Army Col. Randy Lau fires a 120 mm mortar during a live-fire exercise at Camp Roberts, Calif., June 15, 2021.

Army Col. Randy Lau fires a 120 mm mortar during a live-fire exercise at Camp Roberts, Calif., June 15, 2021. U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Walter Lowell

2021 Top Ten: Army

The Army took strides in its version of the Pentagon's connect-everything plan. But leaders said more changes are ahead.

Here are some of the top Army stories from 2021:

What Worked, What Didn't at Army’s Second Connect-Everything Experiment // Patrick Tucker: Drone-shooting helicopters, robot reconnaissance teams, and a lot more people mark Project Convergence’s second year.

Inside the Final Hours at Kabul Airport // Tara Copp: Alone on the airfield after hundreds of other U.S. troops had left, five handpicked joint tactical exfiltration crews blew up the last remaining defenses and took off in the dark.

US Army Is Scrutinizing Itself, Must Change Swiftly to Face China, Secretary Says // Caitlin M. Kenney: “The future is a lot closer than some of us think,” Christine Wormuth said at AUSA.

Army Would Have 5 ‘Core Tasks’ in a Pacific Conflict // Caitlin M. Kenney: Secretary Wormuth said the service is keenly watching U.S. talks with regional allies over access to bases, including for new weapons.

Army General Wants More Missile Defense Within First Island Chain // Caitlin M. Kenney: “I don't think we have enough right now,” Maj. Gen. Vowell said.

Army Delays IVAS Display Headset by a Year // Caitlin M. Kenney: Officials cited problems with the unusually wide field of view.

Active-Duty Suicide Rate Hit Record High in 2020 // Caitlin M. Kenney: The rate among soldiers was nearly double that of sailors, DOD’s annual suicide report found.

Army Reorganizes Investigations Office After Fort Hood Review; Austin, Milley Signal More Changes // Caitlin M. Kenney,Tara Copp: The service will remove harassment investigations from units, but keep them within the military ranks. Is that enough?

US Army’s Not Stupid for Wanting Long-Range Fires — But More Analysis Needed, Hyten Says // Patrick Tucker: “You want each service to bring those long-range fires,” the Joint Chiefs’ vice chairman said.

Calls Grow Urgent for Improving Guam’s Missile Defenses // Caitlin M. Kenney: “The threat to Guam will only increase over the next five years,” says INDOPACOM’s No. 2.

NEXT STORY: 2021 Top Ten: Navy