toughest of terrains while offering unprecedented range, reliability and mobility. The system is one of several candidates competing for the U.S. Army’s Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET) program.

Programmatic news made in/around AUSA Global Force included the Army’s award on 28 March of twin $99 million contracts to Textron and Martin UAV (with their V-Bat, pictured below) to provide vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) systems for a brigade combat team (BCT) evaluation for the service’s Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) program.

And on Friday, on the last day possible within Q2 of FY19 as promised, the Army issued a request for proposals to industry for next-generation combat vehicle prototypes under the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program.