MILITARY MATTERS: Fort Benning Leaders Talk Robotics With East Alabama Leaders

Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 3:51 PM EDT
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PHENIX CITY, Al. (WTVM) - The U-S Army is going more and more high-tech, as Fort Benning leaders told a group in East Alabama that they need help from industries in the Chattahoochee Valley to stay on the cutting edge.

The Army of the future was a hot topic at a military legislative luncheon hosted by the East Alabama Chamber of Commerce. Various elected officials, local business advocated and members of the Ft. Benning Command Staff met in Phenix City.

“East Alabama is key to the focus that we have in terms of robotics and artificial intelligence,” Fort Benning Robotics Requirements Deputy Dir. Ted Maciuba said.

“And the importance is, we can leverage the skill sets both in the military but also important in the surrounding area, especially with the universities, keep people here, grow the industry here over time,” Fort Benning Robotics Director COL Robert Ryan said.

U.S. Army leaders say A.I. is key in the Pentagon’s efforts to modernize and autonomous robots could improve how effective and safe front line fighters are. One Colonel from Fort Benning says the increase in technology needs means there needs to be a strong relationship with communities on both sides of the Chattahoochee River.

“It’s not just service-oriented, but it’s going to have to become tech-oriented to support the war fighter of the future,” COL Ryan told us.

Maciuba, in talking about the collaboration, said, “It’s the military mission and commercial mission...and a lot of our solutions are going to be commercial.”

The 4-year-old Close Combat Lethality Task Force, which is now headquartered at Fort Benning, is turning to business leaders for the Army of the Future, which was the focus of a robotics conference a few years ago in Columbus. Army officers told the East Alabama group, they want to learn more from academia and the community.

“How are we pursuing and modernizing? And what do we need to do differently to be an effective force for America’s Army?,” COL Ryan said.

They are working with East Alabama and nearby businesses to get those answers.