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Sgt. Garrett Haverkost, from 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 5th Brigade, 1st Armored Division, positions a Class I UAV during a gunnery exercise at Doña Ana Range, N.M. Legacy systems like the Bradley shown here, as well as new systems like the Class I UAV, will be upgraded as parts of Capability Packages for units through the ARFORGEN process.

RDECOM also is moving to a structure based on Technology Focus Teams (TFTs) and System Integration Domains (SIDs). What does that mean for the command and the Army?

TFTs focus on particular areas of technology. The idea is to have an expert who can serve as an honest broker in that technology area, identifying the state-of-the-art and how to use it across all applications. The SIDs are focused on how to integrate technologies recommended by the TFTs onto systems or programs to provide capabilities into the Army down the road. And both are task-organized, not just from one part of RDECOM, but across the command.

For the Army, that means we will be able to support the networked, interdependent force we are developing. Today, every system is in the network and all systems are interdependent. It is a completely different Army than what we had in the past.

Sgt. Garrett Haverkost, from 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 5th Brigade, 1st Armored Division, positions a Class I UAV during a gunnery exercise at Doña Ana Range, N.M. Legacy systems like the Bradley shown here, as well as new systems like the Class I UAV, will be upgraded as parts of Capability Packages for units through the ARFORGEN process.

Following up on the command's work with Task Force 120 last year, what role will RDECOM play in future modifications to the overall BCT modernization effort? [Editor's Note: Task Force 120 was created by the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) after Future Combat Systems cancellation to examine the future of Army modernization.]

For BCT modernization: system of systems engineering, technology honest broker functions and synchronization. For specific projects, we have organized the command to provide support from across RDECOM.

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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Dan Strom punches in coordinates inside a Stryker assault vehicle to update his location in relation to the rest of the convoy in Baghdad, Iraq, May 6, 2007. Strom was a Joint Terminal Attack Controller embedded with Army forces to communicate coordinates for close air support during fire fights with enemy ground forces. Today, the point of integration is the organizational structure and network.

The challenge for the Army of the future is where, at one time, the point of integration was on a platform - tank, helicopter, infantry fighting vehicle - now the point of integration is the organizational structure and network. So we are finding interdependencies amongst our community and no product can come from just one. As a result, we have task-forced the command to provide a horizontally integrated solution where a combat platform relies on technologies derived from a lot of communities.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Dan Strom punches in coordinates inside a Stryker assault vehicle to update his location in relation to the rest of the convoy in Baghdad, Iraq, May 6, 2007. Strom was a Joint Terminal Attack Controller embedded with Army forces to communicate coordinates for close air support during fire fights with enemy ground forces. Today, the point of integration is the organizational structure and network.

Looking specifically at the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV), what is considered more important to the GCV design, in terms of priority:

a. The ability to carry an entire squad b. Fully protective armor c. Weight d. Delivery date e. Cost

Those are really trade-offs that need to be made by the senior leadership, which is not our role. But we want all those things - full squad, blunt armor against any threat, lowest weight to support traffic mobility, fielding as soon as possible, cheap and scalable. Unfortunately, you can't really do that.

What absolutely is our role is to identify the state-of-the-art today and the trades amongst these things. And where we can't get to everything we want, take our core scientific programs developing future technologies and go find solutions so eventually we can get to all the Army's goals for the GCV. That means making trade-offs today by defining the art of the possible, then developing technologies for the future so we can move closer to that end state. RDECOM is not setting

U.S. Army 2nd Lt. James McNally, with Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, verifies the location of his objective using the Land Warrior System near Combat Outpost Sangar in Zabul province, Afghanistan, Nov. 10, 2009. Soldier Systems took the best, most useful, and matured technologies from the Land Warrior System to create the ensemble being used in combat today.

the priorities, but enabling decision-makers to make decisions based on cogent technologies from an engineering perspective.

With the release of the new Request For Proposal, will GCV be able to get back on track and on schedule?

The Army is now focusing on the trades involved, as noted above, with an RFP that is executable and postured for success. RDE-COM will help frame the forces available.

Looking back at the Future Combat System and initial concerns about GCV, is the "design for change" concept working - and how do you see it being applied as GCV and BCT modernization move forward?

We're working on support decisions for the Army Materiel Enterprise across the entire ground combat fleet - not just GCV, but also the existing tank, infantry carrier fleet, Stryker fleet, and wheeled vehicle fleet. The Army has a number of decisions to make on whether to upgrade existing systems, what we pursue on the GCV and how fast. Our job is to provide the technology expertise, focusing on those capabilities with applicability across multiple platforms, taking an enterprise approach so we can provide cogent advice on the use of these technologies, whether to improve existing systems or the GCV or both.

Improved armor and protection systems, for example, clearly are applicable to the GCV, but also to the existing fleet. The Army will decide on which systems to add what capabilities; RDECOM will play an integral part in defining and delivering those capabilities.

How important are modeling and simulation to RDECOM's role - past, present, and future - in BCT modernization and other Army programs and operations?

Absolutely essential.

If you go back a ways, we've always done some kind of modeling and simulation, but that might be as simple as calculations done by an engineer in the design process. Over time, we built individual system models. Now we are integrating those models so we can look at the impact of capability changes, not just on a single system, but on a force structure and adjacent systems.

U.S. Army 2nd Lt. James McNally, with Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, verifies the location of his objective using the Land Warrior System near Combat Outpost Sangar in Zabul province, Afghanistan, Nov. 10, 2009. Soldier Systems took the best, most useful, and matured technologies from the Land Warrior System to create the ensemble being used in combat today.

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