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US Forces Command Commanding General Andrew Poppas shakes hands with FTCC President Dr. Larry Keen while Dr. Sammy Choi and Scott Dorney look on.

US Forces Command Commanding General Andrew Poppas shakes hands with FTCC President Dr. Larry Keen while Dr. Sammy Choi (left) and Scott Dorney look on. [Photo by Brad Losh]

Fayetteville Technical Community College and the North Carolina Military Business Center welcomed military officials, government leaders, academic partners and industry innovators to campus Tuesday for the Defense Technology Symposium.

The event, which was held in conjunction with the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Warfighter Summit and Exposition, provided a forum for defense stakeholders to establish a dialogue and strengthen partnerships to address the future technology needs of America’s warfighters.

Gen. Andrew Poppas, who became commanding general of the U.S. Army Forces Command earlier this month, delivered the keynote remarks in the morning session.

Poppas spoke of the local community’s collaborative support for the military and of the importance of partnerships to make an event like the DTS happen.

“Thank you very much for supporting the people who make our Army the greatest in the world,” Poppas said. “Thank you for the work that you do as it relates to today’s events. Maintaining America’s edge is technology. The actual character of war is changing, and it’s playing out in Ukraine. We need to stay ahead of it, and that’s what this symposium will allow us to do.”

Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, the North Carolina Defense Technology Transition Office and the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology & Innovation joined FTCC and the NCMBC as event hosts.

Tillis appeared via video to deliver the afternoon session’s keynote remarks.

FORSCOM Commanding Gen. Andrew Poppas speaks at the podium during the Defense Technology Symposium.
FTCC and the NC Military Business Center hosted the Defense Technology Symposium on July 26, 2022, at the Tony Rand Student Center. [Photos by Brad Losh]
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In his welcoming address, FTCC President Dr. J. Larry Keen commented on the power of collaboration to generate success on the global stage.

“We have the honor of working in concert with the people who protect the freedoms of this country,” Keen said. “One thing we do in this country extremely well is that we come from one idea to a global economy, a global power and a global influencer in so many ways. That happens because of the collaborations in this room — from the private sector to the public sector, the governmental sector and the educational sector.”

NCMBC executive director Scott Dorney; Major Gen. (Ret.) Al Aycock, the AUSA’s Braxton Bragg Chapter president; Brigadier Gen. (Ret.) Jack Haley, the AUS’s vice president for meetings and minutes; and Jared Summers, chief technology officer for the 18th Airborne Corps, also addressed the attendees.

The day’s agenda included four panels focused on key components of the defense technology ecosystem and the vital role the state plays in developing defense technology: North Carolina: Frontier of the Future, Defense Research and Development Resources, Government Innovation Initiatives and Military Technology Needs and Trends.