During this month, 450 soldiers from the British Army’s 20th Armoured Brigade Combat Team (20 ACBT) are in the US to conduct experimentation using innovative new systems and methods.
Although Project Convergence 22 features a lot of modern equipment being shown off, the Army’s true strength is its people.
Both the 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (2 YORKS) and the 4th Battalion The Ranger Regiment (4 RANGER) are in California to develop ways of working together with our American and Australian allies.
2 YORKS, alongside the Infantry Trials and Development Unit (ITDU) practised using the Skydio unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the ground Robotic Platoon Vehicle (RPV) in a mock-up desert village.
The Cheshire-based troops swooped into the training area on American UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, further highlighting how we work with our partners.
For their part, 4 RANGER deployed alongside the 75th Ranger Regiment of the US Special Operations Forces (SOF) on exercise for the first ever time – a working relationship that is likely to expand in the future, given our already close links with the US.
Captain Dean, 4 RANGER, said: “We are collaborating with how we use electronic warfare to identify and disrupt the enemy in the deep battlespace. We are using UK equipment linked to a US network to give us the ability to access data to make us a more agile force.”
The Ranger Regiment, part of the new Army Special Operations Brigade, will be routinely deployed alongside partner forces around the world to counter threats that may emerge at a rapid pace.
14 Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare), based in Pembrokeshire, provided support to 4 RANGER through their specialist operators and technologies.
British soldiers were also using the Dismounted Situational Awareness (DSA) suite in the US, which provides the location of soldiers to commanders with pinpoint accuracy, allowing troops to navigate and fight more effectively on the modern battlefield.
The DSA, which takes the form of a smartphone mounted onto body armour, was trialled by 2 YORKS during their stint as the Enhanced Light Forces Battalion in Cyprus over the past few years.
4 RANGER used the DSA to call in long-range attacks, from aircraft or the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), on 'enemy' targets across the training area in California.
The art of working together with other nations and services is known as ‘interoperability’ and it is a key concept that makes our alliances stronger than the sum of their parts.
Captain Dean said: “We are collaborating in terms of our tactics and communications, and seeing what similarities we have with US SOF. It’s been proven time and time again that we can work together, it’s that human link.”
More than a singular event, the Project is a sustained campaign of learning designed to advance and integrate our allied forces and ensure that we can rapidly and continuously ‘converge’ effects across the battlefield.
As it all progresses over the course of the next few weeks, the British Army will provide updates, using photos and videos, that you can track via our website and social media channels.