Army Chief: Tech Will Not Replace Grunts

Tactical networks still have ‘highest priority.’

The Army cannot use technology to replace soldiers, Army Chief of Staff Raymond T. Odierno told a press briefing Monday at the kickoff of the Association of United States Army conference in Washington.

Odierno said that he has heard suggestions that the Army should deal with its budget challenges by relying on technology more, including stand-off weapons rather than soldiers on the ground. This, Odierno said, is a concept he “emphatically disagrees” with.

Army Secretary John McHugh told the briefing that advanced tactical networks remain one of the service’s “critical” technology efforts and has the “highest priority,” as it will provide needed situational awareness to soldiers on the ground.

McHugh added that the Army needs to continue with tactical network development and deployment balanced with budget realities. “The bottom line is – can we afford it?”

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