The focus of this study was achieving decisive overmatch for the dismounted Soldier1 and tactical small unit (TSU) on future battlefields. In particular, the committee was asked to determine the elements of overmatch capabilities necessary to achieve decisiveness, identify technical requirements for optimizing Soldiers and small units, identify near-, mid-, and far-term technologies for investment, and determine the relative importance of such investments. The complete statement of task is in Box SUM-1.
To examine the desired elements of decisive overmatch, Chapter 2 identifies capabilities needed for decisive overmatch by Soldiers and small units in dismounted infantry squad operations, including situational understanding, military effects (including lethal and nonlethal effects and stability actions), maneuverability, sustainability, and survivability. Chapter 3 then articulates the foundational capabilities needed to identify and implement potential solutions. Finally, Chapter 4 describes how to achieve overmatch by focusing on the five areas most likely to enable improvements in Soldier and TSU decisiveness.
To identify relevant technical requirements, the committee gathered information about ongoing concept and technology development efforts both in and out of the Army with potential to contribute to decisive overmatch within the near (5 years), mid (5-10 years), and far (beyond 10 years) terms. The committee also interviewed Soldiers, both officer and enlisted, with recent combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan to gain an understanding of known shortcomings.
SETTING CONDITIONS TO ACHIEVE OVERMATCH
If decisive overmatch is to be achieved and sustained in the future, it is essential that the Army identify the favorable asymmetries that can be exploited and the unfavorable asymmetries that must be mitigated. Without the artifacts of a holistic systems engineering process applied to
1For this report, the committee has chosen to follow the Army’s policy since 2003 of capitalizing the word “soldier” when it refers to a soldier in the U.S. Army.
The U.S. military does not believe its soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines should be engaged in combat with adversaries on a “level playing field”. Our combat individuals enter engagements to win. To that end, this country has used its technical prowess and industrial capability to develop decisive weapons, weapons that over-match those of potential enemies, such as the M1A2 tank, the F-22 fighter, and the Seawolf attack submarine. The country is now engaged in what has been identified as an “era of persistent conflict” in which the most important weapon is the dismounted soldier operating in small units. More than for soldiers in Vietnam, Korea, and WWII, today’s soldier must be prepared to contend with both regular and irregular adversaries. Results in Iraq and Afghanistan show that while the US soldier is a formidable fighter, his contemporary suite of equipment and support does not enjoy the same high degree of overmatch capability exhibited by large weapons platforms—yet it is the soldier who ultimately will play the decisive role in restoring stability.
A study is needed to establish the technical requirements for overmatch capability for dismounted soldiers operating individually or in small units. What technological and organizational capabilities are needed to make the dismounted soldier a decisive weapon? How can technology help those soldiers remain decisive on a changing, uncertain and complex future environment? The study will examine the applicability of systems engineering to soldiers and small units, as well as specific technology areas that are relevant to making soldiers decisive, particularly in conditions where we still take casualties today (movement to contact and chance encounters). Technology areas to be considered should include (but not be limited to) situational awareness, weapons, mobility, and protection, adaptation to battlefield environments (e.g., clothing, cooling), communications and networking, human dynamics (e.g., physical, cognitive, behavioral), and logistical support (e.g., medical aid, food, water, energy).
The NRC will establish an ad hoc study committee to examine these requirements. The committee will:
1. Determine the elements of overmatch capabilities necessary for a dismounted soldier to be a decisive weapon on the battlefield, Consider both the individual soldier as well as the soldier as part of a small (squad-size or smaller) unit.
2. Identify technical requirements for optimizing soldiers and small units to achieve overmatch capabilities on the battlefield. Consider technology and societal trends that may affect the balance between U.S. forces & adversaries both now and in future years.
3. Identify near-term, mid-term and far-term technologies in which new or enhanced S&T investments would facilitate the development of decisive soldier capabilities.
4. Determine the relative importance of such investments in making the soldier decisive on future battlefields.
As it came to understand the non-materiel side of TSU and Soldier capabilities, the committee decided that the greatest returns on Army investments for improvements in the near, mid, and far terms would be achieved by balancing the materiel aspects of technology developments with non-materiel aspects, found primarily in the human dimension. The Committee defined the human dimension
to include all the attributes of the individual Soldier and of the collected Soldiers forming the TSU that impact performance of mission tasks. This differs from the Army’s current perspective on the human dimension, which does not adequately include the complexities of individual Soldier tasks and human interactions within teams.
Knowledge in fields such as cognitive psychology, sociology, and neuro-economics, can provide many of the answers to questions surrounding the adequacy and potential of the individual Soldier and TSU. Applying such knowledge will require an expansion of resources devoted to human dimension research and technology development, as well as to small-unit organization and doctrine.
The study concluded that an essential principle for achieving overmatch capabilities is to recognize that integrating the human dimension with materiel advances is at the core of all TSU improvements. However, Army research and development has always been insufficiently resourced to provide the range of human-dimension opportunities and solutions that might provide overmatching performance.
Recommendation 1: To determine overmatch options for the TSU, the Army should provide sufficient resources for the full range of human-dimension opportunities and solutions that might provide overmatching performance.
Get Serious About Systems Engineering
A systems engineering methodology is essential to develop the relevant measures of performance and effectiveness, as well as supporting indicators, for the TSU. Such measures can be used to develop an integrated assessment methodology (and associated tools) that can evaluate both materiel and nonmateriel impacts of prospective TSU enhancements.
Recommendation 2: The Army should establish a Systems Engineering executive authority to support a system-of-systems engineering environment that will be responsible for developing methodologies and analytical tools to evaluate and acquire total system solutions for the dismounted Soldier and TSU. This executive authority must have sufficient seniority, influence, and budget control to operate effectively across the entire Army acquisition community (including research and development, test, and evaluation) in executing its systems engineering mission.
Improvement is needed in many human-dimension areas at the Soldier and TSU levels, including leader development, situational understanding, cognitive performance and overload, physical performance, mental and physical resiliency,
cultural understanding, human-system interfaces, and other areas with potential to contribute to decisive overmatch. Current measures of performance (MOPs) and measures of effectiveness (MOEs) are not adequate to assess these improvements. In the past, use of MOPs and MOEs and other elements of analysis have focused on platform-centric evaluations, using improvements in Soldier and small-unit performance and effectiveness as measures for the benefits of the platform or other materiel system being assessed, rather than as measures of Soldier and TSU capabilities.
A rigorous methodology and comprehensive set of MOEs and MOPs that represent the performance and effectiveness of a TSU, including the capabilities and limitations of all components—the Soldiers and materiel systems—and their interactions, would provide objective measures that can be directed at the entirety of the TSU ensemble.
Recommendation 3: The Army should develop, maintain, and evolve an optimal set of measures of performance (MOPs) and measures of effectiveness (MOEs) for assessing capability improvements for the dismounted Soldier and TSU by investing in an analysis architecture and infrastructure, including a comprehensive metrics development methodology that supports objective dialogue among combat and system developers, systems engineers, trainers, and program activities. The MOPs and MOEs, together with the guidance for using them, should be tested and validated for practical application and ease of use, as well as for accuracy as predictors and indicators of desired performance and effectiveness outcomes.
Streamline Acquisition Processes
Despite the advice of multiple review teams on the importance of a holistic approach to development, procurement, and support of Soldier capabilities, the Army is still equipping the dismounted Soldier through separate programs of record. Army acquisition essentially consists of providing for multiple independent pieces, rather than providing for integrated systems. The urgency to support the force in the field during current operations has led to a reliance on rapid equipment fielding, which has exacerbated this stove-piped approach.
The acquisition system has been relatively unresponsive to the needs of dismounted Soldiers when compared to large weapons and mobility systems. The goal of achieving overmatch capabilities cannot be accomplished until small-unit and Soldier requirements are accorded the same high levels of attention as major materiel systems requirements. At the same time, the approach of acquiring and fielding every “new” technology is both impractical and unaffordable. Most important, it is unlikely that the solutions to achieve overmatch capabilities can be successfully implemented within the Army’s current acquisition framework. A principled groundwork for analyzing the TSU system has not been laid for a natural progression to define and implement overmatch capabilities that integrate
Recommendation 4: The Army should establish an executive authority for TSU integration, responsible for option generation and evaluation, requirements currency, and programmatic acquisition for the Soldier and TSU within a metrics-driven, system-of-systems engineering environment.
COMPONENTS OF CAPABILITY SOLUTIONS MOST LIKELY TO
The committee identified many opportunities to improve the capability of TSUs in ways that could potentially ensure that future TSUs have decisive overmatch across the range of military operations expected in future deployments. In the committee’s judgment, many of these opportunities will have their greatest effect only if both materiel and non-materiel factors from across the DOTMLPF (Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel and Facilities) domains are integrated in an optimized capability solution, in accordance with the four recommendations stated above. All these opportunities, or capability options, will have interactive consequences, positive and negative, that will require the rigorous assessment and design approach embodied in Recommendations 1 through 4 to find the optimal set. For this reason these four recommendations have higher priority for achieving TSU overmatch than the other eleven report recommendations.
The committee concluded that the capability solutions with the highest potential to contribute to decisive overmatch would likely fall into one or more of five solution areas:
• Designing the TSU
• Focusing on TSU Training
• Integrating the TSU into Army Networks
• Balancing TSU Maneuverability, Military Effects, and Survivability
• Leveraging Advances in Portable Power
Designing the TSU
The principles for achieving overmatch reflected in Recommendations 1 through 4 will allow the Army to leverage Soldier performance as never before and to determine the TSU design that will be dominant across the full range of combat and stability operations. A systems approach that focuses on developing TSU metrics can expand TSU design options, enabling the Army to fully exploit the capabilities of Soldiers and equipment. The TSU should not be viewed as just an organization or formation but as a system of systems. A holistic, top-down
analysis would then be able to determine design parameters for the optimal size (number of Soldiers), organization (number of fire teams, duties), and equipment (communication, lethality systems, etc.) of the dismounted TSU of the future.
Development and analyses of TSU options will require collaboration among multiple Army activities, including the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Infantry School at the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE), the TRADOC Analysis Center, the Army Research Laboratory, the Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, the Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, the Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity, and the Army program executive offices for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation(PEO STRI) and Soldier (PEO Soldier).
Recommendation 5: The Army should transform and sustain the design of the TSU, including re-assessing unit organization and size, by the following actions:
a. Develop representative measures of performance (MOPs) and measures of effectiveness (MOEs) for the primary dimensions of TSU performance, and ensure these measures incorporate human dimension criteria.
b. Assemble a consortium of stakeholders to implement iterative work-centered analyses of the Soldier task workload and the TSU and Soldier-system performance required by increasing the scope (range, quality, thresholds) of TSU MOPs MOEs. The analyses should enable development of predictive analytical models of Soldier physical and cognitive task and mobility performance, Soldier-to-Soldier task and mobility interaction within a TSU network, and TSU task and mobility performance.
c. Expand the TSU task and mobility model to predict influences of weapons, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and information technologies on TSU MOPs and MOEs.
Changes in TSU design will require not only considerations for future missions and equipment but also adequate attention to the Soldier as a human. Capabilities of the TSU and of the Soldiers in it are highly dependent on each other. Enhancements to TSU performance and effectiveness should also enhance performance and effectiveness of the individual Soldier. Likewise, Soldier enhancements should increase the performance and effectiveness of the TSU. For example, situational awareness within the TSU enhances an individual Soldier’s situational awareness. Enhancing the shooting skill of one Soldier will, in turn enhance the lethality of the TSU. Future enhancements to the TSU and Soldiers should be designed to provide a synergistic effect that is greater than the sum of incremental improvement from each enhancement by itself.
Achieving decisive Soldier performance requires several near-term actions. These include the following:
• Institutionalizing the functions of the Army Center for Enhanced Performance;
• Assembling a “Physiological Readiness Check List” for use in training and operational testing and refining development of nonintrusive physiological status monitors;
• Expanding research in the social processes of small units; and,
• Expanding research in individual differences, especially as applied to physical readiness screens used in recruitment and military training.
Recommendation 6: The Army should evaluate Soldier performance for the future mission effectiveness of the TSU in the near term by leveraging existing research and development and by considering all DOTMLPF domains.
Mid to far term actions toward maintaining decisive levels of Soldier performance in TSUs include:
• Provide near-real time physiological readiness state reporting from Soldier and TSU to the command chain using physiological state monitors
• Leverage personality inventories, such as the Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System, to determine the cognitive, non-cognitive, and physical performance attributes that predict TSU performance.
• Conduct analyses to predict probable increased TSU measures of performance and measures of effectiveness levels attainable if two-year and five-year technology goals are met and anticipated improvements are implemented.
• Explore the potential to discern the state of the social network, morale, and other performance-relevant attributes from the communications among the TSU members without invading individual privacy and without individual identifications.
Recommendation 7: To maintain the currency of representative measures for the primary dimensions of Soldier and TSU mission performance, the Army, including its doctrine and training, research and development, acquisition and testing elements, should undertake a recurring program (at least biannual) to reevaluate Soldier performance considering the analytical foundation for the functional design of the TSU, including numbers of Soldiers, grades and specialties, career experience, organization, and external support requirements.
Focusing on TSU Training
Focused training is essential to improving the performance of Soldiers and TSUs to levels that can assure overmatch. Not only will Soldiers and TSUs be expected to do more, but an increased emphasis on exploiting human-dimension knowledge demands innovative approaches. With the TSU as the centerpiece of future Army operations, small-unit leader training will be more important than ever.
Recommendation 8: The Army should focus training for the individual Soldier and TSU in the near-term as follows:
• Define TSU training objectives to produce TSUs that perform acceptably on the TSU measures of performance (MOPs) and measures of effectiveness (MOEs).
• Produce nonintrusive physiological status monitors to allow self-awareness and command chain assessments.
• Apply results of research in individual differences to the administration of TSU training.
• Expand sociocultural training capabilities to produce necessary TSU skills within time and resource constraints expected for TSU deployments.
• Expand instructor development to incorporate current theories of learning and feedback.
• Develop a concept for TSU master trainers to be assigned to company or battalion level to ensure continuous effective training of TSUs.
• Develop tools for TSU leaders (and leaders at higher levels) to assess Soldier and TSU training readiness against the TSU MOPs and MOEs.
• Ensure that effects of nutrition, hydration, sleep, dietary supplements, tobacco, and alcohol on cognitive and physical performance are incorporated in all modes of training of Soldiers and non-commissioned officers, including electronic games as well as live, virtual, and constructive simulations for individual (self) and group training.
Recommendation 9: In the mid to far terms, the Army should refine its focus on training for the individual Soldier and TSU by increasing the resolution of its suite of assessment tools to allow tracking of Soldier and TSU skill acquisition through and during each individual and collective training event, including live, virtual, and constructive simulations and electronic games.
Integrating the TSU into Army Networks
The Army has already recognized the important role of the network in achieving expanded capabilities in combat. Yet, dismounted Soldiers and TSUs today have limited organic capability (e.g., radios) to take advantage of networking in all mission environments. Ensuring full integration of the TSU into the Army network is essential to achieve decisive overmatch for dismounted TSUs and Soldiers.
A crucial concept to guide this integration is the necessity of ensuring that TSU leaders and individual Soldiers have sufficient Situational Understanding. Full situational understanding requires all three levels of situational awareness:
• Level 1 situational awareness is the perception of disaggregate elements of information acquired from data received from sensors either directly or indirectly; plus
• Level 2 situational awareness, often referred to as situational understanding, is achieved when Level 1 perceptions are further combined, interpreted, stored or retained for use by a Soldier or TSU, plus
• Level 3 situational awareness is reached when Level 2 perceptions are applied to project possible future events and anticipate outcomes.
Dismounted TSU leaders and Soldiers require send-and-receive access to communications networks, information networks, and sociocognitive networks. For decisive overmatch, the three types of networks must provide full use of sensor, lethal and other capabilities, both external and organic to the TSU,
Integration of the Soldier and TSU into the Army’s networks will require near-term investments in Army networks, such as the following:
• Communications networks enhancements including TSU-level network management, remote control of radio transmission modes, and hands-free display interfaces capable of operating in all weather conditions, day and night, without compromising the security of the Soldier or TSU.
• Information networks capable of providing position location and tracking information in GPS-denied environments, automated tagging of information received to aid visualization, prioritization and dissemination, and access to level 1 situational awareness data from supporting sensors.
• Socio-cognitive networks capable of providing real-time access to such things as reports on tactical ground activities from collateral units and biometric databases for identification of adversaries.
Network capabilities required in the mid to far terms include the following:
• Integration with autonomous systems networks and user interfaces in addition to audible or digital interfaces, such as gesture recognition.
• Network applications, such as an intelligent TSU leader-assist tool to provide critical information alerts, assistance with planning and execution of missions, and automatic reporting and to provide behavior trend analyses of changes in enemy and civilian activities.
• Network enabled support of information sharing with collateral forces.
Recommendation 10: To achieve decisive overmatch capabilities, the Army should fully integrate the Soldier and TSU into existing and planned communications, information, and socio-cognitive networks ensuring that the network enhancements required for this purpose address all DOTMLPF domains.
Measures for assessing levels of situational understanding (MOPs and MOEs) would have utility for materiel development and evaluation, analytical modeling and simulation, human factors research, as well as TSU training. It is possible that physiological correlates to such measures could be confirmed, and limited instrumentation could be operational, for validation of materiel development trials conducted in the mid term. By the far term, it should be possible to assess the range, resolution, and reliability of Soldier and TSU situational understanding in relevant operational environments in real time.
Recommendation 11: In an immediate initiative, the Army should engage the S&T community (from both human and materiel perspectives), users, trainers, and other stakeholders in Army networks, to produce measures for assessing levels of situational understanding needed by the TSU.
Balancing TSU Maneuverability, Military Effects, and Survivability
In the context of what the Army expects a dismounted TSU to do—across all the missions and tasks anticipated in future unified land operations—overmatch requires a mission-appropriate balance of maneuverability, survivability, and military effects (including lethal, nonlethal, stability, and humanitarian effects). For dismounted operations, the fulcrum on which maneuver, survival, and effective action must be balanced is the Soldier’s combat load. When the balancing act fails, the consequences degrade TSU and Soldier capability in all three areas. Based on presentations and discussions with Soldiers, the committee found that, in practice, the dismounted Soldier’s combat load is far too great, often exceeding the upper limits stated in Army doctrine.
Excessive Soldier loads degrade not only maneuverability of both individual Soldiers and TSUs but also their resilience, survivability, and effectiveness. With such heavy burdens, traversing rough terrain and making rapid changes in direction, speed, and orientation greatly increase Soldiers’ susceptibility to injuries. The load is excessive because the various subsystems and components of the Soldier and TSU systems are being optimized independently of each other.
Just as important for decisive overmatch are the potential benefits of getting the balance right. The Committee identified potential benefits for improved Situational Understanding; advantages in gaining and maintaining surprise or in immediately seizing the initiative even when an opponent acts first, through the ability to outmaneuver the opponent; more effective options for use of robot systems to support dismounted units; finding the right balance of body armor (individual protective equipment, or IPE) with other factors that contribute to Soldier load; and other benefits.
Materiel developers explained that IPE development and manufacturing programs go to great lengths to ensure sufficient sizes are available to effectively fit the diversity of body shapes and sizes in the Soldier population. However, they
noted their surveys showed that a significant portion of solders in the field have been issued the wrong size, usually degrading their mobility to a very measurable degree. Improvement in assuring that sufficient fitting skill and knowledge as well as size inventory is required. A broad survey of TSU Soldiers will be needed to determine the appropriateness of fit of issued IPE. From those results, a development and engineering program may be warranted to improve the tools for fit determination at issue points (near term).
Experimental trials are needed to develop models for predicting the vulnerability of dismounted individual Soldiers and TSUs to engagement as a function of Soldier load and measures/indicators of individual/TSU mobility and agility such as dash speed (e.g., cover to cover). Engagement factors included in these trials should include visual detection, identification, and targeting of the opposing element in relevant combat-encounter scenarios (e.g., Blue Force-initiated contact, ambush of Blue TSU, urban/village setting with sudden transition from stability operation to kinetic fight). Environmental factors including terrain, elevation, and weather would be later parameters to add to the models and scenarios incorporated in the trials.
The types of engagements included in these trials need to cover the range of engagement scenarios that dismounted units may encounter in future unified land operations, including stability operations as well as conventional combat (offensive and defensive tasks). The goal should be to develop realistic, validated models for use in evaluating a wide range of current approaches and innovative concepts for managing Soldier load to achieve an optimal balance of TSU and Soldier maneuverability, military effects, and survivability.
Recommendation 12: The Army should initiate and maintain a program of experimental trials to inform improved models for assessing the effectiveness of dismounted Soldiers and TSUs as a function of Soldier load and measures/indicators of mobility and agility. The program should include an iterative process to explore innovative concepts for balancing TSU maneuverability, military effects, and survivability, as well as continuing exploration of more traditional approaches such as lightening individual items carried and offloading Soldier load onto robotic carriers.
Flexibility with respect to effective action becomes even more demanding when TSU mission objectives require a dismounted unit to be prepared to shift rapidly among traditional lethal combat, nonlethal means of projecting force, and stability objectives where effectiveness is measured in terms of communication with the local population, building capacity for civil operations, or humanitarian objectives. Little is known about the effects of nonlethal weapons on adversaries or about their impact on engagement decision complexity for the Soldier. The effectiveness of nonlethal actions used as an alternative to lethal means will depend to a great extent on the perceptions of those being confronted.
Recommendation 13: In the mid-term, the Army should undertake research to identify a range of unambiguous signals of nonlethal intent. The research should extend to the exploration of cultural differences in intent interpretation.
Given the range of missions and tasks that dismounted TSUs may be called upon to perform in the future, even experienced leaders at the TSU level and higher echelons cannot be expected to know immediately the best combination of available options, extending across all DOTMLPF domains, for the optimal balance of maneuverability, military effects, and survivability in every environment and engagement. An easy-to-use mission planning aid could incorporate the relationships among options learned from prior operational experience (lessons learned), as well as the relationships among metrics, indicators, and DOTMLPF options found and validated through experimental trials and incorporated in assessment models used by the development community.
Properly designed, such a mission planning aid would include long distance endurance and sprint speed (as factors in engagement vulnerability), functions of terrain, meteorological factors, ration intake, loads, physical attributes of TSU members, and resupply points. It would identify the TSU member-by-load combination most likely to be the mobility limit for the TSU formation. If the empirical basis could be developed, the planning aid could also predict the probability that the mission would contribute to the long-term injury or disability of particular TSU members.
The mission planning aid would be used in training TSU leaders on the factors that affect squad mobility, including terrain, meteorological conditions, loads, load configurations, accumulated fatigue, individual protective equipment (IPE), and how factors like IPE fit and load configuration constrain agility. Practical exercises for leader trainees would increase confidence in using the planning aids in operations. Also, the aids to Soldier load planning and mobility and endurance effects of different loads could be incorporated in training simulations and games.
TSU leaders and their commanders at higher echelons need to understand how factors across all the DOTMLPF domains affect not only Soldier load but also the more encompassing goal of balancing maneuverability, effective action, and survivability to ensure small units have decisive overmatch wherever and under whatever circumstances they operate.
Recommendation 14: The Army should develop a mission planning aid to assist in balancing maneuverability, military effects, and survivability, for use in training and operations by TSU leaders and leaders at higher echelons.
Leveraging Advances in Portable Power
As long as electronics are used to enable the key equipments on which Soldiers and TSUs depend, advances in portable power will continue to provide decisive-edge potential to U.S. Soldiers. Power issues have doctrinal implications because of their impact on TSU tactics, techniques, and procedures. The last decade has seen major advances in portable power materiel technologies, which could have outsize influence on overmatch. However, this can occur only if the Army can leverage the advances to their full effect, which requires considering the full range of DOTMLPF implications for alternative portable-power solutions.
While the Army is well on the way toward implementing a rechargeable battery technology that could become the primary energy source for the Soldier on the battlefield, aside from the materiel development itself, critical DOTMLPF elements have not been evaluated. There is no doctrinal philosophy for the TSU to recharge the battery; there is no organizational equipment to support recharging; there is no hint of the training required; there is no parallel materiel development of a recharger or fuel reformer to exploit new rechargeable battery or fuel-cell technologies.
Rechargeable lithium-air energy sources used as the primary energy source in hybrid configurations have high potential to replace many of the disposable and rechargeable storage systems now in use. The selection of rechargeable battery storage technology as the primary choice for the Soldier energy source necessitates the parallel introduction of a recharger technology sufficiently small and lightweight that would be applicable at the squad level. Successful development of a JP-fuel reforming technology would allow for small combustion engine battery chargers of low cost and light weight. The Army needs to complete development of JP-reforming technology over a wide range of sizes in order to exploit either rechargeable battery technology or fuel-cell technology.
Advances in portable power will contribute to the decisiveness of TSUs by giving future Soldiers high confidence that their equipment ensemble will have sufficient energy to carry out the mission. Achieving this goal will help to reduce fatigue, eliminate the anxiety associated with resupply, increase confidence in situational awareness from powered sensors, and assure communications links with higher levels in the command structure.
Recommendation 15: The Army should develop and maintain a robust program in advanced energy sources based on full analysis of DOTMLPF elements with the goal of eliminating power and energy as limiting factors in tactical small unit operations.