Army doctrine leaders forecast future technology, leadership needs
February 26, 2010
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (March 2, 2010) -- During the 2010 Association of the United States Army Winter SymposiumAca,!a,,cs, Army Capstone Concept (ACC) panel presentation, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command leaders explored broad assumptions for an Army operating under conditions of uncertainty and complexity in an era of persistent conflict. Panel members addressed implications to Army capabilities required in the 2016-2028 timeframe for an audience comprised primarily of industry leaders and members of the science and technology community.
The panel was chaired by Brig. Gen. H.R. McMaster, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center's (ARCIC) Concepts Development and Experimentation Directorate, who is also the principle author of the Army Capstone Concept. He was joined by Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, TRADOC commander; Clint J. Acker, Director, Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate; and Rickey E. Smith, director of the ARCIC-Forward. The one and a half hour session included short presentations from each of the panel members followed by a much longer period of audience questions.
Aca,!A"We started off this discussion [revising the Army Capstone Concept] on the assumptions that underpin the problem of [defining] future armed conflict and how weAca,!a,,cre going to operate based on that definition of the problem. We concluded that the future of war will remain firmly in the realm of uncertainty. When you start with that as your assumption, you build a much different force than you would if you felt that technology alone would lift the fog of war,Aca,!A? said McMaster.
With assumptions of uncertainty and persistent conflict, the Capstone Concept demonstrates a need to evolve capabilities overtime through grounded projections of the future and to develop the situation through action.
We must Aca,!A"recognize that situational understanding canAca,!a,,ct be delivered on a flat screen because it involves fully understanding the context of how what we do militarily contributes to the achievement of policy goals and objectives. It puts a premium on understanding the culture, the history of conflicts, not just in terms of the enemy and the terrain, but in terms of the interaction with civilian populations in these complex environments. It puts a premium on acting on initiative, retaining the initiative through action, and continually reassessing and adapting our actions based on those interactionsAca,!A?. Yet, McMaster, emphasized that since Aca,!A"combined arms competency is the price of admission,Aca,!A? we still Aca,!A"have to employ defeat and stabilize mechanisms to consolidate gains and transition continuously across the spectrum of operations.Aca,!A?
<b>Implications of the Army Capstone Concept</b>
Gen. Dempsey spoke about the implications of the Army Capstone Concept on leader development and TRADOCAca,!a,,cs future needs in training and modernization, as well as how to apply available resources to overcome adaptive enemies. He advised the audience that new technology for our Army needs to have a foundation and purpose that derives from the Capstone ConceptAca,!a,,cs theme of conducting armed conflict within complex and uncertain environments.
Dempsey went on to explain the correlation between technology and manpower and that the task at hand was to build the best Army we can at current end-strength by enhancing but not replacing the force with technology. On the subject of force structure, he suggested Aca,!A"that decisions on force mix and force design will be informed by technology, but probably wonAca,!a,,ct be based on technology. I think that the Capstone Concept makes it clear to us that there are unique requirements for landpower capabilities and that because military operations on land is a manpower intensive domain, we will seek to empower that which exists but not substitute for it.Aca,!A?
He continued by saying, we will also have to Aca,!A"look at alternative futures in terms of end-strength, but the trades will not be made solely on the basis of technology, theyAca,!a,,cll be made on the basis of organizational design and will be nested with the Capstone Concept.Aca,!A?
Dempsey also discussed several initiatives that make use of current technologies in training and leader development. The Joint Training Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Operations Integration Center (JTCOIC) is a repository for all data collected over the past five years from Afghanistan and Iraq. It populates the ArmyAca,!a,,cs models and simulations with real-world data to allow units, leaders, and Soldiers to conduct rigorous and realistic training in a virtual environment at home station and while deployed.
Additionally, Dempsey noted recent technological advances in new equipment training (NET) using simulation and Aca,!A"virtualAca,!A? training.
Aca,!A"Think of NET as existing exclusively in the virtual world, virtual NET, so that we donAca,!a,,ct have to build a manpower intensive organization for new equipment trainingAca,!A|there are many things weAca,!a,,cll be able to replicate in virtual NET along with capabilities to build surrounding virtual environments so you actually believe youAca,!a,,cre in the environment and on the piece of equipment.Aca,!A?
Dempsey emphasized that the ArmyAca,!a,,cs competitive advantage is directly related to its capacity to learn faster and adapt more quickly than its adversaries. The complexity of the operating environment has changed the scope and depth of our leader development requirements. While many aspects of leader development are timeless, he emphasized that we must explore the possibilities presented by technology to maximize the effectiveness of how we deliver training and education. He spoke specifically of using technology in on-line gaming to develop leaders.
Aca,!A"There are sectors of industry right now that are doing leader development through virtual environments and massive online role playing games. We are looking to technology not just to deliver effects on the battlefield but to deliver effects in training and leader development,Aca,!A? Dempsey said. TRADOC has several pilot programs underway using virtual gaming technology in our Centers of Excellence to develop leaders.
Dempsey told the attendees that the Army Capstone Concept will help the Army place modernization decisions in context of requirements for future armed conflict. Aca,!A"We shouldnAca,!a,,ct self-constrain the Army and develop a concept based on what we think the resources will allowAca,!A| We all know that there will be downward pressure on budgets and downward pressure on end-strength; but what we want this Capstone Concept to do is be the document that articulates what we think the nation needs from its Army for the period defined,Aca,!A? he said.
Dempsey is also concerned with protecting Soldiers and providing them with the right tools to perform on the battlefield, to include a ground combat vehicle.
Aca,!A"This force has to be capable of offense, defense, and stability operations. In the Capstone Concept we also note that the environment in which we operate is more competitive. DonAca,!a,,ct overlook that. What that means is our adversaries have the technology to bring force to bear on us in ways that only nation-states did previously. So, if it takes 60 tons to protect a 12-man squad that we send on a mission in this complex, uncertain, and lethal environment, then a 60-ton vehicle is fine with meAca,!A? Dempsey said. Aca,!A"That might be what we need for today,Aca,!"but in five to seven yearsAca,!"my expectation would be that a 60-ton threshold objective that might be reduced to 40 tonsAca,!A|as we find ways to make it lighter over time.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"I donAca,!a,,ct know whether 60-tons is right, but I do know that weAca,!a,,cre going to build this thing around the Soldier for an environment that is known to be lethal; I canAca,!a,,ct imagine fielding a vehicle for the future that has less armored protectionAca,!A|than what we have in the MRAP [Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle] today,Aca,!A? he said.
<b>Effects on doctrine development and publication</b>
Ancker described how the complexity of the operational environment has affected the doctrine process.
Aca,!A"Twenty years ago, we had a known enemy, we had well-structured problems, we had a well-understood environment, our doctrine evolved very slowly, we focused on major combat, our lessons came primarily in training and there were very few government organizations involved in what we did,Aca,!A? he said.
The conditions of the past eight years of war reinforced the ArmyAca,!a,,cs execution of full spectrum operations where the military is performing offensive, defensive and stability operations, sometimes simultaneously. Achieving unity of effort in full spectrum operations requires increased partnership in the joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment. This successful partnership is rooted in the collaborative development of a common vocabulary - doctrine.
Ancker further described how TRADOC is reaching out to government organizations like U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of State and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as other branches of the armed forces and international partners.
Aca,!A"And then finally weAca,!a,,cre doing much more doctrine integration with our other services,Aca,!A? said Ancker. Aca,!A"We are about to get some manuals which will be dual-designated with the Marine Corps, which will fundamentally alter how we work together on the battlefield. We are doing a lot more with the other services and more importantly, weAca,!a,,cre working more with other government agencies.Aca,!A?
TRADOC integrated ideas from the joint community in doctrine writing regarding full-spectrum operations. FM 3-0: Operations was published in 2008 and was soon followed by FM 3-07: Stability Operations, while FM 3-28: Civil Support is currently being re-written.
Ancker also announced the roll-out of FM 5-0: The Operation Process. He highlighted the addition of a chapter on Aca,!A"designAca,!A? in the manual. Aca,!A"First off, itAca,!a,,cs the entire operations process Aca,!" plan, prepare, execute and assess. We are the best planners in the world, or at least we were when we had well understood, well structured problems. Today we face very complex, ill-defined problems and we absolutely have to have some tools to address that. So we have an entire chapter on design,Aca,!A? Ancker said.
Aca,!A"Design starts with the premise that if you canAca,!a,,ct understand a problem fully, you may not know what the problem is that youAca,!a,,cre trying to solve, but as you develop the situation through the conduct of operations, you need to continually assess whether things are going right, whether theyAca,!a,,cre going wrong, and whether your mission is correct,Aca,!A? he said.
Ancker also spoke about TRADOC efforts in reengineering the doctrine development and dissemination process in order to increase the speed with which the Army updates doctrine while simultaneously making them more relevant. The process began, about a year ago, with revisiting what the Army means by the term Aca,!A"doctrine.Aca,!A? Ancker emphasized the definition of doctrine as the authoritative guide to how Army forces fight wars and conduct operations other than war. However, overtime, the Army had strayed from this definition and seen the number of manuals grow to over 600.
After a comprehensive assessment, TRADOC was able to significantly reduce the required number to a core of approximately 100 Field Manuals it considers enduring doctrine and has set out to improve their quality. At the same time, TRADOC established a separate, larger category called Army Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures, or ATTPs. Using Army Knowledge Online, TRADOC is applying social networking software in a truly innovative way to allow our large population of professionals to update and maintain current, credible and relevant ATTPs for the Army.
Aca,!A"We have already stood up the Website and will move about 200 field manuals into the new category of Army Tactics, Techniques and Procedures on a Wikipedia-like siteAca,!A|it will be a tremendous benefit to take advantage of the most operationally experienced professional Army weAca,!a,,cve probably had in the last hundred years,Aca,!A? Ancker said.
<b>Effects on the generating force and acquisition processes</b>
Recognizing that the ArmyAca,!a,,cs old paradigms for force modernization do not fit in this Aca,!A"new normAca,!A? of complexity, uncertainty and rapid change, Smith reinforced DempseyAca,!a,,cs comments about how the Army needs to retool the existing acquisition process to meet the demands of the warfighter today, next year and beyond.
Aca,!A"Materiel development and acquisition efforts must focus on an evolutionary approach to meet current and near-term requirements, while simultaneously retaining the ability to seize and integrate innovative advances in capability development and research,Aca,!A? he said.
Smith believes that in order to develop an agile acquisition strategy, more participation from the purchasing communities and a flexible timeline are needed.
Aca,!A"We must move beyond current processes that appear more like a series of handoffs at phases that isolate the participant community,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"We also have to move timelines for concepts and assessments in closer to ensure that we have grounded projections of technologies and the operational environment.Aca,!A?
By doing so, the Army would be able to plan according to technology readiness and costs instead of overreaching. Smith also reinforced that the DoD 5000: Operation of the Defense Acquisition System will still drive the overall pace of modernization.
He cautioned that technology must have a purpose to Soldiers. It is the application and integration of technology into capable formations commanded by innovative leaders that leads to major improvements in combat effectiveness.
Aca,!A"The Army Capstone Concept recognizes the need to integrate technology into our formations, but we do not seek technology for technologyAca,!a,,cs sake,Aca,!A? Smith said.
Instead, developers should be concerned with how technology supports training and leader development strategies and doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel and facilities (DOTMLPF) domains. He stressed these are interdependent domains. Aca,!A"If youAca,!a,,cre creating a robot or an [unmanned aerial vehicle] that increases force structure, then you need to take pause because what costs the most to the Army' People. Instead of manning the equipment, letAca,!a,,cs equip the Soldier,Aca,!A? he said.
Similarly, technology that can be upgraded and function on Aca,!Eoeopen architectureAca,!a,,c networks for all systems and subsystems is a priority for TRADOC and ARCIC.
Aca,!A"Systems should be of the highest replicable quality, modular, easily and cost effectively upgradeable, and have underpinning designs optimized for protection, performance, payload, operator functionality, maintainability and cost,Aca,!A? he said.
Aca,!A"If you have a vehicle, you want to make sure that itAca,!a,,cs modular and that you can break it down into parts. ThereAca,!a,,cs got to be a balance there on our end that considers the implications of rapid change. We have to embrace a more open approach to delivering systems and related capabilities.Aca,!A?
Closing the formal panel presentation, Smith reminded the audience of the key implications the Army Capstone has on the acquisitions process.
Aca,!A"It boils down to fielding fewer capabilities more often. Learn and adapt as you go in the generating force. Get the Soldiers on the equipment earlier means concurrent testing [which is] why we have an Army Evaluation Task Force. Be okay with a 70 or 80 percent solution, even though that runs counter to some of our existing practices and policies,Aca,!A? he said.
Aca,!A"If we do that, we can move toward a more nimble and adaptive approach.Aca,!A?