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Immediate Release

Resilient Communications Put to the Test at Technology Readiness Experimentation 2023

The Department of Defense announced today that the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and the Indiana National Guard successfully executed the first joint Technology Readiness Experimentation 2023 event at Camp Atterbury, Ind. Called TREX23-1, the event concluded with a VIP/expo day attracting more than 300 attendees including representatives from Australia and the United Kingdom.

Led by OUSD(R&E)’s Mission Capabilities Office, the experimentation successfully deployed six technologies assessed in a mock disaster scenario where resilient communications had to be re-established to ensure a successful evacuation of non-combatants. The technologies included signal devices, cyber protection, counterintelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. From this scenario, TREX23-1 was able to provide a body of evidence for future development and transition of the technologies.

The event was part of the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve, or RDER, an initiative to encourage experimentation in pursuit of cutting-edge joint and integrated capabilities. Department of Defense components propose experiments to be conducted in near-term joint exercises and compete for RDER funding. Prototypes and experiments are then selected based on alignment to the Joint Warfighting Concept and the potential to yield demonstrable warfighting utility.

“TREX is a new and enduring campaign of experimentation developed to support the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve initiative,” said Thomas Browning, deputy chief technology officer for mission capabilities in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

“A key attribute of RDER is the focus on a campaign of experimentation that enables the collection of a body of evidence to accelerate technology transition to the field,” he said. “TREX is integral to the success of this enduring campaign of experiments.”

TREX23-1 was executed in partnership with the Indiana National Guard and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which successfully integrated into the experimentation while conducting its Composite Unit Training Exercise in preparation for a scheduled deployment. 

Maj. Gen. Roger D. Lyles, adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard, was in attendance and is a key advocate for continued collaboration between RDER and the Indiana National Guard. “The Indiana National Guard is committed to supporting the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve Program with its unique facilities and its highly technical workforce,” said Lyles. 

“These technologies ensure the Department of Defense’s ability to counter rapidly advancing technologies throughout the world and provide our warfighters the technological edge they need today,” he said. “Indiana and the Indiana National Guard are proud to be involved since the creation of RDER and look forward to assisting in the program’s future.”
Key international partners, including those from the United Kingdom and Australia, also attended the event. 

“Conducting joint development and experimentation with our allies and partners is critical to ensuring future interoperability, allowing us to tackle emerging threats together,” said the British embassy’s First Secretary of Defence for Science and Technology Luke Stevens.

“As fellow innovators, we are proud to participate in the TREX23-1 joint experiment alongside our allies, partners, and other U.S. defense leaders,” said Stephen Elgar from the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation.

TREX also featured an expo with more than 60 technological prototypes that align RDER Joint Warfighting Concepts including fires, command and control, logistics, and capabilities that drive an information advantage. The displays enabled government organizations a hand-on opportunity to learn about the latest RDER-themed prototypes, and for companies to help shape the development of front-line military technologies.

The next TREX event is tentatively scheduled for September to experiment and evaluate additional capabilities related to RDER.

About USD(R&E) 

The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E) is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) champions research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological advantage. Learn more at, follow us on Twitter @DoDCTO, or visit us on LinkedIn at