AUSA GLOBAL FORCE SYMPOSIUM: Army Futures Command is meant to unify modernization efforts now scattered across the bureaucracy. But to create the new command, the Army must rip some existing organizations apart. The Army’s challenge is to close more gaps than they create. In the Army’s biggest reorganization since the 1970s, AFC will take over
- unspecified elements of Army Test & Evaluation Command (ATEC),
- Research & Development Command (RDECOM) from Army Materiel Command (AMC), and
- at least parts of Army Capability Integration Center (ARCIC) from Training & Doctrine Command (TRADOC).
(We first reported this would probably be the structure back in October, but the Army has finally confirmed it).
The command’s location and leader are still being chosen.
Gen. James McConville
By law, the Army’s Program Managers and Program Executive Officers will continue to report to the civilian Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Logistics, & Technology, the ASA(ALT) — but they will be “matrixed” with a secondary dashed-line reporting relationship to Futures Command.
The rest of AMC will continue to develop and sustain the Army’s equipment, while the rest of TRADOC will continue to train and educate the Army’s personnel. (The Army’s third major command, Forces Command or FORSCOM, oversees training and readiness of entire units). But all technologies and concepts beyond the current Five-Year Defense Plan (FYDP), aka the Program Objective Memorandum (POM), will be the responsibility of Army Futures Command.
The division is deliberate. Because TRADOC, AMC, and FORSCOM must keep today’s Army ready above all else, Army leaders argue it’s all too easy for them to neglect long-term thinking about the future, especially when the Army is at war as it has been since 9/11.
“That’s precisely why we need the Futures Command,” the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. James McConville, told the AUSA conferencehere in Huntsville, Ala. “We look at FORSCOM to field the present force, we look at AMC to sustain the present force, and we look at TRADOC to basically recruit and train the present force…. It’s very easy to get dragged into that.” By institutionally separating readiness for today from modernization for tomorrow, the Army hopes to ensure the urgent demands of the present don’t drown out the needs of the future.