The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Construction Engineer Research Laboratory (CERL) hosted the first Army Installations 5G Innovation Summit at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Sponsored by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, the major goal of the summit was to help develop a roadmap for implementing the faster, next-generation network at Army installations.
Andy Johnson, an information technology specialist at CERL, identified Army stakeholders for Summit participation and identified and selected 5G experts as speakers from across academia, government, and industry for the event. Over the course of three days, more than 200 participants attended speaker presentations, deep-diving possible 5G use cases ― to include options and strategies for the Army to consider in 5G deployments. A 5G expert panel discussion and a government-only 5G requirements meeting were also held to spark further discussion and solutions. The Summit was capped with a classified meeting and 5G mobile command demonstration.
ERDCWERX was contracted to provide Summit logistics support such as venue selection, AV team selection, website creation, participant registration and badging, and post summit communication. Their role was critical to the Summit’s success.
CERL played a critical role for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations, or G-9, in identifying and gathering key Army stakeholders to start collaborating toward a 5G roadmap for installations.
“We had a high response rate,” said Johnson. “We accomplished what we set out to do.”
Army G-9, the primary stakeholder at the summit, is tasked with providing 5G installation requirements to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Command, Control, Communications, Cyber Operations and Networks, or G-6, in order for the G-6 to develop a 5G architecture. The summit was a step toward developing these requirements by focusing on an Army-specific 5G event that is both educational and that fostered collaborative discussion.
“I’ve received some feedback already, and it’s been only positive,” said Johnson. “People loved the speaker lineup, the organization and the venue. I know definitively that quite a few people left with action items and a sense of purpose.”