Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2014 Contents the chief of staff of the Army. And then
COL Cross—Chris Cross—runs the sci-
ence and technology piece, which really
spans the far and mid-term and bridges
into, in some cases, the near term.
What would we look like in 2025? Physi-
cally, we will probably look very similar to
what we do today. The challenge for the
Army is to retain as much capacity as pos-
sible. [Chief of Staff of the Army] GEN
[Raymond T.] Odierno was interviewed
by the Council on Foreign Relations and
talked about the relative balance—the
impacts of end strength in terms of how
we manage the force or the challenges of
the environment as we see it, with a force
of 450,000 in the active force and 980,000
across the active, Guard and Reserve.
And he said, “Do I think we can do it?
Yes. Will there be risks? Yes. But we think
we can do it.” (To read the entire Feb. 11
conversation, go to http://www.cfr.org/
But then he talked about the impact of
that next step down, from 450,000 to
420,000 and about 920,000 across all
three—again, active, Guard and Reserve.
And he said that reduction, which is about
60,000 across the entire Army, active
and reserve, was a significant dropdown.
And I think what’s important to realize
is we did the reorganization and shap-
ing of the Army to the program we call
Army 2020 as we’ve come out of Iraq
and are drawing down in Afghanistan.
We’ve retained the vast majority of our
combat power. We deliberately trimmed
overhead, brigade headquarters, sustain-
ment structure and those sorts of things.
And so, in general, the punch of the
Army at 490,000, and a little over a
million across the active, Guard and
Reserve, is very similar to the Army that
we’ve had for the last decade—a very
substantial, very capable Army in terms
of its combat power. A lot of churn, obvi-
ously, within units as they draw down,
but nonetheless, the resulting product
in 2015 will be very significant in terms
of its abilities to respond to crisis and,
frankly, finish major theater conflicts if
we happen to wind up in one.
As we come down below that level, we’re
going to see real reductions in combat
power—not marginal reductions, but
real reductions, because we’re going to
actually have to cut combat forces out
of the Army.
COL Felix: As MG Hix mentioned, I
run the chief ’s future study plan, which
is called Unified Quest, and it really is
about scouting the future through a series
of seminars, symposia [and] war games.
We typically have a major war game once
a year, sometimes twice. That brings the
community together. Our sister services
come, [and it’s] interagency, multina-
tional in a big way. We expose them to
various ideas that we’re thinking about—
get this greenhouse of ideas going about
future ways to operate.
It all starts with the environment. What
do we think this operational environment
will be in, say, 2030-35? And so in order to
get there, we look at trends. (See Figure 1
on Page 140.) We do some strategic trends
work; we monitor those trends with our
TRADOC G-2 . So we understand what it
might look like in terms of that. We may
not get it right, but at least we follow the
trends. One of the trends we’re following
this year is this idea of rapid urbanization.
So in our war game this year, we will focus
on a megacity in 2035. That will be the
framework and the backdrop.
The next piece of it is our strategy dur-
ing that time period. How has it evolved?
What are the vital interests of the United
States with respect to the rest of the world,
such that we will commit blood and trea-
sure to something? And we have to make
it plausible. So we bring in the intelli-
gence community. We share our potential
scenario with them because we can’t just
be creating our own ideas. We have to say,
in conjunction with the intel community,
what’s plausible in that environment.
We set those conditions, and we build that
environment. We allow our sister services
to come in and participate with their
emerging technologies and objectives so
that we can achieve something as a joint
team, the Army as a joint team fighting
WE’RE NOT FOCUSED SOLELY ON THE
CURRENT ADVERSARIES; WE’RE LOOKING
AT TECHNOLOGICAL AND SYSTEMS
DEVELOPMENTS WORLDWIDE, BECAUSE ONE
OF THE KEY TRENDS, OF COURSE, IS THAT
ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY AND KNOWLEDGE IS
BECOMING MORE AND MORE DIFFUSE.
Army AL&T Magazine
PREDICTING THE ‘WHETHER’
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