Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2011 Contents confidence in the identification of
requirements and costs.
It is our intention to achieve 70 percent
or more requirements identification and
definition for each capability, ensuring
that they are resource-informed earlier
and in-house before we issue requests to
industry for proposals.
As part of this effort and in addition
to establishing threshold requirements,
we also see the need to identify sub-
threshold requirements, to set the stage
for trades during the development and
design process and to support high-
fidelity modeling or virtual prototyping.
Design engineers have to deal with
many competing requirements and
performance parameters or criteria. We
have to define the acceptable trade space
within which they will operate. These
must be well-defined with metrics, and
we must be able to use the metrics and
the cost/benefit to make affordable
trades across warfighting functions and
the DOTMLPF. Analyzing these criteria
using modeling and virtual prototyping
will reduce time, energy, and money.
All this will provide more cost and
performance data than what is currently
required at the defense acquisition
Milestone A and as prescribed by the
Weapon System Acquisition Reform Act
of 2009; DoD Directive 5000.01, The
Defense Acquisition System; and DoD
Instruction 5000.02, Operation of the
Defense Acquisition System.
True success in this process will require
the Army to develop in-house expertise
to better understand what we need and
to identify the associated technical risks
to better guide and support industry
efforts. Obtaining greater knowledge of
requirements upfront will drive down
costs, risks, and time to production,
particularly when this knowledge is
coupled with affordability targets in
dollars and force structure.
Learning and Adapting Faster
One of the challenges in a knowledge-
based approach is trying to determine
when you know enough to go forward,
while not letting the learning rigor
develop into rigor mortis. Understanding
that learning is a continuous effort,
the Army must adapt to a shorter,
faster "learn, adapt, learn, adapt" cycle.
The Army must move away from an
over-reliance on necessary long-term,
sequential planning and become flexible
enough to include emergent learning
and innovation, to evolve capabilities as
opposed to pursuing long-lead, high-
risk, leap-ahead technologies.
Lessons from the current fight continue
to show that a faster cycle of change is
needed, along with the ability to field in
increments to support the operational
Army's battle rhythm, the Army Force
Generation (ARFORGEN) cycle.
The pace of change, the deployment
cycles, and the need to learn and adapt
mean that the Army may not buy the
same item for every unit. This leads to a
strategy requiring the Army to equip to
mission and to buy fewer, more often.
The Army is already seeing pressures to
buy for those units that must be ready
in the ARFORGEN cycle, set up deci-
sion points for the next cycle, adjust
contracting to reflect incentivizing com-
petition through that next decision, and
insert technology as it becomes available.
Force modernization needs to be related
to readiness. This includes forcing
ourselves to look at the cost of main-
taining operational availability versus a
new start: What is the crossover point
of upgrading or modernizing a current
system with component parts, com-
pared with a new program? We need a
long-term, informed strategy that has
frequently established decision points.
All of these factors give the Army a
tremendous incentive to get more
knowledge earlier, to more effec-
tively execute the development and
acquisition of capabilities by the most
rapid, efficient, and affordable means.
With the current resource constraints
and the demand to drive continuing
relevance of sometimes lengthy
institutional processes, TRADOC has
shifted from a five-year to a two-year
cycle to examine and update operational
and functional concepts. As stated
earlier, these documents are key to
developing the force modernization
strategy, as they identify the gaps from
These shifts allow for more frequent
submissions to keep up with the pace
of change, incorporate lessons learned,
and support critical budget and
From a process standpoint, this
cycle leverages warfighting-focused
concepts as the basis for Capabilities
Based Assessments to inform Program
Objective Memorandum development.
With a faster concept cycle and more
knowledge earlier, we can provide
budget input that gives us higher
confidence in executing an affordable
force modernization strategy.
Experimentation, testing, and exer-
cises are valuable venues for gaining
knowledge earlier in the process. But
today these venues are too sequential,
with very little sharing nor a collabora-
tive building of the knowledge base
earlier and throughout their execution.
Separate, sequential events mean longer
time and increased costs.
The Army must move to converge its
experiments, evaluations, and testing.
This convergence has the greatest
potential to accelerate the delivery
of capabilities without sacrificing
necessary learning. To speed up testing,
all known and emerging test issues, test
criteria, and all earlier test results must
be made available and used to inform
all follow-on experimentation, testing,
16 APRIL--JUNE 2011
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