Concept Development and Experimentation

Thursday March 30, 2006

What is it? Concept Development and Experimentation (CDE) is a campaign of learning supporting current and future force development through a two-path approach nested within U.S. Joint Forces Command's Joint Concept Development and Experimentation Campaign Plan. Concepts, developed and refined through wargames and experiments, are the basis for determining the capabilities required for the Future Combat Force.

What has the Army done?

- Developed and refined the Army Concept Development and Experimentation Campaign Plan
- Published the Army Capstone Concept (TP 525-3-0, The Army in Joint Operations)
- Developed the Army Concept Strategy and supporting concepts (operational and functional)
- Fully supported Joint CDE, including joint concept development and participation in major joint and sister service experiments
- Conducted annual Unified Quest wargames, co-sponsored with U.S. Joint Forces Command
- Conducted experiments (145 in 2004 and 120 in 2005) addressing critical issues for the Future Combat Systems equipped BCT and the Future Combat Force
- Initiated and conducted Omni Fusion integrating experiments in 2004-2005

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? CDE will continue along two paths: concept development and prototyping. The Concept Development Path develops a concepts-based, coherently joint Future Combat Force using live, virtual and constructive experimentation to provide actionable recommendations to reduce Future Combat Force development risk. The Prototype Path approaches the future through discovery, refinement, and improvement and spirals torward feasible future force capabilities, satisfies critical operational needs and tests compelling technology. These two paths, approaching the future in a deductive and inductive fashion, respectively, provide complementary risk reduction for developments and operations.

Why is this important to the Army? CDE is fundamentally a risk mitigation activity; failure to conduct effective CDE significantly increases developmental risk for the Future Combat Force and operational risk to the Army Modular Force. CDE reduces Future Combat Force development risk by developing concepts and capabilities that meet the needs of the future Joint force commander through rigorous concept development experimentation. CDE increases the capabilities of the Army Modular Force through prototype experiments that test compelling solution options and develop doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leader development and education, personnel, and facilities (DOTMLPF) capability packages to support the spiraling forward of future force capabilities to satisfy critical current force operational needs.

Further information can be found on the Army Posture Statement web site.


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"What's driving the change, first of all, is the change in threat. The threat faced today is not as defined as that of the Cold War era."

Lt. Gen. William Boykin
Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Warfighting Support


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