WASHINGTON – The Secretary of the Army has issued a new modernization directive that sets new boundaries around command for the future of the military and reaffirms the store’s role in acquiring service.

The directive repeals the language of the previous 2018 and 2020 directives, which establish command of the future of the army as a “leading modernization undertaking”. It is also said that the Army for Science and Technology will come under the control of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) or ASAALT, as opposed to commanding the future of the army.

“With the initial establishment of command for the future of the military, the military has issued a number of policy directives to accelerate its development and address the role of the AFC in modernizing the military,” said Ellen Lovett of Army Public Affairs in a Defense News statement. “Although well-intentioned, this guide had the unintended consequence of creating ambiguity in long-established acquisition bodies. This administrative change eliminates this ambiguity with clearly defined roles in accordance with the statute and will better facilitate cooperation in our modernization and equipment plant. “

The directive stipulates that the service still removes the breakages after the formation in 2018 of the army command for the future, tasked with leading the main efforts to modernize the service.

Critics say the command had too much control over modernization, including a high level of power over the acquisition company.

ASAALT is responsible for “overall oversight of military acquisitions,” Lovett added. “This responsibility includes overseeing military research and development to include scientific and technological efforts and related resource solutions.

According to the May 3 directive, signed by Army Secretary Christine Warmott, creating a command for the future of the military was “an essential step in accelerating our modernization efforts, helping to focus and focus on experimentation, prototyping, concept development and generating requirements for the army of the future. “

While previous directives aimed to “gain momentum, this guide is mainly about the roles that arise at the beginning of the life cycle of equipment, when requirements are developed and experiments are conducted,” she wrote. “It does not adequately take into account changing roles and functions, as requirements are being developed as recording programs through production, implementation and maintenance.”

Previous directives have also “created ambiguities regarding the primacy of acquisition bodies delegated to the military secretariat, which maintain civilian oversight and control over acquisition issues,” Warmouth said.

In order to provide capabilities to soldiers, the army needs contributions and contributions from various organizations, “not the unitary leadership of an army command,” she said.

Now that modernization programs are going through the life cycle, various military organizations will take on key roles, Warmott said.

Retired Lt. Gen. Tom Spor, now a member of the Heritage Foundation, told Defense News that the directive “brings the military back to the way it was before 2018, with a few exceptions.” Army Futures Command exists, but does not share or direct any acquisition efforts. “

“Obviously, AFC is still developing requirements and concepts, but now it has a much more limited role in acquiring capabilities,” he added.

The directive reaffirms the command of the future of the army as a permanent command and notes that the AFC commander-in-chief is “responsible for the design and development of forces and is the developer of capabilities and operational architect for the future army.”

“The AFC assesses and integrates the future operational environment, emerging threats and technologies to provide combatants with the concepts and future projects of the forces needed to dominate a future battlefield,” the directive said.

While ASAALT is responsible for research and development, AFC will be responsible for the operation of research laboratories and service centers, the directive said.

Just before retiring, then-Chief of Army Futures Command General Mike Murray told Defense News that he was comfortable with the relationship between ASAALT and his command, but that it did not come without stony spots. “There are some people who have said that parts of ASAALT should be part of the AFC,” he said. “I do not agree with that.

“When you have people who look at things from two different points of view, I think the tension is good,” Murray said.

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering Land News for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in arts from Kenyon College.

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2022/05/04/in-new-directive-us-army-reins-in-army-futures-command/

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