Rapid Equipping Force

Monday June 9, 2008

What is it?

The mission of the Rapid Equipping Force (REF) is to equip operational commanders with commercial-off-the-shelf and government-off-the-shelf solutions and future force technologies to increase effectiveness and reduce risk to deployed Soldiers. The REF's overall goal is to deliver a solution that meets the warfighter requirement within 180 days of receipt of the request. For urgent requirements, the goal is less then 90 days. The REF accomplishes its mission by teaming with established service commands, other government agencies, academia and business. The REF operates in close coordination with the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization and the Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group. Additionally, REF teams are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan to identify and evaluate deployed force needs and desired capabilities.

What is the Army doing?

To date, the REF has introduced 550 different types of equipment, providing more than 75,000 items to units supporting Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, as well as to units deployed to remote locations worldwide in support of the war on terrorism. In addition, it has transferred numerous projects to acquisition program managers or the U.S. Army Materiel Command. REF life-saving and quality-of-life capabilities include the debris blower that significantly reduces the time required to clear routes for convoys while improving Soldiers' force protection, the Rapid Deployment Integrated Surveillance System that minimizes Soldiers' exposure to threats by providing continuous surveillance, the revolutionary tent insulation project that reduces energy use and costs, green laser warning devices that enhance escalation of force options and the Quiet Pro hearing conservation and communication device that significantly reduces Soldiers' hearing loss.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The REF is an enduring Army organization that will continue to bring off-the-shelf solutions to Soldiers.

Why is this important to the Army?

It is imperative that Army leaders quickly and effectively adapt to changes and provide the warfighter with the most up-to-date technologies and equipment available. The REF possesses the organizational structure and operational construct that allows it to quickly assess emerging mission requirements and to develop solutions that can be introduced rapidly to the battlefield.


- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

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The Army Community Relations Calendar

Bloggers Roundtable


  • The tragic story of 1st Sgt. Jeff McKinney (AT)
  • Army community covenant signed by officials, leaders (KDH)
  • "Not to promote war but to preserve peace" (ARNews)
  • Army consolidates drill sergeant training (AT)
  • Letters: We still grow them here: Real men, real heroes (WSJ)


  • Laura Bush visits Afghanistan (NYT)
  • 'Anything not to go back' (Newsweek)
  • Iran urges closer defense ties with Iraq (WP)
  • War news is better, but obstacles remain in Iraq (KCS)


  • The push for a deeper deployment pool (AT)
  • More knowledge, more power in new howitzer (AT)
  • Military supercomputer sets record (NYT)
  • Guantanamo trials now top priority, Pentagon says (Reuters)
  • Father of MOH spc. lobbies for better GI bill (AT)


  • U.S. world's biggest military spender by far: Study (AA | Story)
  • Iraq seeks to allay Iran's concern over U.S. bases (IHT | Story)
  • Asian gains seen in terror fight (IHT | Story)
  • Pentagon 'urged notes destroyed' (BBC | Story)
  • Israel and Palestinians hold talks (AJ | Story)
  • Pakistan, Afghanistan to ensure border stability (PDT | Story)


  • Mahdi army uses "flying IEDs" in Baghdad (LWJ)
  • Good news!! (YM)
  • Hall of Heroes: SPC Ross McGinnis (SP)
  • Bad wife.....good wife (P&K)
  • The wonderful help of 'our military kids' (BN)
  • Know the lingo (N2G)
  • Daniel's big trip (DBT)


Sports at a glance

Army in Europe 10-miler team set

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May - July 4, 2008: Season of Remembrance

Monday, June 9, 2008: U.S. Army Birthday Web site launched

Saturday, June 14, 2008: The U.S. Army Birthday Ball


"All servicemembers worth anything want to improve themselves and many enlist specifically for the educational benefits. This benefit would enhance them, enhance the U.S. military and enhance the country."

- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, referring to changes to the GI Bill

Troops anxious for GI Bill revision, Mullen says


"We must understand intimately how others see the world - our friends and our enemies - and where we reside in that worldview. We must read their books, speak their languages, understand their cultures, and learn their histories, so we can know who they are and where they are going."

- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, to graduates of the Army War College, June 7, 2008

Mullen tells senior officers to listen to young troops


"We Darmstaedters have taken our American friends into our hearts during all these decades and will never forget them. They came as liberators, now they are leaving as neighbors."

-Darmstadt, Germany's Lord Mayor Walter Hoffmann, to Soldiers and personnel of the U.S. garrison

Darmstadt throws farewell fest for U.S. Garrison


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