Project Convergence: The U.S. Army’s Latest Experiments with the Warfighting Tech of Tomorrow

Project Convergence
(U.S. Army)

Welcome to this week’s Intelligence Brief… following a recent series of experiments involving future warfighting capabilities under what the Department of Defense calls Project Convergence, the U.S. Army is looking ahead to the battlefield environment of tomorrow. In our analysis this week, we’ll be looking at 1) what recent testing has revealed about the future of Army operations, 2) a look at Project Convergence and what it entails, and 3) what the recent experiments reveal as far as forecasts for the battlefield of tomorrow.

Quote of the Week

“Technology is moving really fast.” 

– Army Gen. Randy George


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Now, it’s time to shift our attention to Project Convergence and how it is setting the pace for the future of the U.S. Armed Forces and their operations.

The Future of Warfighting

The integration of advanced new technologies is reshaping the way the U.S. armed forces will operate on the battlefield of the future, both on land, and in the air.

“We’ve all seen how the battlefield is changing,” according to Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Randy George, who recently expressed his views on how the military is changing and adapting to the implementation of advanced systems that include AI and a range of other technologies.

U.S. Army
Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Randy George and Gen. James Rainey, Commanding General of U.S. Army Futures Command attend a human-machine integration demonstration during Project Convergence – Capstone 4 (Credit: Army Sgt. Brahim Douglas/U.S. Army).

“We know that machines can do a lot of things right now much more effectively and much cheaper, and we’re going to have to incorporate them into our formations,” George said shortly after returning from his observations of Project Convergence Capstone 4 (PC-C4), an experiment involving the combined participation of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Space Force.

The experiment was undertaken at Camp Pendleton, California, and the Army’s National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California, beginning in February and concluding on March 20. More than 4,000 U.S. service members and military civilians participated, as well as a range of other joint and multinational force members who engaged in experiments with the latest communications and operations systems and to conduct battlefield maneuvers that will likely represent the future of warfare.

Project Convergence

Project Convergence is a joint multinational experiment designed to allow members of the armed forces to perform tests with new technologies at the operational level that “will inform the integration of modernization capabilities and formations at multiple echelons in the future operating environment,” according to a DoD fact sheet.

The recent completion of Capstone 4 represents the largest two-phase experiment the Army has conducted to date, under the direction of the Army Futures Command and its future operational environment assessment and joint warfighting concepts.

“Joint experimentation allows continuous learning to inform future readiness and modernization activities and helps to inform reliable network systems, data-driven decisions and joint warfighting concepts,” the DoD fact sheet states.

Capstone 4 focused on technological experiments that will help facilitate integration, adaptability, and overall synchronization of the individual military components as a joint force and enable all-domain warfare.

Building the Military of Tomorrow, Today

“Technology is moving really fast,” George said following his observations of PC-C4, which he said “kind of gave us an opportunity to see just how we could do that.”

One of the experiments conducted during PC-C4 involved training in a simulated urban environment. Soldiers were accompanied by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and robotic dogs to assist in collecting information about the environment in real-time.

Project Convergence

Army Staff Sgt. Stetson Manuel assembles the Ghost-X Unmanned Aircraft System during the human machine integration experiment for Project Convergence Capstone 4 (Credit: Army Staff Sgt. LaShic Patterson/U.S. Army).

George said the training operation that united the robotic systems with the light infantry warfighters “was all tied together by a very simple command and control network that was easy to use and intuitive.”

“This isn’t about testing something in a showroom,” George said. “This is actually getting to use [the technology] where they’re going to use it … and I think that’s where we do our best learning.”

Although the timeline for implementing new technologies that were used during Project Convergence is still somewhat uncertain and involves budgetary and other considerations, George said that the Army does “have a sense of urgency” that is driving the timeframe for their integration.

“I think everybody is anxious to transform,” George said.

During the experiments in early March, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jeramy Cosner, the chief technology officer of AFC’s Network Cross-Functional Team, which participated in the PC-C4 exercises, said that George is “driving us to provide leaders what they need on the changing battlefield — network and command and control systems that are simple, mobile, low signature and adaptable.”

“Project Convergence helps us figure out what is possible to get there,” Cosner said.

That concludes this week’s installment of The Intelligence Brief. You can read past editions of The Intelligence Brief at our website, or if you found this installment online, don’t forget to subscribe and get future email editions from us here. Also, if you have a tip or other information you’d like to send along directly to me, you can email me at micah [@] thedebrief [dot] org, or Tweet at me @MicahHanks.

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