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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26413.
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U.S. ARMY FUTURES COMMAND
RESEARCH PROGRAM
REALIGNMENT

Committee on U.S. Army Futures Command
Research Program Realignment

Board on Army Research and Development

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

A Consensus Study Report of

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26413.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

This activity was supported by Contract W911NF-18-D-0002/W911NF21F0006 with the U.S. Army. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-27443-2
International Standard Book Number-10: 978-0-309-27443-5
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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26413.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26413.
×

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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26413.
×

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Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26413.
×

COMMITTEE ON U. S. ARMY FUTURES COMMAND RESEARCH PROGRAM REALIGNMENT

PAUL J. KERN, NAE,1 General U.S. Army (retired), Chair

JENNIFER A. HITCHCOCK, Defense Acquisition University, Vice Chair

JOAN M. BIENVENUE, University of Tennessee Oak Ridge Innovation Institute

LAWRENCE “LARRY” D. BURNS, NAE, General Motors (retired)

JOHN W. FISCHER, Energetics Technology Center

PAUL G. GAFFNEY II, NAE, Vice Admiral U.S. Navy (retired)

MERRI J. SANCHEZ, The Aerospace Corporation

JOHN F. WHARTON, Major General U.S. Army (retired)

Staff

WILLIAM “BRUNO” MILLONIG, Director, Board on Army Research and Development

STEVEN DARBES, Program Officer, Study Director

JAMES MYSKA, Senior Program Officer

CAMERON MALCOM, Research Associate

LINDA WALKER, Program Coordinator

TINA LATIMER, Program Coordinator

Consultant

NORMAN HALLER

___________________

NOTE: Opinions expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect those of the employing institutions of committee members.

1 Member, National Academy of Engineering.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26413.
×

BOARD ON ARMY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

KATHARINA McFARLAND, Retired Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, & Technology), Chair

MICHAEL BEAR, Booz Allen Hamilton, Vice Chair

ANDREW ALLEYNE, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

DAVID AUCSMITH, University of Washington

JAMES BAGIAN, NAE1/NAM,2 University of Michigan

JOAN BIENVENUE, University of Tennessee Oak Ridge Innovation Institute

LYNN DUGLE, Independent Consultant

JOHN FARR, United States Military Academy at West Point

GEORGE “RUSTY” GRAY III, NAE, Los Alamos National Laboratory

WILLIAM HIX, Major General U.S. Army (retired)

GREGORY JOHNSON, Lockheed Martin

DUNCAN McGILL, Mercyhurst University

CHRISTINA MURATA, Deloitte

ADITYA P. PADHA, Deloitte

ALBERT SCIARRETTA, CNS Technologies, Inc.

GEOFFREY THOME, SAIC

JAMES THOMSEN, Seaborne Defense, LLC

JOSEP TORRELLAS, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Staff

WILLIAM “BRUNO” MILLONIG, Director

STEVEN DARBES, Program Officer

SARAH JUCKETT, Program Officer

TINA LATIMER, Program Coordinator

CAMERON MALCOM, Research Associate

TRAVON JAMES, Senior Program Assistant

CLEMENT MULOCK, Program Assistant

CHRIS JONES, Senior Finance Business Partner

___________________

1 Member, National Academy of Engineering.

2 Member, National Academy of Medicine.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26413.
×

Preface

In the 1990s, the Army recognized the character of warfare was shifting and began to change the force for the 21st century. Rather than incrementally improving the “Big Five” that carried it through the Cold War, the Army embarked on a plan to modernize the entire force. Starting with the Army After Next program, the Army had some false starts in modernizing its force, including the cancellation of the Future Combat Systems and Comanche programs. Despite these challenges, the Army realized several successes including Stryker, unmanned aerial vehicles, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, and Digital Networks, which incrementally moved Army modernization forward. Through these challenges and successes, the Army recognized that connections between several Army communities were not as strong as they needed to be and that its incremental improvements were beginning to be outpaced by U.S. adversaries.

As the Army fought a 20-year war, U.S. adversaries did not sit idle. They took advantage of the U.S. focus on the war and moved ahead with technological developments. The Army realized it was losing its near-peer competitive advantage in many areas and was outranged, outgunned, and outdated. In fact, data from the 2015 Department of Defense Third Offset strategy reinforced these issues. The Army also saw that the requirements and capabilities development process was too long, with an average of 3-5 years to approve requirements and another 10 years to design, build, and test new weapons systems, and a couple more years to field systems. These challenges—along with the less than strong connections between the operational, acquisition, sustainment, and science and technology (S&T) communities—enabled Army leadership to

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26413.
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recognize it had a problem. This recognition prompted Senior Army leadership to realize change was needed, and they took action and began a transformation journey in order to truly modernize the force.

To jump-start this transformation, the Chief of Staff of Army set modernization priorities during the December 2016 budget reviews. These priorities matured into the current six modernization priorities plus two enabling capabilities that drive Army modernization priorities. The following year, the Army began to align its S&T budgets to these priorities. But they recognized this was not enough and saw that the personnel developing concepts and writing requirements were disconnected from the technical personnel. In addition, acquisition program managers would not make changes due to a lack of solid requirements to change.

Change is hard, and the Army had not made any institutional changes since 1973. Nevertheless, senior political and military leaders moved ahead on a fundamental organizational change and created the U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC). They quickly created a new headquarters, which addressed functional changes needed to begin to create stronger connections amongst the communities. This report of the Committee on U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment addresses part of those changes—the S&T budgets and their relationship to modernization.

As a committee, we observed the genuine motivation and desire to implement fundamental change to address long-standing problems. We witnessed, many of us first hand, Army Senior leadership becoming vitally involved from the onset of these changes. We applaud these changes and encourage current and future leaders to stay engaged. Our interviews and research discovered many positive changes such as the basic research community’s connection to Army concept development; budgets aligned with priorities; cross-functional teams established to lead priorities and ensure unity of effort of all the communities; experimentation being utilized as a future capability enabler; and the capability requirement and technical communities integrated into one organization. The Army has made great strides in setting priorities for modernization and aligning the Army team in one direction.

Organizational transformation is a journey and is complex. While functional changes are part of the equation, true and lasting transformation happens when there is a shift in organizational culture. The Army needs to not only focus on its functional changes but dig deep to shift its culture if it truly wants to change, which includes looking at all Army communities to transform. They have made a good start but have much more work to do to change all parts of a complex system. Like any new organization, AFC is encountering growing pains and areas for improvement. This report addresses some areas within AFC as they relate to the

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26413.
×

impact of reorganization of the Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC or DEVCOM) and the establishment of AFC, that need attention, with the focus on making a new organization, and the people who operate it, better, and building the Army needed for the 21st century.

We would like to thank the committee members, who devoted an extraordinary amount of personal time and energy to this report. We are grateful for your dedication, professionalism, and expertise to this task. We wish to extend special thanks to the many individuals who spoke candidly and openly to us and answered our inquiries with honesty and professionalism. We thank AFC for providing an open door to its workforce to help us conduct this study and providing needed documentation needed. Finally, we would like to thank the committee staff members for all of their contributions and keeping us on track.

Paul Kern, Gen. U.S. Army, retired, Chair

Jennifer Hitchcock, Vice Chair

Committee on U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26413.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26413.
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. Each reviewer serves in their individual capacity,

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. U.S. Army Futures Command Research Program Realignment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26413.
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and his or her comments do not represent those of their home institution or organization. The review of this report was overseen by John Montgomery, Naval Research Laboratory (retired), and John Luginsland, Confluent Sciences. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

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The U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC) leads a continuous effort to modernize and innovate to support future warfighters. AFC now oversees Combat Capability Development Command and has recently reorganized certain research offices, laboratories, and engineering centers. In response to this realignment, the Senate Armed Services Committee asked the National Academies' Board on Army Research and Development to examine these research portfolio changes and assess their impact. This report investigates and assesses the Army's strategy behind the realignment, discusses the issues with stakeholders, and makes recommendations to ensure the alignment meets with Army modernization priorities.

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