Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT July-September 2018 Contents I
n an unpredictable location, which could be an urban
center in Syria or a semirural suburb like Salisbury,
England, a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear
(CBRN) event will happen, again. Such an event could
mean devastating losses for U.S. forces if they have no warning
or protection from weapons of mass destruction.
That is why the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical,
Biological, R adiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND)
established an Experimentation Directorate in 2017—to improve
the acquisition cycle and free DOD to counter threats, quickly.
Advances in technology have made it easier for state actors to
develop and employ weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and
other CBRN threats. Now DOD is reforming bureaucratic poli-
cies that have impeded the United States’ own technological
advances to prevent and protect against such threats.
JPEO-CBRND’s Experimentation Directorate seeks to improve
joint force capabilities to defend against WMD threats, using
incrementa l or evolutionary solutions. Experimentation—
whether in the laboratory or field-testing new equipment with
joint forces—is a faster way to establish how best to use tech-
nologies to counter WMD threats than the traditional cycle of
development, testing and, ultimately, deployment. Experimenta-
tion will help DOD get ahead of the threat rather than reacting
after a WMD event by managing the consequences.
For JPEO-CBRND, it is a vital step toward providing early warn-
ing, situational awareness and understanding of asymmetric
and unpredictable threats to the nation’s security. Experimenta-
tion offers a structured approach to improve tools, adopt new
processes, and assess and deliver available technologies to joint
forces on the multidomain battlefield.
In remarks Oct. 10 at the annual meeting of the Association of
the United States Army, Gen. Mark A. Milley, Army chief of
staff, described this “significant streamlining of processes” as a
“shift to a U.S. Special Operations Command-like model of buy,
try, decide and acquire.” Both the National Defense Strategy
and the JPEO-CBRND’s strategic guidance on acquisition call
for streamlining rapid iterative approaches to reduce risk and
cost. This includes championing prototyping and experimenta-
tion before refining requirements. That is the Experimentation
JOINT, INTEGRATED PICTURE
The new directorate is managing an enhanced capabil-
ity demonstration as part of the JPEO’s larger integrated
situational-understanding campaign. The objective of the cam-
paign is to develop an integrated chemical and biological early
warning capability using mostly nonmateriel and a few materiel
solutions. These solutions combine existing sensor technologies,
information threads and advanced algorithms from multiple bat-
tlefield domains into a novel decision management framework
for operational use. Never before have disparate information
threads come together to provide courses of action to joint forces
confronting WMD threats.
The intent is to give joint forces more warning time and more
options in the event of a chemical or biological attack. Increased
warning time allows them to don their protective masks and
consider options such as moving upwind or around the attack,
thus maintaining their freedom to act, move and maneuver
while accomplishing the mission.
A successful integrated situational-understanding campaign
requires three improvements to the existing decision-making
infrastructure, and the development and fielding of a fourth piece:
• More timely delivery of CBRN information to the joint forces.
Seconds count in warning of an attack; it takes at least 10 sec-
onds to put on a protective mask, for example.
• A more robust information network drawing from a wider
variety of sources, such as non-CBRN counterbattery radar
sensors, to warn commanders of incoming rounds before they
explode and disseminate chemical agents.
Another element of the experiment is to determine the feasibility of
incorporating a CBRN logistics management system into the integrated
88 Army AL&T Magazine
NO TIME TO WASTE
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