Army tests manned-unmanned teaming capabilities in Pacific Initiative
By Kimberly Bratic, TARDEC Public AffairsAugust 31, 2016
MARINE CORPS TRAINING AREA BELLOWS, Hawaii -- As the U.S. Army shrinks in size, military planners continue to assess strategic options to rapidly build and project effective combat power where needed.The Army anticipates that unmanned capabilities will augment combat formations and, in complex and contested conditions, enable decisive action in unified land operations.The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center participated in the Pacific Manned-Unmanned Initiative to assess the enhanced warfighting potential in terms of reconnaissance, surveillance and target-acquisition capabilities.PACMAN-I was the third MUM-T event where a company-level infantry element was assessed in force-on-force conditions and jungle terrain using innovative technologies."TARDEC is the Army's front line in bringing capabilities in the form of MUM-T to the force," said Dr. Paul Rogers, TARDEC director. "Soldier feedback was truly the most critical aspect of the mission. Our engineers and roboticists were side by side with the 25th [Infantry Division] Soldiers, digesting each detail of their hands-on experiences with our systems. That immediate feedback is vital for the improvement and enhancement of the MUM-T capabilities."TARDEC engineers and roboticists assessed the current state of supporting technologies, advanced their continued developments and addressed doctrinal, organizational and materiel implications to inform the development of a MUM-T Initial Capabilities Document.The Army Capabilities Integration Center, Science, Technology, Research and Accelerated Capabilities Division sponsored and supported TARDEC, industry partners and multiple centers of excellence in the execution of PACMAN-I.The cutting-edge concepts and innovative capabilities are a stalwart of the Army Training and Doctrine Command as they prepare the Army for the future.The innovation and contribution of TARDEC to PACMAN-I specifically supported the ARCIC and TRADOC mission of preparing today's Soldiers and developing leaders and future capabilities while looking ahead to the battlefields of the next decade.PACMAN-I aligns with the Campaign of Learning and moves the Army forward to help determine the first-order capabilities the Army must have to win in an increasingly complex world."Working with Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division and the professionals from [U.S. Army Pacific Command], TARDEC, [Maneuver Center of Excellence] and [Maneuver Support Center of Excellence] have exemplified the innovation that ARCIC and TRADOC are looking for in our live experimentation events," said Don Meyers, execution lead for STRACD/TRADOC. "The Soldier feedback and analysis gathered for the more than twenty capabilities will go a long way to inform and improve the readiness of the future Army. PACMAN-I was successful because of the teams that support the Science, Technology, Research and Accelerated Capabilities Division".During PACMAN-I, the MSCoE continued its assessment of the MUM-T combined arms concept.Dismounted combat engineers employed unmanned capabilities in support of route reconnaissance and clearance, obstacle breaching, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense remote stand-off detection as well as small gap crossings by enabling integrated, multi-mission payload configurations operating non line of sight via a networked communications system.The Maneuver Battle Lab provided project management and analytical support for PACMAN-I to assess how small units conduct expeditionary combined arms maneuver enabled by MUM-T technologies, a "system of systems."In a moderate jungle environment, an infantry company, supported by engineers and elements of a battalion command post, successfully executed stability, support, and combat operations using surrogate unmanned air and ground robotics for desired capabilities.The force also employed a mobile 4G LTE network for communications that supported intelligence, fires, and mission command tasks.The MBL continues to support MUM-T concept development through progressive collaboration other centers of excellence and the U.S. Marine Corps, and capability advancement through linkage with the Army Expeditionary Warfighting Experiment.MUM-T is one of many new concepts that has been identified as part of the Army Warfighter Assessment 2017 or AWA 17. AWA is TRADOC's premier event to evaluate concepts and capabilities that address the Army's Warfighting Challenges and shape the future Army Force.-----The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.