The US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced that it has formed a 5G and FutureG cross-functional team (CFT), to expedite the adoption of transformative 5G and future generation wireless networking technologies.

The move comes after the US Congress green lighted the establishment of the CFT in the 2021 National Defence Authorisation Act, to facilitate collaboration within the DoD, and with the private sector, to deliver next generation networking capabilities.

The adoption of new networking technologies is expected to enable armed forces to operate in contested environments.

The DoD’s 5G to Future Generation Initiative acting principal director Amanda Toman said: “Today’s operational requirements call for the acceleration of 5G technology, with at-scale prototyping and experimentation.

“The 5G and Future Generation CFT will play a critical role in advancing the department’s 5G and future generation capabilities.”

The CFT is authorised to execute the DoD’s responsibilities for policy, guidance, research, and development, as well as acquisitions regarding 5G and future generation wireless technology.

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It will also work to ensure interoperability by managing outreach with industry, interagency, and international partners.

As agreed, Under Secretary of Defence for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu will chair the CFT.

In a statement, the DoD said: “Shyu’s recent designation of future generation wireless as one of DoD’s 14 critical technology areas underscores the need for the 5G and Future Generation CFT to act quickly in building the ecosystem necessary to rapidly deliver requirements to the warfighter, and innovate for 6G and beyond.”

The team will also include senior officials from across the Office of the Secretary of Defence, the Joint Staff, the Services, and Combatant Commands.

In October last year, the US DoD made eight orders to strengthen the domestic small uncrewed aerial systems (sUAS) industrial base.