The Objective Force
The Army is actively engaged in global operations supporting Combatant
Commanders today, but it is our obligation to prepare for the future,
as well. The Objective Force is The Army’s future full-spectrum
force that will be organized, manned, equipped and trained to be
more strategically responsive, deployable, agile, versatile, lethal,
survivable and sustainable than we are today – across the
full spectrum of military operations as an integral member of a
cohesive joint team.
- Objective Force Warrior
The Nation will continue to face adaptive, asymmetric threats that
capitalize on the power of information. To dominate and maintain
superiority over these emerging challenges, The Army is changing
the way we fight – a paradigm shift more significant than
the 20th Century’s introduction of the tank and the helicopter.
The Army is changing from sequential and linear operations to distributed
and simultaneous operations. The Objective Force – characterized
by networks of people enabled with systems that provide actionable
information and decision superiority – will dissuade, deter
or decisively defeat our adversaries anytime, anyplace, and anywhere.
The Objective Force will consist of command structures scaled to
meet Joint Force Commander requirements and modular combined-arms
units tailored according to each situation. Objective Force integrated,
mobile, air-ground teams will conduct mounted and dismounted operations
and employ both manned and unmanned platforms to achieve decisive
victories. Capable of forcible entry and operations in austere environments
to address the spectrum of military operations – from humanitarian
assistance to warfighting – the Objective Force will conduct
simultaneous combat and stability operations and master transitions
between phases of operations. It will be an offensively oriented,
multi-dimensional force enabled by advanced information technologies
that give Soldiers real-time intelligence and actionable information.
The Objective Force will arrive in theater combat capable –
deployment will be synonymous with employment. The Objective Force
will be strategically responsive and rapidly deployable on the U.S
Air Force family of inter-theater and intra-theater aircraft. An
Objective Force Unit of Action (UA) will deploy on approximately
one-third the number of aircraft required to deploy a heavy brigade
combat team today. It will be operationally deployable and capable
of operational maneuver over strategic distances by air, land, or
sea. Soldiers will overcome anti-access and area denial strategies
and environments through precision maneuver and decision superiority.
Equipped with new systems designed to meet the needs of The Army’s
future fighting formations, the Objective Force will be a networked
system of systems. This system of systems includes Soldiers equipped
with the Land Warrior system; a family of 18 integrated, synchronized,
manned and unmanned Future Combat Systems (FCS); and critical complementary
systems such as the Comanche and the Future Tactical Truck System.
The components of the FCS are being synchronously developed and
fielded as a complete family to achieve the warfighting capabilities
the Nation requires to defeat adaptive, asymmetric conventional
and unconventional adversaries.
Soldiers are the centerpiece of The Army’s formation –
not equipment. And Soldiers of the Objective Force will leverage
dominant knowledge to gain decision superiority over any adversary.
They will seamlessly integrate Objective Force capabilities with
the capabilities of joint forces, Special Operations Forces, other
federal agencies, and multinational forces. The Objective Force
Soldiers will enable the United States to achieve its national security
goals in a crisis, rather than simply inflict punitive strikes on
an adversary. Employing FCS capabilities in formations called Units
of Action (UA) and Units of Employment (UE), Objective Force Soldiers
will provide campaign quality staying power – that means precision
fire and maneuver to control terrain, people, and resources, without
having to resort to indiscriminate collateral damage. The Land Warrior
system will integrate individual Soldiers in the network while providing
them increased protection and lethality. And FCS will give Soldiers
the capability to destroy any adversary in any weather and environment
with smaller calibers, greater precision, more devastating target
effects, and at longer-ranges than available today.
Joint C4ISR – a network-centric information architecture nested
within the Global Information Grid (GIG) – will connect the
Objective Force’s system of systems. Capitalizing on the synergistic
power of the information network enterprise, every Objective Force
Soldier and platform will be capable of sensing and engaging the
enemy while maintaining situational awareness of friendly forces.
Advanced information technologies and C4ISR decision tools and assets
will enhance the Common Relevant Operating Picture (CROP). The Objective
Force will identify, locate, and engage critical targets with lethal
or non-lethal affects and assess battle damage on those targets.
The joint C4ISR linkages will enable the attack of targets with
whatever joint or Army assets are available for immediate employment,
whether the force is in contact or out of contact. Similarly, enhanced
situational awareness will facilitate multi-layered active and passive
defense measures – including both offensive and defensive
counter air against air and non-air breathing, manned and unmanned
The CROP and Network centric operations will enhance sustainability
of the Objective Force through multi-nodal distribution networks
that reach forward to the area of operations or reach back to the
Home Station Operations Center. Increased reliability through equipment
design and commonality among the FCS family of systems will enhance
sustainability while reducing logistics demands. Advanced technologies
will enable robust Objective Force operations while shrinking the
logistics footprint and lift requirements of deployed forces.
The FCS is a transformational approach to meeting this Nation's
requirements for the Objective Force. We designed and will field
the FCS family in a carefully balanced manner to avoid optimizing
a component at the expense of sub-optimizing the overarching capabilities
of Objective and joint forces. The acquisition and requirements
development processes are being updated to accommodate the Department
of Defense’s (DoD) direction to field a networked system of
systems rapidly through spiral development and an open architecture
that allows maturing technological insertions as they occur.
The Army embraces the ongoing DoD and Joint Staff Capabilities and
Acquisition processes reform efforts to achieve revolutionary capabilities
in the fielding of a new generation of equipment. This collaborative
DoD and JCS effort enables The Army to design new information-age
capable organizations holistically, use evolutionary acquisition
strategies to equip those organizations, and see the Objective Force
fielded before the end of this decade.