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2 Rapid Reaction Technology Office What is the Rapid Reaction Technology Office? Origins The Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) was originally formed after the attacks of September 11, 2001, as the Combating Terrorism Technology Task Force (CTTTF). At that time, the Department of Defense (DOD) was trying to determine what science and technology (S&T) capabilities existed that could be applied to address the growing threat of terrorism. In fiscal year (FY) 2006, the CTTTF migrated from being a task force, which was temporary, to becoming an established organization with its own funding, reporting to the DODâs Director, Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E). This led to the name change from CTTTF to RRTO and to a more permanent status within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. This shift acknowledged the need for a sustained focus on rapid response to insurgency and irregular warfare. Mission The mission statement of the RRTO is âto partner with DOD offices, other government agencies, industry and academia in order to break the terrorist/insur- gency cycle, counter emerging and anticipated threats, and respond to validated 12
Rapid Reaction Technology Office 13 joint urgent needs by accelerating the development and fielding of affordable, sustainable transitional and non-traditional capabilities for the warfighter.â The CTTTF/RRTO has responded to its mission in five distinct phases from September 2001 to the present: â¢ Phase I (September 2001âFebruary 2002): The application of tech- nologies for homeland defense and for the initial war in Afghanistan was accelerated. â¢ Phase II (May 2002âApril 2004): Technology was delivered in support of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. â¢ Phase III (May 2003âDecember 2005): The RRTO, in conjunction with the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), concen- trated on identifying and accelerating technology for the protection of deployed forces, with an emphasis on mitigating the effects of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), mortars, and rocket-propelled grenades. â¢ Phase IV (December 2005âDecember 2006): The RRTO emphasized technologies required to prosecute global counterinsurgency (GCOIN). â¢ Phase V (January 2007âpresent): Activities include improving the persis- tence of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) with better power sources for sensors; finding threats by countering cover and concealment efforts by insurgents; and examining open-source applications, biometrics, and forensics to enable more effective negation of potential terrorist activities., Charter and Authorities The RRTO has never had a formal charter or governing document. The orga- nizationâs guidance and authority come directly from the DDR&E or the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD[AT&L]), and amount to âexecute the mission.â The director of the RRTO characterizes the activities of the office as âtesting and experimentation to better support the need â Defense Research and Engineering, Rapid Reaction Technology Office Web site, available at www.dod.mil/ddre/org_rrto.html. Accessed April 2, 2009. â The dates provided account for some breaks and overlaps between phases. â Global counterinsurgency implies combating threats to the United States or its interests anywhere in the world. â Benjamin Riley, Director, Rapid Reaction Technology Office, âTesting and Experimentation: How to Better Support the Need for Quick Reaction Capabilities in an Irregular Warfare Environment,â presentation to the committee, Washington, D.C., October 16, 2008. â Department of Defense, Testimony of Benjamin Riley, Chair, Combating Terrorism Technology Task Force, before the United States House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations, Sub- committee on Defense, 109th Congress, 1st Session, February 16, 2005.
14 Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism for quick reaction capabilities in an irregular warfare environment.â The breadth of the guidance given to the director provides much flexibility for carrying out his or her responsibilities as the director sees fit. Organizational Structure The director of the RRTO reports directly to the DDR&E as well as to the USD(AT&L) as appropriate. This gives the director considerable âtop coverâ and quick responsiveness in the decision cycle. The structure of the RRTO, along with its authorized staffing numbers, is displayed in Figure 2.1. The total RRTO authorized personnel billets number 23, of which 20 were filled with civilian, military, and contractor staff at the time the committee com- pleted its fact finding. The purpose and goals of the subordinate organizations within the RRTO have varied somewhat on the basis of changes in focus areas over time. The current RRTO divisions of Core Projects, Defense Biometrics, Emerging Capabilities, Strategic Multi-Layer Assessment, and Joint Rapid Acqui- sition Cell and their respective responsibilities are described in Table 2.1. Funding Funding for the CTTTF through its Phases I and II came from the Defense Emergency Response Fund (DERF), whereas funding for Phase III derived from reprogramming as well as the Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Supplementals. In FY 2006, a program element (PE)10 that provided the RRTO its own funding was established in the annual budget; the PE has remained in effect to the present. The FY 2009 funding for the RRTO Core Projects Division is about $50 million per âBenjamin Riley, Director, Rapid Reaction Technology Office, âTesting and Experimentation: How to Better Support the Need for Quick Reaction Capabilities in an Irregular Warfare Environment,â presentation to the committee, Washington, D.C., October 16, 2008. âEffective August 21, 2009, the Rapid Reaction Technology Office was subsumed under the new Office of the Director, Rapid Fielding, which will report to the Director, Defense Research and Engineering. âFigure 2.1 displays the structure of the RRTO as presented to the committee in October 2008. In February 2009, the RRTO established the Open Business Cell as part of its organization. A revised organizational chart reflecting the subsuming of the RRTO under the new Office of the Director, Rapid Fielding, referred to in footnote 7, has not yet been publicly released. âDERF was established by Congress in late September 2001 to provide immediate supplemental funding for previously unfunded DOD priorities. This transfer fund allowed the Secretary of Defense to respond to emerging requirements and to move funds into regular appropriations without affecting the normal transfer authority ceilings. DERF was typically used to fund the initial phase of some contingency operations; DERF has since been phased out. 10âSpecifically, Program Element 0603826D8Z is for Quick Reaction Special Projects, which include the Quick Reaction Fund, the Rapid Reaction Fund (RRF), and the Technology Transition Initiative. The RRF (Project 828) is fully executed through the RRTO.
Rapid Reaction Technology Office 15 Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) (USD[AT&L]) Director, Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) Director, Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) (2) RRTO Core Strategic Defense Joint Rapid Projects Emerging Capabilities Multi-Layer Biometrics Acquisition Division (Formerly Division Assessment Division Cell (JRAC) CTTTF) Division (3) (4) (6) (1) (7) FIGURE 2.1 Organizational chart of the Rapid Reaction Technology Office. Numbers in parentheses indicate authorized staffing numbers (which include clerical support) as of October 2008. SOURCE: Benjamin Riley, Director, Rapid Reaction Technology Office, âTesting and Experimentation: How to Better Support the Need for Quick Reaction Capa- bilities in an Irregular Warfare Environment,â presentation to the committee, Washington, D.C., October 16, 2008. NOTE: CTTTF, Combating Terrorism Technology Task Force. Figure 2.1, editable year; the RRTO also has about $20 million for the Emerging Capabilities Divi- sion, $10 million for the Defense Biometrics Division, and about $7 million for programs related to coherent change detection synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Thus, total funding expended by the RRTO is about $90 million per year. 11,12 The RRTO co-funds many initiatives in conjunction with multiple agencies and organizations, such as the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). 11â Benjamin Riley, Director, Rapid Reaction Technology Office, âTesting and Experimentation: How to Better Support the Need for Quick Reaction Capabilities in an Irregular Warfare Environ- ment,â presentation to the committee, Washington, D.C., October 16, 2008. 12â Presidentâs Budget Request (PBR) for FY09. 2008. Program Element (PE) 0603826D8Z, PE 0605799D8Z, PE 0603665D8Z, and PE 0603745D8Z, Washington, D.C., February 4.
16 Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism TABLE 2.1 Organizational Goals and Focus of the Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO), by Division Project Division Current Goals and Focus Core Projects Division Assumed responsibilities, functions, and projects from the RRTOâs predecessor, CTTTF. Manages ongoing projects from the current areas of emphasis, which include multiple initiatives. Defense Biometrics Division Development of a defense-wide biometric capability that supports identity management, tactical biometrics and forensic applications, and force protection. Emerging Capabilities Division Supports the Joint Capabilities Integration Development System and acquisition processes. Develops prototypes with military utility in targeted areas of technologies and engages in activities for advanced capabilities, leveraging interagency cooperation and coordination. Strategic Multi-Layer Assessment Provides planning support to combatant commanders Division and coordinates with the Joint Staff and STRATCOM to support global mission analysis. Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell (JRAC) Addresses the rapid resolution of Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statements (JUONSs) and Immediate Warfighter Needs.a The JRAC monitors the status of validated JUONSs and assists in the resolution of issues that could result in mission failure or casualties. NOTE: Acronyms are defined in Appendix B. aFurther explanation of rapid acquisition as it applies to resolution of JUONSs and immediate warfighter needs is provided in a 2008 Army AL&T [Acquisition, Logistics and Technology] online article: COL(P) Peter N. Fuller, USA, Commanding General, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, âRapid Acquisition-Developing Processes That Deliver Soldier Materiel So- lutions Now,â February. Available at http://www.usaasc.info/alt_online/article.cfm?iID=0802&aid=15. Accessed June 16, 2009. Organizational Interfaces and Alliances Collaborators, Customers, Users, and Consumers The RRTO has been and remains actively engaged with an extremely wide range of organizations internal and external to the DOD. In addition to the defense-related S&T community, agencies, and laboratories, it typically works with many other government organizations, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Technical Support
Rapid Reaction Technology Office 17 Working Group (TSWG). Outside government, the RRTO maintains relationships with federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) and with aca- demia as well as industry on initiatives where it is appropriate. 13 Also, the RRTO currently is collaborating on projects that include the Depart- ments of State, Justice, and Commerce. Within the intelligence community the RRTO has projects ongoing with the Director of National Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 14 While the list presented here is not intended to be exhaustive, other examples of organizations collaborating with the RRTO include the combatant command- ers (COCOMs), the JIEDDO, the Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) program, and the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). It is noteworthy that the connections that the RRTO has with numerous organizations such as those mentioned above are very informal and are built on well-established working relationships. An illustrative example of the RRTOâs broad collaboration with organiza- tions is its work with SOCOM. The RRTO assists SOCOMâs research and devel- opment (R&D) activities that are tied to established programs; it also supports SOCOM with nonkinetic technologies such as social network analysis, coalition videoconferencing, language support (including virtual language translation sup- port for the warfighter), and videogame-based training, among other things. Supporting Organizations Administrative and Acquisition Supportâ The RRTO uses various other organiza- tions in DDR&E for internal administrationâfor example, for human resource management, programming and budget, and logistics management. The RRTO obtains contracting support from collaborating organizations. It often bundles projects with the contracting tasks of organizations such as the Department of the Army and/or the military Servicesâ laboratories. Administrative and contracting support for projects is also provided by collaborating organizations that contribute funding to the efforts. Test Planning, Conduct, Analysis, and Reportingâ The NAVAIR Special Sur- veillance Programs Office is funded by the RRTO (and SOCOM) to be the lead agency for overseeing and providing technical expertise for test planning, 13â Department of Defense, âTestimony of Benjamin Riley, Chair, Combating Terrorism Technol- ogy Task Force, before the United States House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense,â 109th Congress, 1st Session, DOD Testimony, Office of Legislative Counsel, February 16, 2005. 14â Benjamin Riley, Director, Rapid Reaction Technology Office, âTesting and Experimentation: How to Better Support the Need for Quick Reaction Capabilities in an Irregular Warfare Environ- ment,â presentation to the committee, Washington, D.C., October 16, 2008.
18 Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism conduct, and analysis for RRTO experiments conducted at the Joint Experi- mentation Range Complex (JERC). These functions are also supported by the National Counterterrorism/Counterinsurgency Integrated Test and Evaluation Center (NACCITEC), which provides a capability for the experimental testing of technologies to counter terrorist threats, particularly IEDs. The NACCITEC, located at Yuma Proving Ground (YPG), Arizona, is composed of three JERCs: two replicate urban warfare sites in a desert environment, and the third replicates desert mountain roads typical of Afghanistan. A detailed discussion of the RRTOâs methods of experimentation (including project selection, test planning, conduct, analysis, and the reporting process); the role of NAVAIR in these experiments; and the NACCITEC capability is provided in Appendix C of this report. The study committee visited the NACCITEC at YPG and found that the experimentation planning and execution process in support of the RRTO has unique, positive features that do not exist in a classical DOD experimentation or acquisition environment. Management of the test and evaluation process by NAVAIR combines with Army support from NACCITEC to produce a balanced, objective, technical assessment of the capabilities and limitations of the item being evaluated. This oversight is unique in that neither the RRTO nor the test support organizations are in an advocacy role for the items being evaluated. Several issues have the potential to adversely impact the testing support that NACCITEC provides to the RRTO. All are discussed in more detail in Appendix C. The primary issues include the following: â¢ Infrastructure sustainment: Range personnel expressed concerns with respect to adequate sustainment funding. â¢ Frequency authorization: NACCITECâs process of obtaining radio- frequency authorization for realistic testing of theater devices and frequencies needs more attention. â¢ Realistic intelligence data from Afghanistan: An apparent shortfall exists in test design due to the lack of support from the intelligence community. Possible contributing factors include the lack of an interface and limited access to secure teleconferencing. What does the Rapid Reaction Technology Office DO? Objectives The RRTO supports the force protection requirements of the military Ser- vices in Iraq and Afghanistan and the ongoing efforts to address the needs of irregular warfare. The organization focuses on rapid responses to joint force operational and tactical needs, and it complements the rapid acquisition pro-
Rapid Reaction Technology Office 19 cesses implemented by the Services. To drive its efforts and shape its response, the RRTO has developed a chronological list of the critical capability areas for countering the moves of likely adversaries. In the early years of the organization, the list was largely based on kinetic technologies and solutions and on the more traditional military capabilities. Now the RRTO is shifting to equal emphasis on nonkinetic capabilities. The RRTO activities result in fielded products, experi- mental testbeds, and data and information bases, as well as ideas and applications for alternative concepts of operation (CONOPS). All of these types of products constitute an RRTO portfolio for addressing joint urgent needs and gaps in the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency areas. Project Highlights From its inception the RRTO has initiated a number of successful actions and projects. These efforts have impacted many areas. As an example, early initiatives included developing advanced weapons, for which the RRTO and others received the Packard Award.15 Current areas of focus have included counter-IED appli- cations, the testing and fielding of capabilities for wide-area persistent surveil- lance and tracking; the standoff detection of explosives; special communications capabilities; and countermeasure capabilities against biological and chemical weapons. The director of the RRTO indicated that approximately 50 percent of the projects that the RRTO pursues actually result in fielded technologies, altered CONOPS, or other concrete changes, often as parts of larger systems. This is a very high percentage for a technology-driven organization. He also indicated that approximately one-third of the projects initially experience resistance from COCOM staff or subordinates, who often believe that an idea will not work and that it does not have an application.16 The committee selected a set of projects representative of RRTO endeavors and provided brief descriptions of these projects in Appendix D. Highlights are included here to give the reader a sense of the range and diversity of projects ini- tiated, supported, and partnered by the RRTO over the course of its history. The projects demonstrate success both in their transition to fielded deployments and in their stimulation of and influence on emerging capabilities still in development. 15â The Packard Award, the DODâs highest acquisition award, is given to DOD civilian and/or mili- tary organizations, groups, and teams that have made highly significant contributions or demonstrated exemplary innovations and best practices in the defense acquisition process. 16â Benjamin Riley, Director, Rapid Reaction Technology Office, âTesting and Experimentation: How to Better Support the Need for Quick Reaction Capabilities in an Irregular Warfare Environ- ment,â presentation to the committee, Washington, D.C., October 16, 2008.
20 Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism Testbeds for Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency The RRTO has been at the forefront in recognizing the need for âtestâ environments to help evaluate the many systems proposed to combat terrorism and insurgency. It has spent significant resources in leading the development of a range of testing environments for use by DOD and non-DOD entities. These testing environments include the NACCITEC and Joint Experimentation Range Complex at Yuma Proving Ground, discussed above in this chapter, with addi- tional information provided in Appendixes C and D. This testing capability is critical for counter-IED applications. To date, 250 systems have been tested at the JERCs under CTTTF/RRTO sponsorship. The RRTO transitioned oversight of the JERC to the U.S. Army in 2006; however, as discussed in Chapter 3, the RRTO still provides a portion of its funding. The RRTO is also collaborating on a âmulti-intelligenceâ testbed (i.e., deriv- ing its input from multiple intelligence sources) at the Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-South). This testbed can be used to evaluate emerging tech- nologies and transformational concepts, such as those in the Bluegrass experiment that assessed persistent, wide-area surveillance concepts in a complex rural and urban background.17 Another example of a testbed is the use of JIATF-Southâs Stiletto, a low-cost, high-speed ship, to demonstrate the shipâs utility in counter- ing illicit activities, such as trafficking in humans or drugs. These testbeds support the evaluation of experimental capabilities. They also enable participants and other interested parties to access data and information from experiments, providing multisource input and data sharing for addressing complex problems. For instance, the Bluegrass experiment assembled multisen- sor input and provided a fundamental database for evaluating approaches for detecting and unraveling nefarious activity hidden in realistic clutter. Bluegrass products have been distributed to more than 50 organizations, such as govern- ment laboratories, industry, academia, and intelligence organizations, to facilitate development of various ISR capabilities. Persistent Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS)â The Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) provides persistent ground surveillance through a tethered aero- stat with an embedded camera, an integrated sensor suite, a control module, and the communications to disseminate threat data. When an event of interest is detected, the camera is slewed to the target, which is tracked until reaction forces arrive. The system was developed and exclusively funded by the RRTO and was 17â For example, the Bluegrass tracking system has a goal to develop algorithms that will allow the handover of vehicle tracking from one system to another; in that way, continuous tracking is provided from urban areas (where electro-optical radar is effective) to rural areas (where ground moving target radar is effective).
Rapid Reaction Technology Office 21 deployed to Baghdad in 2004. The PTDS capability was transitioned to the Army and the JIEDDO, which invested substantial funding (hundreds of millions of dol- lars) and fielded the capability for use in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The system is now an Army program of record with additional contracts awarded to private-sector contractors to purchase, operate, and maintain the systems. Sonoma (Renamed âConstant Hawkâ)â The Constant Hawk aerial surveillance capability is able to record activities within a given area of interest so that users can detect the activities and derive tracking information on people or vehicles through postflight analysis. This capability to counter IEDs is a highly successful project that was achieved through partnerships. The RRTO helped the effort prog- ress through a number of iterations in both the design of sensors and the analysis and processing of new and complex information. These efforts transitioned to the Army and JIEDDO and are migrating into significant acquisitions and other spin-off capabilities, such as the development of the previously described Blue- grass project. Tactical Satellitesâ The tactical satellites capability comprises a series of experi- mental spacecraft designed to allow military commanders on a battlefield to request and to obtain data rapidly from a reconnaissance satellite. The project has stimulated the development of an entirely new class of satellites that can be quickly built at low cost. The RRTO assumed management of the initiative from the Office of Force Transformation and has funded several satellites and payloads, as well as tools to exploit the data collected. The RRTO also developed the Virtual Mission Operations Center, an initiative to enable the dynamic tasking of satel- lites. The Operationally Responsive Space Office within the DOD is now charged with moving small satellite capabilities into the hands of warfighters. Long-Endurance Unmanned Undersea Vehiclesâ Unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) systems are currently widespread throughout the military. However, real- world operations of many of these systems are yet to be realized, partly owing to the limitations of many vehicles with respect to conducting long-range, long- endurance operations with large payloads. The RRTO sponsored sensor enhance- ments and battery and power system improvements to large UUV systems that will result in a 2009 operational deployment aboard a U.S. naval vessel for further evaluation. Biometrics Applications Biometric Automated Toolsetâ The Biometric Automated Toolset (BAT) is a mobile capability that collects biometrics markers (fingerprints, iris scans, and so on) in order to screen personnel. When deployed to Iraq, the BAT was the first
22 Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism mobile system to collect and share standard biometrics information on persons of interest. The RRTO was a co-funder of initial efforts and early deployment, and it continues to work with the Army Biometric Task Force and the National Ground Intelligence Center. The Army has fielded BAT systems extensively across Iraq and Afghanistan, and since the first unit was operationally deployed it has been responsible for detecting numerous persons of interest. Biometric Information Technology Evaluationâ The RRTO sponsored the cre- ation of a baseline map of biometric systems in operation in theater. This project answered a critical need for an information and analysis environment to support deployed biometric capabilities. The effort has enabled a more rapid assessment of the overall performance of biometric systems in theater, improved the integra- tion of biometrics into the command structure, and facilitated the analysis of gaps and the prioritization of investments. The Biometric Information Technology Evaluation is currently being used by representatives from the Office of Defense Biometrics and the Biometrics Task Force. Intelligence Support SKOPE Intelligence Cellâ The SKOPE is a joint intelligence analytic cell with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), SOCOM, and STRATCOM. It began with a specific request from military commanders for sensors to help narrow the search space for terrorists and terror groups. The RRTO recommended the development of SKOPE and was the sole funding source for the initial operat- ing capability of the analytic cell. In response to further requests, the RRTO is developing new tools based on experience with the operational capability. The SKOPE cell applies all-source, multi-input intelligence analysis linked to a spot on Earth. Through its application of human terrain analysis, 18 SKOPE incorpo- rates aspects of the U.S. Armyâs Human Terrain System,19 a proof-of-concept program to improve the militaryâs ability to understand the highly complex local sociocultural environment in areas of deployment. Maritime Automated Super Track Enhanced Reportingâ The Maritime Auto- mated Super Track Enhanced Reporting (MASTER) initiative responds to the need for awareness and threat knowledge in order to secure the maritime domain and prevent adverse events. It is a network system that fuses data from multiple 18â Human terrain analysis is a multi-intelligence, multidisciplinary scientific approach to describe and predict spatial and temporal patterns of human behavior by analyzing the attributes, actions, reactions, and interactions of groups or individuals in the context of their environment, according to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency briefing at the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation GEOINT 2008 Symposium, October 27-28, 2008, Nashville, Tenn. 19â See http://humanterrainsystem.army.mil for a program overview and a list of relevant publica- tions. Accessed April 15, 2009.
Rapid Reaction Technology Office 23 sources, automatically tracks global shipping on vessels of all sizes, associates tracks with cargo, and alerts the analyst to unusual activities. The RRTO sup- ported the initial development and testing of MASTER. After the feasibility of the system was shown, it became a JCTD in 2007 and continues to grow in use. Operational users in the testing and demonstrations include the U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Third Fleet, Office of Naval Intelligence, U.S. Coast Guard Intelligence, and the U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Intelligence Fusion Centers Atlantic and Pacific. Three funded transitions are now in place. Other RRTO Activities The prior discussion highlights RRTO projects that provide capabilities for testing, for experiments, and for data collection, as well as for initiatives that have been deployed or that framed the next level of action for emerging capabilities. The RRTO also engages in other periodic types of activities to stimulate ideas and evolve concepts to counter terrorism. The RRTO sponsors a wide range of conferences and technical exchanges that are open to interested parties, ranging from people with current operations experience to experts in multidisciplinary fields. Emerging issues and challenges are vetted at these sessions, where âroadmapsâ of ongoing and past efforts are provided to participants. For instance, the organization recently co-sponsored a conference on wide-area surveillance and one accomplishing a cross-sector technology mapping. The staff of the RRTO maintains cognizance of technological activities in vari- ous laboratories, reviews weaknesses in current military capabilities, and extrapo- lates to anticipate future threats and technologies potentially useful in combating future threats. The RRTO contracts with the Lincoln Laboratory of the Massa- chusetts Institute of Technology to assist in monitoring technological advances in selected areas and to review technical ideas. The outputs of these efforts are acces- sible to appropriate parties, including partners and collaborators of the RRTO. The RRTO staff provides training through its Common Operational Research Environ- ment program to provide exposure to and to educate military officers on irregular warfare methodologies and on the use of advanced technologies for understanding network-based adversaries who operate with irregular warfare. The Effectiveness of Projects The committee sought input from several of the RRTOâs customers, consum- ers, and collaborators to solicit their insights regarding the effectiveness of RRTO projects.20 Representatives from these organizations were generally enthusiastic 20â See the Preface in this report for a summary listing of the agendas of the committeeâs data-gather- ing sessions, held on October 16-17, 2008, and December 15-16, 2008.
24 Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism and highly positive. The director of the Joint Capability Technology Demonstration program under the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Advanced Systems and Concepts indicated that 5 of the 45 JCTDs that have been fielded in OIF/OEF were started in the RRTO. Further, he stated that the organization depends on the RRTO for many of the JCTDs.21 The JIEDDO deputy director noted that his organization has accepted between 12 and 30 RRTO technologies for application. He indicated that if the RRTO did not exist, JIEDDO would feel the impact. The RRTO advances tech- nologies to the level that has enabled JIEDDO to mature capabilities to which the organization would not otherwise have had access.22 The technical director, Force Development for Joint Advanced Concepts of the USD(AT&L) organization, indicated that between 20 and 40 percent of the experiments supported by the RRTO did not work; however, these âfailuresâ provided knowledge critical for others to build capabilities that do work. The RRTO helps the AT&L organization to avoid always playing catch-up,23 given the proliferation of technologies that the organization needs to investigate. The senior procurement executive from SOCOM noted that the capabilities which his organization received from the RRTO are more mature than those received from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and more easily fielded and that the RRTO provides SOCOM with technologies that it is able to field and use. SOCOM has benefited as a customer of the sociocultural work from the RRTO. Based on evidence presented to the committee by this customer, the RRTO appears to have the best model for meeting the needs of customers, takes technology further than DARPA, and usually gets technology ready for fielding to SOCOM when neededâif SOCOM can get to the RRTO early enough in the process. An example of this type of experience involves specific counter-IED devices.24 The chief of the Technology Innovation Office of the Defense Threat Reduc- tion Agency (DTRA) indicated that during the time that DTRA was working with the RRTO, 65 technologies were developed, 27 of which were fielded from 2001 through 2004.25 21âJohn Wilcox, Director, JCTD Program, discussion with the committee on JCTD program over- view, Washington, D.C., December 15, 2008. 22âRobin L. Keesee, Deputy Director, JIEDDO, âJIEDDO Organizational Overview and Responsi- bilities,â presentation to the committee, Washington, D.C., October 17, 2008. 23âJay Kistler, Technical Director, Force Development, Joint Advanced Concepts (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics), discussion with the committee on USD(AT&L) perspectives on experi- mentation and rapid prototyping, Washington, D.C., December 16, 2008. 24âDale Uhler, Acquisition Executive and Senior Procurement Executive, SOCOM, discussion with the committee on SOCOM acquisition overview, Washington, D.C., December 16, 2008. 25âMatthew Holm, Director, Innovation and Systems Engineering, DTRA, âTechnology Innovation- Strategic Approach Taken by DTRA,â presentation to the committee, Washington, D.C., December 16, 2008.
Rapid Reaction Technology Office 25 The Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence was enthusiastic about the SKOPE cell and was equally positive about the Constant Hawk program.26 Both of these projects were supported by RRTO efforts (see the discussion in the sub- section above titled âProject Highlightsâ). In reviewing the projects sponsored and supported by the RRTO, the commit- tee saw strong evidence of the effectiveness of the organization. The dissemina- tion and transfer of critical information to counter terrorism and combat irregular warfare through knowledge, piece-parts of capabilities, and/or fielded capabilities are strong aspects of RRTO work. Effectiveness was further substantiated by senior leaders of several organizations that are customers, consumers, and/or collaborators of the RRTO. How does the Rapid Reaction Technology Office work? Management Techniques The Rapid Reaction Technology Office uses a number of business practices and management techniques to achieve effective performance results. A discus- sion of key elements of these practices follows. The RRTO has a highly knowledgeable, intellectually curious, and risk- tolerant senior leadership that deliberately maintains a small organization with well-qualified people. A diverse range of personnel is rotated in and out of the organization to provide new insights on technology and to achieve an early aware- ness of emerging global problems and operational issues. The organization uses informal processes and avoids hard-and-fast rules regarding funding strategies and program size and duration. It avoids excessive publicity. The RRTO manages small projects, not large acquisitions. It practices an incremental approach to developments using a spiral development approach over a 6- to 18-month time frame.27 The office executes its mission through partnerships and networks. The staff operates with transparency and opennessâthrough both formal and informal information sharingâto facilitate networks of individuals across organizational 26â James Clapper, Jr., Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, discussion with the committee on the role of experimentation and rapid prototyping in support of counterterrorism in the defense intelligence community, Washington, D.C., December 15, 2008. 27â The spiral development approach is âan iterative process for developing a defined set of ca- pabilities within one increment. This process provides the opportunity for interaction between the user, tester, and developer. In this process, the requirements are refined through experimentation and risk management, there is continuous feedback, and the user is provided the best possible capability within the increment. Each increment may include a number of spirals.â Memorandum from Under Secretary of Defense E.C. Aldridge, Jr., to the Secretaries of the Military Departments and Others, dated April 12, 2002.
26 Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism lines, and it develops relationships within the department, the Services, and other agencies and organizations to accomplish longer-term responsibilities. Critical Attributes and Elements of the Business Model The office supports and collaborates with other agency efforts. This enables multidisciplinary science and technology solutions for countering new and evolv- ing threats.28 The organization deliberately forms collaborative cross-agency groups to build the necessary support on key issues. It cooperates to take advan- tage of potential synergistic efforts on issues and to share or reduce costs. The RRTO appears to avoid the entanglements of program âownershipâ and of competition with programs in the areas of Service expertise; at the same time it strives to complement the activities of other organizations as appropriate, transition its successful efforts to other organizations, or terminate efforts of little promise. Its public posture is that it does not claim or demand credit for activities and successes.29 In Box 2.1 the committee has drawn from the material in the three previous sections to summarize six critical attributes of the RRTO and six essential ele- ments of the RRTOâs business model that it believes define the RRTO. differences between THe rapid reaction technology office and other acquisition organizations The RRTO is different in many respects from the typical acquisition organi- zation management entity (e.g., program executive office, program management office, functional-area R&D management office, or technical agency) and from other acquisition entities engaged in rapid fielding in response to urgent opera- tional needs and Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statements (JUONSs). Key dif- ferences are discussed below. RRTO staff members act as catalysts by attracting personnel from other organizations, both inside and outside the DOD, with interests in related areas to join in collaborative efforts. For instance, the RRTO may sponsor and support an initial meeting on a new topic that might be an avenue for attacking an important problem. In doing so, the RRTO reaches out to organizations and individuals that might not normally be considered as government partners. The RRTO then promotes the funding of synergistic efforts by offering funds if other participants will also contribute (the RRTO does not fully fund collaborative efforts even if 28â While the RRTO focus is science and technology solutions, occasionally its solutions are not consistent with the existing CONOPS, resulting in a CONOPS change. 29â Benjamin Riley, Director, Rapid Reaction Technology Office, âTesting and Experimentation: How to Better Support the Need for Quick Reaction Capabilities in an Irregular Warfare Environ- ment,â presentation to the committee, Washington, D.C., October 16, 2008.
Rapid Reaction Technology Office 27 Box 2.1 What Defines the Rapid Reaction Technology Office? During the course of this study, the Committee on Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism reviewed the projects sponsored and supported by the Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) and received briefings from the RRTOâs customers, consumers, and col- laborators. Drawing on these various sources of information and its own deliberations, the committee summarizes below the six critical attributes of the RRTO and six essential elements of the RRTOâs business model that it believes define the RRTO. This view of the RRTO was verified in committee discussions with partner organizations of the RRTO. Critical Attributes The Rapid Reaction Technology Office is a catalytic organization that antici- pates and responds to emerging threats, with an emphasis on terrorism and irregular warfare. The following are critical attributes of the RRTO: â¢ Being limited in size (funding and staff)âa small and agile organization; â¢ Possessing enlightened, risk-tolerant leadership; â¢ Having highly qualified and motivated staff; â¢ eing placed at a high organizational level within the DOD; B â¢ Being focused on joint and interagency needs; and â¢ erving as an enabler of timely and sufficient rather than optimal S solutionsâbut not executing acquisition and fielding. Essential Elements of the Business Model The essential elements of the RRTOâs business model are as follows: â¢ Foster communications and form collaborative cross-agency groups; â¢ Operate with transparency and openness; â¢ Anticipate and identify capability needs âAcross multiple disciplines, agencies, and organizational stovepipes, âNot seen or addressed within existing individual organizations; â¢ Create synergy by bringing diverse organizations together to âRecognize needs, âInvent and develop capabilities and concepts of operations, âGain buy-in from partner organizations through cost sharing; â¢ nable close relationships among technical staff, testers, and users to E accomplish the following: âExperimentation to gain early insight and knowledge, â xploration of alternative concepts of operations and determination of E effectiveness, âThe capturing of and making available unique data sets; and â¢ Enable multidisciplinary science and technology solutions.
28 Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism it could do so because it desires a concrete stake in the outcome by the other participants). Consequently, the RRTO can think beyond traditional boundaries and quickly initiate actions within its purview rather than going through a typical bureaucratic coordination process. In some cases RRTO leadership and staff work with others to define the sources of important national security problems rather than to concentrate only on the symptoms of such problems. For example, getting others to focus on attacking the basic causes of the creation of terrorist networks rather than on their destruc- tive actions was an innovative and essential approach to the IED problems. Additionally, the RRTO has not limited its horizons only to products that can be deployed rapidly to theaters of operation. It will also sponsor the creation of a data or information base that can be used to develop other intermediate or end- deliverable products. For example, RRTO personnel created experiments with multiple organizations in which each participant could bring particular expertise to the operation and assist in creating a data or information base to use in attack- ing related problem areas. The focus of the RRTO is often more on capabilities than on technologies. In this way, it differs from most technically oriented laboratories and agencies. It looks for breakthrough capabilities, not marginal changes. Once a project from the RRTO has gained some acceptance in a partner organization, the RRTO encourages its transfer of responsibility away from the RRTO. Those responsible for the RRTO have elected to keep it small. The com- mittee was struck by the degree of willingness to limit the organization to the innovative and important things that it can do well, let others do their missions, and not attempt to insert the RRTO where others have more expertise or formally assigned areas of responsibilities. The RRTO staff appears to understand that it is not suited in terms of size, skill, or functionality to manage a large acquisi- tion (from the development of a requirement, through planning and executing a development and production capability with life-cycle support). To date it has not tried to do this. The RRTO leadership personally selects employees based on needed capa- bilities and characteristics to accomplish the mission in an innovative fashion. The director said that he has waited months to get a person with the required characteristics (e.g., technical understanding and risk tolerance) rather than fill a position quickly and prematurely.30 The RRTO leadership and staff appear to be risk-tolerant. The organization focuses on continuing to come up with new ideas and is willing to accept a success 30â Benjamin Riley, Director, Rapid Reaction Technology Office, âTesting and Experimentation: How to Better Support the Need for Quick Reaction Capabilities in an Irregular Warfare Environ- ment,â presentation to the committee, Washington, D.C., October 16, 2008.
Rapid Reaction Technology Office 29 rate on initiatives well below 100 percent31 to avoid suppressing ideas that might be considered too risky, unconventional, unproven, or inappropriate by other offices. Keys to the success of the organization Of all the management techniques and descriptors indicating how the RRTO is different from most other acquisition organizations, the committee believes that the most important keys to this organizationsâs success are the following: â¢ The office has stayed small. â¢ The leadership within the organization has been very effective. â¢ The staff members in the organization are personally selected by the lead- ership to maintain desired technical capability, risk tolerance, and cognizance of national security and operational issues. â¢ The leadership of the RRTO is willing to transfer and transition to others for completion and execution any successful efforts that it has started. It claims not to seek âturfâ or to demand credit for its successful innovations. â¢ The RRTO reports directly to the DDR&E and can access the assistance of the USD(AT&L) if necessary. This approach provides essential âtop-level coverâ that enables the organization to achieve its objectives, although the RRTO leadership has rarely required such support. â¢ The RRTO sees itself as a catalyst. Its success to date stems from its abil- ity to focus on, initiate, and develop new capabilities using broad networks of persons and organizations that would not typically work together. There are many offices and organizations in the DOD with some assignment or function involving rapid development and/or deployment of technology to combat and support forces. The committee believes that the set of key charac- teristics listed above, when coupled with the organizationâs business practices, distinguishes the RRTO from the other acquisition organizations and provides a unique model for success. 31â As noted earlier in this chapter, between 20 and 40 percent of the experiments supported by the RRTO did not work (see the subsection entitled âThe Effectiveness of Projectsâ).