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Rapid Equipping Force (REF)

What is it?
The mission of the REF is to equip operational commanders with commercial-off-the-shelf and government-off-the-shelf solutions that increase effectiveness and reduce risk; it inserts future force technologies and surrogates that validate concepts and speed capabilities to the Soldiers; and assesses Army business practices, desired capabilities, and acquisition techniques that effect institutional Army change.

The REF serves as a solutions catalyst, canvassing the military, industry, academia, and the science community for existing and emerging technologies. The REF maintains a direct support relationship with the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization and the Army Asymmetric Warfare Group. The REF forward teams are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan to identify and evaluate deployed force needs and desired capabilities.

What has the Army done?
To date, the REF has introduced 550 different types of equipment and provided more than 75,000 items to units supporting Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom; and units deployed to remote locations worldwide in support of Overseas Contingency Operations. Also, the REF has transferred 70 projects to acquisition program managers or the Army Materiel Command. Life-saving projects include: the Sniper Defeat System, which developed capabilities to prevent, react, and survive sniper attacks; the ballistic protection experiment that developed armor to defeat explosively formed penetrators, improvised explosive devices; the tactical garbage to energy refinery to provide energy independence to isolated battlefield locations; and, the Enhanced Logistics Support Off-Road Vehicle to provide support to Soldiers over extreme terrain.

What continued efforts does Army have planned for the future?

The REF is an enduring Army organization that continues to bring off-the-shelf technological solutions to Soldiers on the battlefield, while documenting a streamlined methodology for acquisition within the oversight of the Army acquisition executive.

Why is this important to the Army?
The REF saves Soldiers lives. It is a change agent for the Army that provides Soldiers with capabilities that increase lethality, improve force protection, and enhance survivability.


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