The Technology Readiness Experimentation 2023 event (T-REX) hosted by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and the Indiana National Guard is a critical component of the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve (RDER). It aims to assess and fast-track technologies deemed critical to warfighting efforts by the Department of Defense.
In the recent T-REX 23-2 event, 11 full-scale assessments of new and innovative warfighting technologies were carried out. These assessments measured the effectiveness and capability of the technologies based on the needs of the Joint Force. The participation of Australia and the United Kingdom in the event highlights the Department’s efforts to expand its science and technology capabilities with international partnerships.
The technologies assessed at T-REX align with the Department’s goal of developing uncrewed, multi-domain, autonomous systems with resilient communications from space to the ocean floor. These technologies enable strategic overmatch capabilities, supporting operations in the Indo-Pacific region and worldwide.
The Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Dr. David Honey, emphasized the importance of experimentation like T-REX in understanding next-generation technologies and expediting their transition and fielding. This ultimately helps the Department deter aggression and ensure the safety of troops.
During the event, a Distinguished Visitor Day was held, where government and industry leaders had the opportunity to observe part of the assessment in real-time. Additionally, a Prototype Technology Display showcased cutting-edge military technologies from 42 participants, including large and small businesses, combatant command leaders, and military services. This display allowed leaders to see the latest RDER-aligned prototypes and provided companies with the chance to shape the development of front-line military technologies.
Technologies that demonstrated capability at T-REX 23-2 will be eligible to progress to graduation experiments like Northern Edge or Valiant Shield as part of the RDER campaign of experimentation. The success of previous technologies assessed at T-REX, which graduated to Northern Edge, demonstrates the value of this process in implementing technologies in realistic combat environments.
Overall, T-REX provides a critical venue for accelerating joint innovation through real-world data, informing future warfighting concept development, and supporting the Department’s modernization efforts in military technologies.