Harry Greene

Deputy Commander, RDECOM and Senior Commander, Soldier Systems Center

By J.R. Wilson

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) was stood up in the midst of war to bring the Army's existing research labs and centers together and create an organic research and development capability across multiple domains.

As the ongoing war in Southwest Asia poured new requirements into the technology community and Army transformation and modernization underwent major restructuring, RDECOM also evolved. The most significant change was from each component focusing on a single system, platform, or technology to all working collaboratively to provide a horizontal view across command expertise to address the needs of a new capabilities-driven Army.

Brig. Gen. Harry Greene, RDECOM's deputy commanding general and senior commander of the Soldier Systems Center, spoke with Faircount Media Group senior writer J.R. Wilson about how the command is continuing to evolve and positioning itself to support the Army's new Brigade Combat Team (BCT) modernization plan.

J.R. Wilson: What is the status of BCT modernization, from the RDECOM perspective?

Brig. Gen. Harry Greene: RDECOM is supporting the BCT modernization effort by providing system of systems engineering support and bringing technologies into the force through that process. We are leveraging the work we're doing for program managers and urgent needs in theater and in science and technology [S&T] development and developing Capability Packages and Capability Sets to rapidly insert technology into our force using the ARFORGEN [Army Force Generation] cycle.

What are those and how do they relate to each other and to RDECOM?

Capability Packages and Capability Sets are how the Army is changing from a structure with different readiness levels among units of the same type to one where we have rotational readiness as units move through a three-phase ARFORGEN process. RDECOM is trying to manage change while they are doing that by providing a set of networks and battle command systems - the Capability Sets - and upgrades that reflect both changes in technology and needs on the battlefield - Capability Packages.

That is very different from the past, where the Army managed change on an individual system basis. By now basing that on the ARFORGEN cycle and defining Capability Packages and Capability Sets on a two-year cycle, we can be more responsive. We're not trying to modernize the entire Army at one time, but incrementally add capabilities as units come through that window.

How does that apply to the National Guard and Reserves?

The Guard and Reserves go through a similar three-phase model. The difference is, rather than go through it every three or four years, as the active Army is trying, they will be on a five- or six-year cycle. So they won't go around the readiness wheel as fast, but will go through exactly the same process.

What's built into the ARFORGEN model is a sustained capability to support the Army at any time the Army decides to generate about 20 Brigade Combat Teams with combat power, all similarly equipped, from across the active, Guard, and Reserve force. A Guard or Reserve unit that was not in the available

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Soldiers from the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 5th Brigade, 1st Armored Division, walk behind a small unmanned ground vehicle during a gunnery exercise. RDECOM is a key participant in BCT modernization.

pool might not have the most modern equipment, but as they move to deployment, they would be brought up to the same level. That means while they might not be on as tight a spin, when they get to the end of the cycle and deploy, they have the same capability as anybody else.

We're not doing readiness by component - active, Guard, or Reserve - but where a unit is in the ARFORGEN model. It is truly cyclic readiness rather than tiered readiness, where an active unit normally might have different capability than a Guard or Reserve unit. But any unit coming through that process will get the defined set of kit, regardless of who they are.

From an RDECOM perspective, how would you define the concept

I of a "capabilities-based Army" - and how supporting that will change

™ the way programs and acquisitions are handled in the future?

! It involves looking horizontally across the many parts of the com° mand and bringing them together. Where once we focused on capa-aM bilities derived from individual systems, now we take a much broader o yb view, looking at all the possible solutions to gaining that capability ° and recommending the best solution to senior leadership. That has | truly changed how we do business, from a focus on functional sys« tems - aircraft, tanks, communications - to a focus on how to put a b particular capability into a unit with an integrated solution.

Soldiers from the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 5th Brigade, 1st Armored Division, walk behind a small unmanned ground vehicle during a gunnery exercise. RDECOM is a key participant in BCT modernization.

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