I got the opportunity to interview Lt. Gen. Michael Vane, director of Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) here at Eurosatory on Monday. It was a dramatic interview - he was set up in a tent outside and a storm moved in while we were talking. Every once in a while he'd make a point and it would be accented by a huge clap of thunder and a fierce gust of wind. How's that for atmosphere?
I forgot to get the name of the tent manufacturer - that thing barely flapped in the storm.
Vane has been traveling throughout Europe, meeting with coalition force leadership and finally ending up here at the show. Prior to arriving in Paris, he spent some time at the 24 hours of Le Mans endurance car race. Aside from having an excellent time in the pits, he was there for business.
He and fellow Army leadership are eyeing the race car industry for tips on streamlining everything from requirements to production of the service's vehicle programs.
"They are concerned with driver protection at high speeds, they are cost constrained and they are schedule constrained," he said. And the Army is seriously interested in how the teams at Le Mans, and all race car manufacturers and teams (from Formula One to NASCAR) do what they do in the time they have to do it.
“There’s a year between the end of the last race and when the next green flag goes down.” In that time, he says, they “redesign the vehicle. They go back to almost zero in some cases.”