As the global geopolitical environment sees rapid developments unfolding, the United States is shoring up its defense and military capabilities to prepare for an array of potential scenarios in the face of budgetary and adversarial uncertainties.
More than 20 of the Defense Department’s top leaders gathered on Wednesday during the McAleese FY2023 Defense Programs Conference to discuss the current defense priorities, realigned military strategies and new initiatives that work together to defend the U.S. and ensure the nation’s competitive advantage.
Hosted by Jim McAleese, principal and founder of McAleese and Associates, GovCon Expert and a three-time Wash100 Award recipient, the conference served as a platform for DoD officials to communicate their messages, needs and goals to industry partners, sister organizations and the general public.
As emcee for the highly-anticipated event, Mr. McAleese facilitated insightful question-and-answer sessions, moderated speaker conversations and imparted his signature enthusiasm for defense upon the hundreds of GovCon members in attendance.
The day’s program opened with remarks from Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood, director of hypersonics, space, directed energy and rapid acquisition for the U.S. Army, who spoke on the importance of rapidly developing and fielding hypersonic technologies and weapons in order to keep pace with other global powers in this area.
Ltg. Thurgood said his office is working to accelerate the hypersonics program in order to meet the Army’s goals and timelines surrounding the capability.
“Success of hypersonics is defined as delivering offensive hypersonic battery by midnight on 30 September, 2030. 12:01 is called failure,” Thurgood shared. “It’s that simple.”
The industrial base for hypersonics, he said, is nascent. The Army is now working with its industry partners to implement an integrated national schedule in order to transition hypersonics from S&T to a developed industrial base. However, despite the emerging nature of hypersonics, Ltg. Thurgood expressed that progress is being made and the Army is on track to achieve its goals.
“We know the definition of success, we know the timeline, and to the credit of our nation and the leadership and the Army, we’ve been given every penny that we’ve asked for to execute that mission set,” commented Ltg. Thurgood.
Following Ltg. Thurgood’s remarks, the McAleese conference proceeded to sessions led by speakers like Jay Raymond, chief of space operations for the U.S. Space Force and a 2022 Wash100 Award winner; Michael McCord, undersecretary of defense comptroller and chief financial officer; and Frank Kendall, secretary of the Air Force and a three-time Wash100 winner; among other high-ranking Defense Department executives.
Visit McAleese.com to learn more about the Defense Programs Conference and watch the speakers’ full remarks.