Two themes in the 1991 ASB report seem particularly relevant to today’s environment: the need for and importance of (1) an integrated architecture design and (2) a systems engineering methodology. The ASB report defined architecture as follows:
… a substantive definition of the elements within the Soldier System and a definition of how each of these elements is to interface with each other; a substantive definition of the primary elements outside the Soldier System with which the soldier must deal and a companion definition of these required interfaces; and a reasonably complete definition of the expected implementation concepts for fielding, both in timing of individual element introduction and in the ability/inability to use in part or mix/matched with existing inventory items. (U.S. Army, 1991, p. 33)
The report defined system engineering as follows:
… System engineering establishes the desired requirements; defines a system architecture specifying form, fit, and function of the elements to ensure compatibility and interchangeability of the parts; and maintains the configuration in documentation available to all contributors to the development and provisioning activities. (ASB, 1991, p. 34)
The report went on to observe that both a design architecture and a systems engineering methodology were essential to realizing the system Soldier and went on to make a number of recommendations for pursuing these critical elements.
FOLLOW-ON TO SOLDIER AS A SYSTEM
The recommendations of the ASB report are supported by a subsequent review, Objective Force Warrior Technology Assessment, chartered in 2000 by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology.1 The charter to the Independent Review Team (IRT) that conducted the study described the Objective Force Warrior as possessing the agility and versatility to operate with overmatch across the spectrum of conflict, environmental complexity, and mission set: offense, defense, stability, and support. It is interesting to note the similarity of this charter to the Statement of Task given to the current committee.
The IRT made recommendations related to power, weight, lethality, human performance, training, and integration. In particular, the IRT concluded as follows:
• Early integration avoids suboptimal science and technology (S&T) investment,
• System-level design is needed to determine early S&T investment, and
• An organization with the Objective Force Warrior systems design capability could not be identified among the presenters.
The IRT also assessed systems integration and modeling to be in need of redirection and model integration as needing additional funding. The IRT’s recommendations were as follows:
1Personal communications between Ed Brady, chair of the IRT for Dr. Andrews, and Peter Cherry, committee member, who was also a member of the team.