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New event added to Fires Conference

The Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce and its working group will host an all-new event at the conclusion of this year's Fires Conference at Fort Sill, according to Nate Slate, chairman of the chamber board.

David Johnson, a principal researcher with the RAND Corporation, will be in town to speak at a Multi-Domain Reception and Banquet. The reception will be at 3 p.m. May 3 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 135 NW 2nd, and the banquet will begin there at 5:30 p.m.

American Motors General will display a prototype of its Hawkeye howitzer, the wheeled version of the 105-mm howitzer. Industry reps will be on hand to brief guests on the system, which is essentially a howitzer mounted on a humvee.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and Fourth District Congressman Tom Cole also will be present. Inhofe will make comments at the reception, and Cole at the banquet following Johnson's remarks.

The keynote speaker for the banquet is considered one of the world's leading experts in military science, Slate said. In his position with RAND Corporation Johnson is assessing what the future of multi-domain warfare will be. His talk here will focus particularly on what the future holds for Fires.

What does "multi-domain" mean? In warfare today, forces fight in five domains: land, air, maritime, space and cyber. Sometimes they fight in more than one domain at a time, as when howitzers fire from the deck of a ship parked offshore.

Slate believes Johnson's remarks will be very relevant, "especially given the projected growth in Fires."

The event is open to everyone, including those from all over the world who will be here for the Fires Conference. The reception and banquet are in part a fundraiser for the chamber. Individual tickets are $25, and various levels of corporate sponsorships are available by calling the chamber at (580) 355-3541. The deadline for registering is April 26.

"We hope we will have a number of soldiers who will look forward to coming downtown and listening to Dr. Johnson talk about future Fires. We will expect we'll get good attendance from the Fires Patriots, another committee of the chamber of commerce, and from business leaders, because it is potentially a huge business development event," Slate said.

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