WASHINGTON, DC – After skipping a year in 2020 due to COVID, the AUSA 2021 Annual Meeting & Exposition returned to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC and came back strong. Army strong some might say.
Proof of vaccination was required to enter the venue and face masks were mandatory, which made normal conversation difficult, but most exhibitors and attendees seemed to agree it was a small price to pay for being able to meet face-to-face again and see and touch the technology on display.
And there was plenty of technology to be seen — from pocket knives and small arms to helicopters and battle tanks; from tiny sensor systems to large ruggedized computers. Essentially, anything a soldier might possibly need to carry out a mission was on display somewhere in the exhibit hall.
Of particular interest was a special press briefing given by members of the SOSA consortium to update the media on progress being made on that technical front. Version 1.0 of the SOSA standard was officially released on September 30, marking a major milestone following the successful Tri-Service Open Architecture Interop Demo hosted by Georgia Tech back in January 2020, just before the world shut down. Planning for the next working demo, to be hosted by NAVAIR in March 2022, is currently underway.