HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Von Braun Ccenter is a busy place this week. The AUSA Global Force Symposium and Exhibition is using almost the entire complex.
There are panel discussions and invited speakers. The most visual part of the AUSA meeting is the packed South Hall. Defense companies large and small are showing off their products, their ideas and their capabilities. It is the place to be. "This is not just related to Huntsville. You have people here that represent the Army world wide, and it's really good exposure," says Ken Chambers who represents a defense contractor from Arkansas.
All the dozens of defense companies want to sell their products. The competition to produce what the Army wants now, and in the future, actually works in the Army's favor.
The question to ask, would the Army keep its high-tech edge without symposiums like this one? "I don't think so. This is where we all come together and talk as a group in one room, as opposed to one-on-one meetings. So we get to compare notes, and we see what each other offers. And it's the best of bringing the best of what we all have to the customer," says Veronica Sherard of DRS Technologies.
The customer is the Army, and in the modern world the AUSA Symposium is more than necessary. It's crucial. "It is very complex. It's very dangerous, and we have to insure that our soldiers are always ready, their equipment is always ready, and that they are the best led, best trained and best equipped. And forums like this allow us to discuss that, to find out where our shortfalls and gaps are," says General Dennis Via, the Commanding General of the Army Materiel Command.
The bottom line is, the AUSA Symposium will involve some 6,000 people by the time it finishes up at noon on Thursday. Everyone involved believes the time at the Von Braun Center, is time well spent.