In today's rapidly changing and uncertain world, the technical warrior must provide the Air Force with capabilities to conduct any mission, meet any contingency, dominate any battlefield, and win any war. If the Air Force wants to maintain its scientific and technological edge, it must have members who can "speak the language" by competently serving as an interface between both the warrior and industry, and having both technical vision and experience. Since 2001, the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) has conducted an annual Tech Warrior Exercise to create a venue that combines both operational training and testing into an integrated environment.
In 2001, for two weeks annually, Tech Warrior was hosted at Fort Drum, NY home of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division Participants would assemble at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio for initial in-processing and equipment issue and then be loaded on a C-130 and flown to Ft. Drum for the Tech Warrior Exercise.
Upon arrival to Ft. Drum, participants would process into their new Forward Operation Base (FOB), to be instructed on establishing security, setting up sleeping quarters and building tents. Over the course of the two weeks the participants received combat training on topics like mounted, dismounted and urban operations. During these two weeks of field operations, new technologies were being used and tested in the training events.
In 2012, Operation Tech Warrior was shelved because of the budget cuts that were being made across the military. In 2015 ,the exercise commander Col. David Shahady, was able to bring the Operation off the shelf, and moved the Operation to the Nation Center for Medical Readiness (NCMR) in Fairborn, OH. The operation was reduced to 10 days to save time and money and was opened to not only Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), but also to Air Force‘s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology transfer (STTR) community.
From 2015-2018 Operation Tech Warrior has been hosted at the NCMR in September. On Dec. 6, 2017, Tech Warrior Enterprise was created, keeping Operation Tech Warrior as the flagship, and the enterprise introduced two new events. The first event is Tech Warrior Connect. This event is an any time, year-round opportunity to connect technologies to an operational test location. The second new event is Tech Warrior Ops. This event places the technology in the hand of operators, providing open communication between the technology developers and operators. For more details on these events, please see the Tech Warrior Ops and Tech Warrior Connect pages.