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NEWS | March 8, 2024

ARCENT visits Clemson University’s College of Engineering, Computing, and Applied Sciences

By Story by Capt. Richard Moore U.S. Army Central

A delegation from U.S. Army Central visited Clemson University’s Army ROTC program and the College of Engineering, Computing, and Applied Sciences Nov 17, 2023, in Clemson, S.C.

The senior member of the delegation was Brig. Gen. Jose Rivera, the ARCENT G3/5/7. He was accompanied by his senior enlisted leader, Sgt. Maj. Rob Preusser, and the Task Force 39 Deputy Director, Lt. Col. Michael Tinker. Task Force 39 is the ARCENT innovation task force that focuses on exploring and integrating emerging technologies and business solutions into exercises and operations.

“The purpose of our visit to Clemson University was to see firsthand and learn about their ground-breaking research and development in autonomous technologies including Human and Artificial Intelligence teaming,” said Rivera. “This visit illuminated several areas of military application and future partner opportunities for our Innovation Task Force 39.”

The delegation first visited the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research campus, or CU-ICAR, in Greenville, SC. This campus, about 45 minutes away from the university’s main campus, is home to the Department of Automotive Engineering which currently researches, among other things, autonomous vehicles.

“The CU-ICAR campus is incredible,” said Tinker. “The facilities and people working here are actively researching topics that are connected to our innovation interests, such as autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles. Dr. (Johnell) Brooks, who provided our tour, offered critical insight into the world of autonomy.”

The delegation then engaged with Clemson Army ROTC on the main campus. This portion of the visit started with a senior cadet luncheon before Brig. Gen. Rivera and Sgt. Maj. Preusser spoke to the entire cadet corps at the Strom Thurmond Institute. The delegation also received a history tour of campus provided by the Clemson Corps alumni group.

“We couldn’t miss the opportunity to engage with the future leaders of our Army while at Clemson,” said Preusser. “These cadets will be leading our NCOs and Soldiers very soon. They will soon be assigned to formations and serve where the ‘rubber meets the road.’ I greatly appreciated the opportunity to speak with these incredible young leaders.”

The visit ended with a tour of the School of Computing at McAdams Hall. Professors discussed their research projects and the opportunities those projects could provide for future collaboration with Task Force 39. The school also demonstrated several artificial intelligence projects and robotics projects.

Established in November 2022, Task Force 39 fosters an innovative culture in pursuit of regional and industry partnerships focused on generating future combat efficiency. It is an empowered, collaborative group of Soldiers energizing the innovation of thought, concepts, and processes to advance ARCENT’s capabilities.

“The foundation of Task Force 39 is partnering for innovation,” said Tinker. “That includes working with regional universities, like Clemson. I hope this visit is the start of a fruitful relationship.”

ARCENT is the Army Service Component Command for United States Central Command and is responsible to the Secretary of the Army for the support and administration of more than 12,000 Soldiers, including those assigned to joint task forces and embassies, across the 21 countries in the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility.