By Ms. Kelly Morris (U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence)May 16, 2017
After two years with a specific focus on Army Unmanned Aircraft Systems, the former Training and Doctrine Command capability manager for UAS is now adding Aviation reconnaissance and attack assets to his portfolio at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence.
Col. Paul A. Cravey accepted the charter to become the new TRADOC Capability Manager for Reconnaissance and Attack from Col. Jeffrey W. White, outgoing director, in a ceremony here May 15.
The director of "TCM Recon/Attack," or "TCM R/A" is empowered by a charter and serves as the warfighter's representative for Aviation reconnaissance and attack assets.
"I've always been a recon/attack guy. I'm still in the fight and I'm still with Soldiers every day, so it's very personally satisfying, and as a TCM you can see the actions you take on a daily basis impact the Army. There's a lot of satisfaction that comes out of being able to help the Soldier on the ground directly from where you sit," Cravey said.
Cravey's most recent assignment was the TRADOC Capability Manager for Unmanned Aircraft Systems here.
Commissioned in 1991 at North Georgia College, Cravey's previous assignments include serving as the G-3 for the Brigade Modernization Command at Fort Bliss, Texas, which exposed him to the test community and to industry as products were tested as part of the Network Integration Evaluation yearly. The NIE integrates Army tests on Programs of Record within brigade force-on-force exercises.
He also previously commanded the 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Riley, Kansas.
His deployments include to Iraq and Afghanistan. During a deployment to Iraq with the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, he gained experience conducting manned-unmanned teaming "24/7, 365 in the battlespace," he said.
The TCM Recon/Attack has been restructured to merge into a single entity the TCM UAS and TCM Recon/Attack, which were previously separate functions. It's a move Cravey expects will gain efficiencies.
"There's a lot of places where TCM Recon/Attack and TCM UAS came together and crossed lines, had interoperability issues that we had to work, fought together. I was fighting attack aircraft with UAS in Iraq in 2007 with the stand up of Task Force Oden and having our own Hunter UAS inside the [cavalry] squadron," Cravey said. "It's not a new thing for interoperability between UAS and manned systems."
After restructure, the office includes four sections focused on attack, reconnaissance, lethality and a separate plans and futures section, where energies are focused on two lanes--near-term and far-term solutions for the Soldier.
Cravey said White handed him a team "ready to go," and he looks forward to working with them.
Going forward, his priority is the near-term requirements.
"My number one priority is to address those user, or Soldier, impacts that we can get after within the next two to three years, while simultaneously working that longer-range strategy," he said.
The TCM Recon/Attack develops and manages doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities, and policy solution sets in support of Army capabilities.
TCM R/A ensures the Army is properly equipped, organized and trained for success on the battlefield by continually assessing manned reconnaissance and attack and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (including Shadow, Gray Eagle and future systems), weapons, payloads, and munition capabilities and their effectiveness.
The TCM's roles include to manage requirements for Army systems they're associated with, and to be the user's representative to the field, he said.
"We write the requirements, and if you go through a normal track, those result in fielding materiel solutions to the Army at some point, after you work your way through that process," Cravey explained.
"We do everything on behalf of the Soldier to make sure they get the materiel they need," he said.
That includes working hand-in-hand with the project managers on materiel solutions.
"It's not the sword but the swordsman that carries the day," he said. "Those Soldiers in the fight are the people who make the difference in the fight. But if you've got to put a Soldier in the fight you definitely want him to be the one carrying the light saber while the other guy is carrying a standard sword.
"So if our industry guys can provide us that technology overmatch, then that's what we go for in terms of a materiel requirement," Cravey said.
The job includes frequent travel to units as well as in theater, which helps to arm him with the relevant information he needs when fighting for resources for Soldiers in harm's way.
The time spent with units pays off, Cravey said.
"We walk into the building with credibility, because we saw it last week downrange, or we've seen it over and over again at a unit."