Rapid Fielding Initiative
What is it?
The Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI) leverages current programs, lessons learned from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and commercial-off-the-shelf technology to give Soldiers increased survivability, lethality, and mobility. To maintain currency and relevance, the RFI list of equipment issued to Soldiers is updated regularly by the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). The RFI list includes two types of equipment: 1) equipment every Soldier receives (such as helmets, clothing items, and hydration systems) and 2) equipment fielded to units. Although all organizations receive certain unit equipment, a more expansive list is provided to brigade combat teams and other selected organizations identified by Headquarters, Department of the Army, to include lethality and specialty items, such as weapons optics and military operations on urban terrain kits. In parallel, Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier also fields a variety of other items essential to readiness that are not RFI items, such as interceptor body armor, thermal weapon sights, night vision goggles, multiband inter-/intra-team radio, and Army combat uniform items.
What has the Army done?
The Army has fielded RFI equipment to every deploying Soldier regardless of component since its inception.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The RFI will continue to be proactive in modifying the latest and best equipment available for deploying Soldiers.
Why is it important to the Army?
In October 2002, the Vice Chief of Staff, Army, directed PEO Soldier to develop the RFI so that it equips all deploying Soldiers with enhanced capabilities for the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). This directive initiated the Army’s largest equipment fielding effort since World War II and is intended to supplement unit and Soldier equipment with essential capabilities required for success in the GWOT. The program enhances the capabilities of our active and reserve component fighting forces while ensuring Soldier modernization in a systematic and integrated manner that is commensurate with the principles of the Soldier-as-a-system philosophy.