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Capabilities for the Army’s Future Force

This chapter describes the Army’s Future Force, including the Future Combat Systems Program and the Future Force Warrior Program. These two programs are the current focus of the Army’s science and technology efforts.

The Army anticipates that the Future Force will be equipped in such a way that it can exploit the benefits of a network-centric warfare (NCW)1 mode of military operations (U.S. Army, 2003). A brief discussion of the concept and implications of NCW is provided later in the chapter. The command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities of the various system components are critical to achieving NCW operations. Appendix E provides specifics on C4ISR capabilities for the Future Force.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE FORCE?

The Army’s Future Force concept is the strategy intended to transform the Army’s forces, beginning with platforms and weapons and extending from senior commanders down to individual soldiers. The term “transformational” is used

1  

The committee has employed the term “network-centric” in two separate but related contexts: namely, (1) in warfare, and (2) in homeland security. Thus, the former (network-centric warfare, NCW) is used in Chapter 2, while the latter (network-centric operations, NCO) is used in Chapter 3 and elsewhere when it concerns homeland security. Suffice it to say that in both contexts the term “network-centric” refers to making possible cooperative actions by exploiting latent resources made available only when all participants share information gathered by any one of them. The main goal is to use C4ISR to achieve connectivity to accomplish the mission.



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Army Science and Technology for Homeland Security: Report 2 - C4ISR 2 Capabilities for the Army’s Future Force This chapter describes the Army’s Future Force, including the Future Combat Systems Program and the Future Force Warrior Program. These two programs are the current focus of the Army’s science and technology efforts. The Army anticipates that the Future Force will be equipped in such a way that it can exploit the benefits of a network-centric warfare (NCW)1 mode of military operations (U.S. Army, 2003). A brief discussion of the concept and implications of NCW is provided later in the chapter. The command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities of the various system components are critical to achieving NCW operations. Appendix E provides specifics on C4ISR capabilities for the Future Force. WHAT IS THE FUTURE FORCE? The Army’s Future Force concept is the strategy intended to transform the Army’s forces, beginning with platforms and weapons and extending from senior commanders down to individual soldiers. The term “transformational” is used 1   The committee has employed the term “network-centric” in two separate but related contexts: namely, (1) in warfare, and (2) in homeland security. Thus, the former (network-centric warfare, NCW) is used in Chapter 2, while the latter (network-centric operations, NCO) is used in Chapter 3 and elsewhere when it concerns homeland security. Suffice it to say that in both contexts the term “network-centric” refers to making possible cooperative actions by exploiting latent resources made available only when all participants share information gathered by any one of them. The main goal is to use C4ISR to achieve connectivity to accomplish the mission.

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Army Science and Technology for Homeland Security: Report 2 - C4ISR intentionally by the Army in this context to describe innovation on a grand scale, undertaken to address major changes in the character of conflict, to exploit new technologies—particularly information technology (IT) emerging from the commercial world—and to adapt to shifts in geostrategic competition.2 For the past 20 years, the Army has been engaged in a transition process to leverage increasingly available innovative technologies, particularly in the area of C4ISR. The strategy calls for developing new kinds of units, modeled on an “Objective Force” that would operate and be organized and equipped differently from today’s combat commands (U.S. Army, 2002). In August 2003, the Army Chief of Staff, General Peter J. Schoomaker, redesignated the Objective Force concept as the “Future Force.” Army plans for developing the Future Force include a range of leader development, acquisition, training, sustainment, and institutional initiatives. The Army’s goal is to field the first fully operational Future Force unit in 2009 (U.S. Army, 2003). Several relevant Future Force C4ISR technologies are already available or are well along in the developmental process. Table 2-1 describes the operational benefits of the Future Force. CAPABILITIES ENVISIONED FOR THE FUTURE FORCE The primary capabilities required for the Future Force overall are these:3 Trained soldiers and leaders who understand how to use the power of information and the network to maximize combat effectiveness; Situational awareness of all forces—blue (friendly), red (enemy), joint, and neutral; A “smart knowledge management system” that knows the user, what the user does, and what he or she needs and that pushes knowledge to the user as well as pulling it from the network when needed; Ubiquitous assured access to the network and sensors; and The ability to remain relevant to national defense with the maturation of technologies in the commercial world—timely spiral technology insertions. In broad terms, the Future Force units of action (brigade-size and smaller) will possess the characteristics of responsiveness, deployability, agility, versatility, lethality, survivability, and sustainability. Each of the characteristics described in the following subsections is critically dependent on C4ISR capabilities (U.S. 2   There is no single commonly accepted metric or framework that distinguishes among concepts that are transformational and those that are not. See Roxbourough (2002). 3   LTG John M. Riggs, Director, Future Force Task Force, “Transformation to the Objective Force: C4ISR Enablers for Homeland Security,” briefing to the committee, Washington, D.C., August 25, 2003.

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Army Science and Technology for Homeland Security: Report 2 - C4ISR TABLE 2-1 Expected Operational Benefits of the Army’s Future Force Concept for the Conduct of Joint Operations From Past Capabilities To Projected Capabilities Stove-piped, staff-centric command-and-control. Joint-integrated, network-centric battle command; enables decision superiority and self-synchronization. Fight after force buildup at major air/seaports. Time-consuming force projection. Immediate employment of forces arriving rapidly through multiple austere entry points. Sequential, contiguous, linear operations. Simultaneous operations, distributed throughout joint operations area, within a nonlinear framework. Attrition-based campaign with massed formations. Direct attack of centers of gravity with precision effects; defeat through disintegration. Gaps in situational understanding; uncertainty; intelligence by contact and direct observation. Global, robust, near-real-time joint intelligence; sensor networks integrated from space-to-mud; improved situational understanding. Large logistics structure with large forward footprint. Reduced logistics structure and small footprint through reach-back and distribution-based sustainment. Effective combined arms operations. Greater synergy of integrated joint operations.   SOURCE: U.S. Army (2003). Army, 2001a, 2001b). The characteristics of the Army’s Future Force concepts are summarized in Figure 2-1. Responsiveness Commanders and staffs will team collaboratively (and virtually) with other elements through the Global Battle Command Network. The development of accurate situational awareness and of a complete understanding of the operational situation and mission begins well before departure from the home station. Awareness and understanding continue to develop while en route to and throughout operations, with updates and adaptations as the situation evolves. Deployability The unit of action will be capable of quickly and rapidly concentrating combat power and conducting distributed and continuous combined arms and

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Army Science and Technology for Homeland Security: Report 2 - C4ISR FIGURE 2-1 Characteristics of the Army’s Future Force. Courtesy of LTG John M. Riggs, Director, Future Force Task Force, U.S. Army. full-spectrum operations upon arrival in the area of operations. Prior to departure, training and mission rehearsal can be conducted on the platforms, with embedded virtual training designed to develop individual, crew, and small-unit functional capabilities. Refinements based on intelligence updates can be made while en route. Agility The unit of action must be able to make quick transitions to accommodate changes in its task, purpose, and mission. It must be able to maneuver into and out of contact with enemy forces without losing operational momentum. Agility applies to both the mental and the physical qualities needed to meet rapidly evolving battlefield situations. Versatility Units must be able to generate formations that can achieve sustained land dominance at any point in the spectrum of warfare, from low-level conflict to full-theater operations. They must be able to do so in all environments, in any kind of weather and by day or night.

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Army Science and Technology for Homeland Security: Report 2 - C4ISR Lethality Lethality requires a triad of sensor effects, force capabilities, and battle command that enables the dynamic application of lethal and nonlethal destructive and suppressive effects to achieve the commander’s intent. Networked firepower is fully integrated from theater to platform, with dynamical rerouting of targeting data and missions via flexible, sensor-to-shooter linkages. Survivability The unit of action provides maximum possible protection to mounted and dismounted soldiers. Tactics and operations combined with passive and active survival capabilities enable platforms and soldiers to detect and identify potential targets at a distance before being detected themselves, to achieve a kill with the first round fired, and to survive enemy fire if detected and fired upon. Sustainability Sustainability requirements will entail the continuous, uninterrupted provision of logistical support to Army forces. This support will be capable of “just in time” rather than “just in case” sustainment, allowing commanders to reduce stockpiles in theater while relying on technology to provide sustained support and real-time tracking of supplies and equipment. Embedded sensors on each platform provide an accurate picture of the sustainment status of the vehicle, weapons systems, and soldier support systems. NETWORK-CENTRIC WARFARE AND THE FUTURE FORCE The basic characteristics and capabilities of the Future Force are founded on the concept of network-centric warfare. This concept emerged from the notion of the transition of warfare from the 20th-century Industrial Age to the 21st-century Information Age, as discussed in War and Anti-War (Toffler and Toffler, 1993). NCW is a logical extension of previous Army efforts in areas such as the All Source Analysis Center enhanced by the rapid advancement of information technology particularly in the area of C4ISR. The Army intends to use C4ISR technology advancements to connect all weapons systems and sensors and to give U.S. soldiers and commanders the advantage of being able to follow the principles “See first, Understand first, Act first, and Finish decisively” during operations. NCW represents a major conceptual transformation from the traditional Industrial Age approach to warfare, commonly referred to as platform-centric. NCW involves a new and entirely different approach to decision making and operations on the battlefield, affecting everyone from the senior commanders to the individual soldiers. NCW has three overarching characteristics:

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Army Science and Technology for Homeland Security: Report 2 - C4ISR The shift in focus from platforms to networks, The shift from viewing actors as independent agents to viewing ensembles of continuously adapting “ecosystems,” and The importance of making strategic choices to adapt or even survive in a changing ecoenvironment.4 Finding 2-1. The network-centric concept is the foundation of the Army’s Future Force. THE FUTURE COMBAT SYSTEMS PROGRAM The Future Combat Systems (FCS) Program is the Army’s top-priority science and technology (S&T) effort. The FCS will constitute the core components of the Army’s Future Force. It is a multifunctional, multimission, reconfigurable system of systems that networks soldiers with their commanders, as well as with manned and unmanned air and ground vehicles. By integrating mission capabilities, including direct and indirect weapon use, reconnaissance, troop transport, countermobility, nonlethal effects, secure and reliable communications, and joint interoperability, the FCS coupled with the Future Force Warrior Program will enable soldiers to operate as a coordinated part of a distributed, networked force. The FCS will enable soldiers in the Future Force to perform a wide range of military activities and operations, from small-scale contingencies to stability and support operations, to major theater warfare. The basic elements of the FCS are depicted in Figure 2-2. THE FUTURE FORCE WARRIOR PROGRAM The Future Force Warrior (FFW) Program complements the FCS while focusing on the soldier as a system. It is intended to employ open architectures and cutting-edge technologies to develop a revolutionary warfighting system integrated with multifunctional sensors, weapons, physiological status monitoring, and embedded training capabilities to support the individual soldier. This FFW system of systems will evolve to form adaptive, distributed sensor networks for warfighter situational awareness. The soldier systems and subsystems will be integrated into a comprehensive modular fighting package that can be tailored to different mission profiles. Box 2-1 lists the elements of the FFW. 4   LTG John M. Riggs, Director, Future Force Task Force, “Transformation to the Objective Force: C4ISR Enablers for Homeland Security,” briefing to the committee, Washington, D.C., August 25, 2003.

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Army Science and Technology for Homeland Security: Report 2 - C4ISR FIGURE 2-2 Basic elements of integrated Future Combat Systems (FCS). Courtesy of LTG John M. Riggs, Director, Future Force Task Force, U.S. Army. C4ISR CAPABILITIES FOR THE FUTURE FORCE The C4ISR capabilities required for the FCS are derived from multiple sources (U.S. Army, 2001a, 2001c, 2003).5 These capabilities (fully portrayed in Appendix E) have been recast using the C4ISR taxonomy of this study: C3 (command, control, and computers) required for timely understanding and informed decision making by commanders and warfighters conducting operations; C (communications) to provide essential networking connectivity to deliver timely information to each warfighting decision maker; and ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) to supply the platforms, systems, and sensors that collect, fuse, analyze, and interpret the battlefield situation. Conclusion 2-1. The U.S. Army possesses a large and varied number of Future Force science and technology programs that, with proper coordination, could be made available to the Department of Homeland Security; however, there is currently no planning process to identify which could be shared or how to do so. 5   LTG John M. Riggs, Director, Future Force Task Force, “Transformation to the Objective Force: C4ISR Enablers for Homeland Security,” briefing to the committee, Washington, D.C., August 25, 2003.

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Army Science and Technology for Homeland Security: Report 2 - C4ISR BOX 2-1 Future Force Warrior Elements Lethality. Direct and indirect engagement; less than lethal engagement; target detection and recognition; synchronization of fires; target handoff; ID friendly/ enemy/noncombatant; target designation. C4I. Situational understanding; information management; communications; enhanced vision and senses; detect and avoid hazardous areas; area denial; mark items of interest; intelligence collection and dissemination; mission planning and rehearsal. Power Sources. High-density, lightweight, efficient, safe, reliable power (includes hybrids and rechargeables). Analysis and Assessment. Modeling tools to enable optimal system development and assessment; virtual prototyping; individual and force on force modeling. System Engineering and Integration. Integrate all areas into comprehensive, integrated system of systems. Weight, power, and cost treated as independent variables. Survivability. Full spectrum individual protection; signature management; thermal management; physiological status monitoring. Mobility. Horizontal, vertical mobility; reduce and offload equipment carriage; identify, reduce, and defeat obstacles; position/location/tracking. Sustainability. Delivery of tactical resupply; water purification and generation; water management. Training. Individual, small unit, leader training concepts; embedded training, novel training, tactics, and procedures to exploit Future Force Warrior capabilities. Human Performance. Sustain and enhance individual and team performance; optimize system and team fightability; optimize human endurance, cognitive, and physical capabilities. SOURCE: Adapted from Carol Fitzgerald. 2003. Future Force Warrior. Presentation by Program Manager for Future Force Warrior Technology at the Future Force Warrior Fightability Workshop, Framingham, Mass., August 18.

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Army Science and Technology for Homeland Security: Report 2 - C4ISR Recommendation 2-1. The U.S. Army, through the Department of Defense, should work with the Department of Homeland Security to analyze and determine, among other items, appropriate planning processes necessary to determine which Future Force science and technology programs should be shared and how best to go about doing this. SUMMARY To “See first, Understand first, Act first, and Finish decisively” in support of joint and combined operations requires a multifunctional, multimission, reconfigurable system of systems that networks soldiers with their commanders as well as with manned and unmanned air and ground vehicles. The underlying theme of the Army’s transformation is the focus on marrying capabilities driven by new technologies, including new ideas in economics, information technologies, and business practices, to the evolving systems. For maximum impact, rapid decision making requires attention to responsiveness, deployability, agility, versatility, lethality, survivability, and sustainability. Many of the same capabilities that contribute to network-centric warfare for the Army may be adaptable as capabilities for homeland security. The capabilities needed for emergency responders are the subject of the next chapter. REFERENCES Roxbourough, I. 2002. From Revolution to Transformation: The State of the Field. Available online at <http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/jfq_pubs/1332.pdf>. Accessed October 2, 2003. Toffler, A., and H. Toffler. 1993. War and Anti-War: Survival at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown. U.S. Army. 2001a. Statement of Required Capabilities for Future Combat System of Systems (FCS). November 2. Fort Monroe, Va.: Training and Doctrine Command. U.S. Army. 2001b. The United States Army Future Force Tactical Operational and Organizational Concept for Maneuver Units of Action, Draft version 2. TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-91. November 6. Fort Monroe, Va.: Training and Doctrine Command. U.S. Army. 2001c. Mission Need Statement for Future Combat System of Systems (FCS) Potential ACAT 1. November 2. Fort Monroe, Va.: Training and Doctrine Command. U.S. Army. 2002. Military Operations: Future Force Maneuver Units of Action. TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-90. November 1. Fort Monroe, Va.: Training and Doctrine Command. U.S. Army. 2003. The Army Future Force: Decisive 21st Century Landpower. August. Fort Monroe, Va.: Training and Doctrine Command.