How all those defense meetings in Huntsville make America safer

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - When you talk about the US Army and defending the nation, whether it be missiles or aviation or a number of other things, you're also probably talking about Huntsville's Von Braun Center.

That's where the Association of the U.S. Army has its annual Global Force Symposium in the spring. In the fall we have the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in the fall and even later the Quad-A Army Aviation Sustainment Symposium.

"It's extremely important that they come together and they share their priorities with us so we can align with it," said Yulista CEO Josh Herren.

Herren was actually talking about the Aviation Symposium and having government, military and industry in the same room.  But all the gatherings have the same goal, and that's figuring the best way to sustain what we have, while planning for the future.  And, as people at every meeting would say, "in a multi-domain environment."

At the AUSA gathering, one big topic was the increasing threat from unmanned aircraft.

"It's the next improvised explosive device, you know, those roadside bombs. Well, they can do all that with drones," said Paul Tremont from SRC Inc.

The concern with drones, a threat that was a dream 20 years ago, shows the changing nature of threats.

The SMD Symposium was dominated by talk about hypersonics. Those are weapons that travel five times the speed of sound or faster and are also maneuverable.

"Make no mistake, the threat is very real and our potential adversaries are testing it today. We've seen it demonstrated and it's something we have to be concerned about," said Kenneth Todorov from Northrop Grumman.

The concern is evident, and that's why everyone getting together to understand the threat, and the path forward becomes all-important.  It's what's happening at the Von Braun Center every year.

"They're from all over the world, and so to bring them together at once to get that viewpoint, to get that message across and to understand what their message is to us, is priceless," said Jim Rogers from Lockheed Martin.

It was important last year. It was important this year, and it will be important again next year too.

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