The Command Post of the Future (CPOF) is a command-and-control program built with advanced visualization and collaboration technology from the commercial and academic sectors that was initiated by DARPA. There was early collaboration with the user community during system development, and the system was deployed for evaluation, training, and interoperability enhancements at the CTSF at Fort Hood, Texas. CPOF interoperates with the Army’s command-and-control POR. It received high praise from the end users, who requested that it be deployed to OIF. Based on its success the system was transitioned into a formal POR for support, further fielding, and upgrades to meet evolving end-user requirements. This is another example of a program that thrived in the absence of formal ACAT I-level program oversight. Partnering of this kind between DARPA and the Services and agencies can be a means to achieve agile development and shorten the front end of the IT system acquisition process.
The Tactical Ground Reporting System (TIGR) is another DARPA program. It is a multimedia reporting system for soldiers at the patrol level, allowing users to collect and share information to improve situational awareness and to facilitate collaboration and information analysis among junior officers. It is based on commercial information technology and was developed using rapid and agile acquisition processes without going through the normal oversight process. It was developed in collaboration with end users and has evolved into a highly valued, widely deployed system in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like CPOF, this program should be evaluated in depth for lessons learned that can be deployed across the DOD IT system acquisition community.