1. Facilities and Equipment--Essential Foundation For Success
The Army owns a multibillion dollar network of RDT&E facilities located at over 100 sites worldwide (see Chapter VI, "Infrastructure"). The technological demands in many fields, including medicine, microelectronics, photonics, materials, and manufacturing processes, dictate the need for modern, excellent facilities. Consequently, the Army is consolidating specialized facilities, eliminating aging and technologically obsolete facilities, and using the capabilities of contractors and other military services. At the same time, Army RDT&E manpower is being drawn down (see Figure I-35).
|Figure I-35. RDEC and Lab Infrastructure (Personnel) Drawdown--FY89 to FY99*|
The new Walter Reed Army Institute for Research (WRAIR) is an example of long overdue modernization of in-house facilities which focuses on those unique capabilities that truly must be owned by the Army itself, consistent with Project Reliance and Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) processes. The 1991 BRAC mandated organizational consolidation and geographic collocation of ARL at two main campuses, Adelphi and Aberdeen, MD. Construction has started on a new materials research facility at Aberdeen and new laboratory and office facilities at Adelphi to accommodate incoming personnel and maintain mission synergy.
In the future, the Army will use more automated equipment, computer-based research support, and technological networking of researchers to yield more work per scientist and engineer. This strategy will be very important as the Army reduces the size and changes composition of its civilian work force. Advanced distributed simulation is compressing research and technology development cycle times. The use of physical simulation tools, computer modeling, and other highly automated systems is necessary to both product and manufacturing process technologies, and is pivotal to the future of the Army R&D establishment. These issues are discussed further in Chapter VI.