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Concept Development and Experimentation (CDE)

What is it?
The CDE is a campaign of learning that supports Current and Future Force development executed in partnership with Joint Forces Command's (JFCOM) Joint CDE Enterprise. The CDE activities are driven by a combination of top-down Army learning objectives based on input and priorities from the Chief of Staff, Army (CSA); Joint Soldier Challenges; Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC), Capabilities Needs Analysis (CNA); and Joint staff guidance and direction (e.g., Joint Cargo Aircraft initiatives), along with emerging ideas and technologies for creative, innovative approaches for current and future wars.

What has the Army done?

  • Reshaped Army experimentation to support a campaign of balancing top-down learning demands, supporting Army outcomes through prioritized learning objectives, with innovation from centers of excellence while retaining the flexibility to address emerging opportunities to support current operations.
  • Supported Joint CDE, including Joint concept development and participation in major Joint experiments. Used the learning demand process to determine potential Army Soldier challenges to JFCOM and incorporated Joint fighting challenges in planning FY09/10 experimentation. Conducted 14 concept development and prototyping experiments addressing critical issues including battle command, counterinsurgency operations, web defense with asymmetric threats, and small unit experiments on networked lethality and survivability.
  • Expanded opportunities for multinational experimentation through project agreements and efforts to revise current policies which would allow full participation on a parallel collaborative simulation network for multinational experimentation.
  • Published Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Pamphlet (TP) 525-5-300, Full Spectrum Operations. Published the Human Dimension Study and the Human Dimension Concept.
  • Executed the Army's Future Warfare Study Plan (Unified Quest08) as part of our larger campaign of learning that included other Service, agency, and academia symposia.
  • Established Unified Quest08 theme for this year's study as, "Security in a World of Persistent Conflict." This study sought to provide resource informed outcomes with support from U.S. Special Operations Command and JFCOM.
  • Published TP 525-5-500, Commander's Appreciation and Campaign Design. This defines an innovative approach to understanding interactively complex adaptive problems before one begins to visualize, describe, and direct major operations.
  • The CDE program addresses interdependency issues (e.g., airspace management, strategic and operational maneuver) through informal bi-service forums like the Army-Air Force integration forum. The ARCIC is working on establishing a similar forum with the Navy. The intent is to work issues and derive solutions below the Service staff level.
  • Collated gaming, analysis, and experimentation results and provided input to the development of the Joint Heavy Lift capability development document (now Joint Future Theater Lift, an Army-Air Force collaboration) in preparation for presentation to the Joint Requirements Oversight Council in FY09 in order to enable critical strategic and operational capabilities for the future Joint Force.
  • Expanded Army capability to experiment in live, virtual, and constructive environments through improvements in the models and simulations Battle Lab Collaborative Simulation Environment.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The CDE will continue along two paths: concept development and prototyping. The concept development path develops a concepts-based, Joint, future, modular force using live, virtual, and constructive experimentation to provide actionable recommendations, capturing new ideas for potential capabilities and reducing future modular force development risk. The Army capstone concept will be revised, and the Army Force Generation process will be developed in FY09.

Achieving Army outcomes, by accomplishing ARCIC major objectives, will require a significant amount of learning through diverse venues. The Army's campaign of learning will balance support to top-down Army priority outcomes with bottom up creativity and innovation, while retaining the capacity to address opportunities to support the current force.

The '09 Future Warfare Study theme is-"Strategic Agility." This will focus on how the Army envisions supporting the demands of the Nation as a whole, while meeting the demands of the Joint Force, across the quadrants of threat, specifically in the area of military capabilities and required capacities to generate and sustain the modular force for as long as required.

Why is this important to the Army?
The Army CDE program supports the Joint concept-based capabilities development system. The program is focused on development priorities described in the ARCIC CNA. It investigates potential capabilities and reduces risk for the future modular force through programs and projects in analysis, wargaming, and experimentation. Experimentation challenges our assumptions and seeks to discover, evaluate, and demonstrate new ideas or concepts across the doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leader development and education, personnel, and facilities domains. Failure to conduct an effective experimentation program increases developmental risk for the future modular force and operational risk to the current modular force. The CSA and Commanding General, TRADOC encourage high level dialogue and creating partnerships between the Army, other Services, government agencies, and multinational partners.

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