Industry Days conference addresses Army missile, aviation platforms

Updated: Mar. 29, 2017 at 5:00 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Are the U.S. Army missile systems and aviation platforms prepared for any potential future threats to our country? That's the question driving Industry Days this week on Redstone Arsenal.

The conference is being hosted by the U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, or AMRDEC. Industry leaders and academia are meeting to talk about how they can merge what they offer with the government's military needs.

Speakers at Wednesday's event addressed the importance of communication and collaboration through every channel.

"A lot of people in this room, if you have a great concept and you're a small company or if you have a great concept and you're a bigger company, you need to look at how to collaborate and team in order to come up with a capability solution for the warfighter," said William Lewis, director on the aviation side of development at AMRDEC.

Wednesday was day two of the event and the first day they focused on missile systems, which is the second year the missile side has been a part of the conference.

Juanita Harris is the director of weapons development and integration. She explained that bringing in the missile systems opened up brand new opportunities.

"By having a diverse pool, where we're now gathering those technology concepts, those thoughts, it helps us to provide better solutions. We have a responsibility within the Army to provide technology solutions for, not just future readiness, but even the fight today as it exists today," said Harris.

At the conference, they even connected with schools in the surrounding Tennessee Valley area to get college students involved.

"Integrate college students into our research process so that they begin to understand the challenges facing the Army. Then, when they come out, they come back as an employee, full-time employee, but now they are already familiar with and have done the research in those areas so they hit the ground running," said Harris.

Wednesday's main focus was how companies can become a part of the aviation development through AMRDEC.

They end the conference Thursday with breakout sessions to have one-on-one meetings with companies and members of AMRDEC.

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