For years, the Pentagon has been looking to maintain its competitive edge over its near-peer competitors by outfitting U.S. troops with the best technology out there.

The U.S. Special Operations Command, known as SOCOM, has been a pioneer in this effort, often providing real-world testing for various weapon systems and technology that eventually is widely distributed among conventional forces.

This effort stalled amid decades of fighting technologically inferior enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the return of great-power competition, this time with China and Russia, has brought the need for technological superiority to the fore.

Central to this push for tech is SOCOM’s Hyper Enabled Operator program, known as HEO.