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AUSA 2012 is upon us

Sitting in traffic is not rare in Washington D.C. What is rare is when the jam on I-395, just past the Pentagon exit, is caused by a broken down Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Buffalo pulled over on the side of the road.

By all accounts, the Buffalo broke down Thursday on its way to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center ahead of this year's Association of the U.S. Army's 2012 Annual Meeting and Exposition. It served as a friendly reminder that Army leadership would also soon descend on the nation's capital.

Army Secretary John McHugh will kick off the conference Monday morning with his keynote speech. The Army has plenty to talk about this upcoming week. Last year's focus was on the transition out of Afghanistan. This year's theme is squarely on the future.

Expect Army leaders to work hard to define the service's space in the new defense strategy and the Pacific pivot. It was a focus at last year's AUSA, and this year will be no different. The next three days will be key in sending the Army's message to Congress about why the Army is relevant in the Pacific, especially as the Pentagon's budget shrinks.

The Army's aging vehicle fleet and the plans to modernize it will fill plenty of speeches this week. As well as the Army's shrinking force structure as it transitions from a force at war to a return to the barracks.

Military.com's crack team of reporters will be out in full force covering the affair from the floor to the speeches to the media round tables hosted by Army leaders. It's one of the few times that service leaders are readily available for interviews and willing to field a wide range of questions. To be honest, it's an exhausting 72 hours as a defense reporter.

That's why we want to make this easier and let you suggest the questions. We want to hear from readers and the find out what's on your mind. Send us the questions you'd like us to ask and what topics you want us to focus on in the comments section. Also follow @DoDBuzz on Twitter all week for live updates from the conference center.

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