By Capt. Drew Cochran, TRADOCFebruary 28, 2012
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command discussed how the Army generates requirements during a presentation at the Association of the United States Army's Winter Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 22.
The presentation's purpose was to inform members of industry on how the Army generates and ultimately approves requirements, and noted changes underway based on the last 10 years of war and the shaping of the Army of 2020.
Mr. Rickey Smith, Army Capabilities Integration Center senior professional for capabilities development, highlighted the Army's movement towards approaching requirements holistically across manning, training, and equipping functions. This includes moving away from requirements that over-specify how to achieve solutions and towards more resource informed trades using cost benefit analysis.
"See, the Army doesn't need to specify a solution, but we do need to make sure industry understands what it is the Army wants to do," Smith said.
TRADOC leads requirements determination in the Army by analyzing gaps in current capabilities, projecting future threats and operational environments, and codifying requirements as mission needs that will allow industry to proposing appropriate materiel solutions, as well as organizational and training changes.
Smith used the Department of Defense's definition of requirements--a task the service needs to accomplish within a set of conditions--to better portray how a requirement is generated and what organizational or equipment changes might fulfill that requirement.
"Before, the Army specified too many things in our development process, and therefore, we got things that we really don't need or things we could not pay for," Smith said. "Now, we trying to give industry enough specificity to get at what we want, but not over-specify because industry probably has a solution the Army has not thought of."
During the last 10 years of war, the Army used a rapid equipping process to field needed equipment to the force quickly, but this was expensive and came without the training and spare parts needed to sustain, Smith said. Projected fiscal cutbacks in the Army's budget mean every dollar is even more important and cannot be wasted.
"Point [singular, non-integrated] solutions have singular point counters," Smith said. "Realistically, every problem will have a mix of solutions. There will be doctrinal solutions to go with training solutions to go with materiel, so there's always a blend."
Some of the significant changes Smith highlighted included the Army's Campaign of Learning, accelerated staffing timelines, the role of TRADOC capabilities managers, and the reintroduction and expansion of Army cost estimators, functional analysts, and force managers into the requirements generation process.