News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan

Chapter II

Training and doctrine command’s Role
in Science and Technology

The Army is not static. It is vital and dynamic, and adapts to meet the future.

General Johnnie E. Wilson
Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command

A. Background

Battle laboratories were established in 1992 to experiment with changing methods of warfare in order to ensure that future generations of soldiers have the same battlefield edge our forces had in Operation Desert Storm and other recent operations. We have formed hypotheses concerning changing methods of operation and then conducted experiments using soldiers and leaders in increasingly realistic live, tactically competitive training environments. From this we are developing warfighting requirements for maintaining the edge on the battlefield.

The six original battle laboratories were designed to test battlefield dynamics that codify the aspects of warfighting that appear to have the greatest potential for change. They describe the need to:

Increase lethality and survivability of early entry forces.
Expand and dominate dismounted and mounted battlespace.
Attack an adversary simultaneously in all dimensions throughout the battlefield.
Command and move information in near–real time while on the move.
Use and reuse scarce assets to sustain the force on the battlefield.

The success of the first battle labs led to the establishment of three new ones concerned with maneuver support, air maneuver, and space.

During the last 5 years, the battle lab process has been validated through six advanced warfighting experiments (AWEs) and a related series of How to Fight seminars and videos. The concept has been continuously updated and the output can be seen in Force XXI.

Figure II–1 shows battle laboratories and their locations.

Figure II-1, Battle Laboratories
Click on the image to view enlarged version

B. Task Force XXI Advanced Warfighting Experiment

In March 1997, the Army conducted an AWE at the National Training Center (NTC), Fort Irwin, California. The purpose of the AWE was to test a hypothesis: If . . . information–age battle command capabilities/connectivity exist across all battlefield operating systems (BOSs) and battlefield functional areas (BFAs) for a brigade task force, then . . . enhancements in lethality, survivability, and operational tempo will be achieved.

The 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 4th Infantry Division, deployed to the NTC in March 1997 with more than 5,000 soldiers organized in eight battalions, six companies, and a separate platoon. The eight–battalion force included a mechanized infantry battalion, a tank battalion, a light infantry battalion, two field artillery battalions, a forward support battalion (FSB), and an aviation task force of two battalions.

The AWE involved 72 initiatives ranging from prototype and newly fielded equipment to organizational changes and concepts. Over 900 vehicles at Fort Hood, Texas, were equipped with over 5,000 pieces of equipment, including 1,200 appliqué computers.

Sixty new "digital" tactics, techniques, and procedures were introduced into the 1st BCT. From June until December 1997, the BCT trained at Fort Hood, beginning with the most basic classroom and hands–on training, progressing to platoon, company, and battalion lanes, culminating with a BCT exercise in December 1997. During this time, soldiers and leaders gained insights into new training methods, stressed technical updates and solutions, and experimented with concepts from the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) pamphlet (T.P.) 525–5, Force XXI Operations.

After a shakeout phase at the Fort Irwin NTC, the 1st BCT underwent a 2–week, force–on–force exercise against a nondigitized but augmented and robust opposing force (OPFOR). The first week consisted of the standard missions that all units who train at the NTC undergo. This was done in an effort to compare performance data of digitized versus nondigitized units. The second week consisted of unrestricted, continuous operations across a much expanded battlespace, designed to gain insights into Force XXI operations. The Air Force, Marine Corps, and Special Operations Forces also participated.

One of the most powerful initiatives emerging from the task force AWE was situational awareness. Using appliqué computers and the tactical internet, unit commanders, small unit leaders, and individual vehicles were able to share information about both friendly and enemy forces, reducing the historical fog of war. Such situational awareness helps answer the perennial questions:

Where am I?
Where is the enemy?
Where are my buddies?

Knowing one’s specific location, that of one’s own forces, and that of the enemy’s, allows commanders to make more informed battlefield decisions.

Many insights emerged from the task force AWE, across doctrine, training, leader development, organizations, materiel, and soldiers (DTLOMS). These insights will lead to refined training methods, doctrine, and organizations as the Army of Excellence transitions to Army XXI. The task force AWE also provided insights for recommending systems for the first digitized division. These insights will enable the senior leadership to make resource decisions for rapid acquisition of the most promising initiatives.

The AWEs completed to date and the "How to Fight" seminars have resulted in a better understanding of Force XXI. What follows is a description of Force XXI as we understand it today. The discussion will describe the characteristics of Force XXI and its anticipated patterns of operation.

C. Where Do We Go From Here?

1. Division XXI Advanced Warfighting Experiment

In November 1997, the Army conducted a Division AWE at Fort Hood, Texas. This was a constructive simulation involving the 4th Infantry Division, III Corps, and many of the reserve component war trace headquarters.

The purpose was to test the connectivity and interoperability of the Army Tactical Command and Control System and to validate the division design using a synthetic theater of war (STOW). In addition, the scenario developed for this experiment allowed the focus to be on leveraging technology to protect, sustain, shape, and conduct decisive operations so as to create greater opportunities for maneuver in a nonlinear, greatly expanded battlefield environment.

The results of the division AWE are expected to contribute to a decision about the final objective division design in February 1998.

Task Force XXI is a step along the path, fed by NTC 94–07, and incorporating lessons learned from ‘95/96 AWEs. The operational concepts were derived from T.P. 525–5, Force XXI Operations, and Force XXI Division Redesign. Decisions fed further experiments, the most recent is the Division XXI AWE. The Experimental Forces (EXFOR) brigade design was refined and experimented with again as a live brigade in Division XXI AWE, consisting of an armor battalion, mechanized battalion, engineer battalion, and an aviation task force.

The primary objective of the division AWE was to validate the division design by using STOW capabilities, digitizing the division headquarters, executing division–brigade digitized command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) interfaces/connectivity, and validating tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). This experiment executed operations simultaneously: brigade (BDE) live, BDE virtual, and BDE constructive to gain insights on echelons above division (EAD) and joint digitized operations. The experiment culminated with a digitized battle command training program (BCTP) Warfighter in the first quarter of 1998 (November 1997).

The division AWE examined:

How to organize—combinations of combat, combat support, and combat service support units.
How to fight—tactics, techniques, and procedures.
How to command—optimal processes for each battlefield function and objective (expand battlespace, continuous operations, noncontiguous operations, and joint operations).

D. Science and Technology Integration

TRADOC’s role in the Army’s science and technology (S&T) program begins as the originator of warfighting requirements for the Army. From there, TRADOC directly influences the spending of half the S&T budget in Basic Research (6.1), Applied Research (6.2), and Advanced Development (6.3) through the application of future operational capabilities (FOCs) in:

Strategic Research Objectives (SROs) selection.
S&T reviews.
Science and Technology Objectives (STOs).
Advanced Concept and Technology II (ACT II).
Advanced Technology Demonstrations (ATDs).
Advanced Concepts and Technology Demonstrations (ACTDs).

1. Basic Research (6.1)

TRADOC is involved in SROs through the development of the Army After Next (AAN). The SROs look deep into the future (2025) to develop those research areas today that are anticipated as necessary in the future.

2. Applied Research (6.2)

TRADOC influences the 6.2 arena in three vital areas: STOs, ATDs, and ACT IIs.

TRADOC annually reviews the current 200 STOs from Army Materiel Command (AMC), Corps of Engineers, Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (MRMC), Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (ARI), and other Army laboratories for relevance and advancement. Through the battle labs, centers, and schools, TRADOC makes recommendations for continuation of STO efforts and almost as importantly, for removal of or replacement of current STOs. As the list is limited to 200, to add a new effort, one must have been completed or deleted.

The battle labs sponsor the ATDs for the Army. The objective is to evaluate technical performance against specific exit criteria. These S&T funded experiments are conducted in operational, not laboratory, environments over 3 to 5 years. Ideally, experimental results transition into current system improvements or new research and development (R&D) programs.

ACT II gives industry and academia direct access to the battle labs to streamline materiel acquisition and to help provide warfighters with overmatch capabilities. ACT II competitively funds experiments to demonstrate advanced technologies, prototypes, and nondevelopmental items (NDIs) having the greatest potential to fulfill warfighting requirements. Demonstrations are conducted for the battle labs in 12 months or less and are capped at $1.5 million.

3. Advanced Development (6.3)

TRADOC’s focus continues in both ATDs and STOs in the 6.3 area. Additionally, TRADOC, through the Deputy Chief of Staff for Combat Development (DCSCD) develops a list of potential ACTDs. These programs, executed at the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) level, are forwarded to the Army’s headquarters by the commanding general, TRADOC, for OSD consideration. Although compiled by TRADOC, Army sponsored ACTDs can originate from outside TRADOC—materiel developers, commanders in chief (CINCs), or the joint staff.

Figure II–2 shows TRADOC influence on S&T spending.

Figure II-2. TRADOC Influence on S&T Spending FY97

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