At the virtual Association of the United States Army Global Force Next symposium, Army Futures Command’s commanding general, General John M. Murray spoke about the Army persistent modernization.
During his speech, Murray focused on the five elements he believes are key to achieving the force needed for the battlefield of tomorrow. Speed, range, convergence, decision dominance, and overmatch were the watchwords of his address. Each concept ties together to cover the wide net of the Army’s modernization enterprise. As near-peer competitors rise in strength and power, the Joint Force is increasingly looking for ways to ensure dominance in all five domains – land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace.
All efforts of modernization are hyper-focused on the ability to fight and win the nation’s wars, as it is directly and inextricably linked to the ability to deter adversaries. “If we do not have the capability to fight and win, we also do not have the capability to provide effective deterrence," Murray said.
The speed through which the Army can deliver effects and get the right equipment to Soldiers in the field is critical to preparing the force for a future fight that will doubtless include melding of human and artificial intelligence efforts. Opening up windows of domain dominance and extending lethal reach through improving range is the next step. “The best way to get from point A to point B is to already be at point B, he said. Maintaining a forward posture and prepositioning equipment through partnerships with allies enhances this range.
The convergence of concepts and technologies, soldier-centric design, and open and clear communication lines between industry and government have enabled the rapid pace with which AFC is advancing its efforts.
The ability for a commander to sense, understand, decide, and assess faster than any adversary allows for decision dominance. This is the central purpose for AFC’s Project Convergence, a campaign of learning seeking to achieve operational and strategic advantage on any future battlefield. “It’s not only what we will fight with, but how we will fight," said Murray. “It’s about scaling for the Joint Force”.
Speed, range, convergence, and decision dominance all combine into the final watchword, and the ultimate goal of all of AFC’s efforts – overmatch. Overmatch provides the ability to deter, to achieve peace through power.
Unity of effort across the Cross Functional Teams (CFT) of AFC, each one focused on a different Army modernization priority, is critical to the pursuit of overmatch. Murray repeatedly harkened back to this theme, stating, “In the end, the whole has to be greater than the sum of its parts."
In its short existence (beginning in 2018), AFC is moving at an exponential pace. Ultimately, the questions that Army Futures Command is trying to stay ahead of are: “Are we doing enough?” “Are we doing it fast enough?”