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  1. #1

    US Army 2010 onwards......

    Green Berets Add Battalion at Ft. Carson

    August 12, 2010

    The Gazette, Colorado Springs,Colo.

    Fort Carson's secretive Green Beret community is getting larger.

    Over recent months, the Army's 10th Special Forces Group has quietly begun assembling a new operational battalion -- which, when complete, will consist of about 300 mission-ready Green Berets.

    The move is part of the first major Special Forces expansion in 20 years, which began in 2008 to address the growing need for Green Berets and their small-team tactics against insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq. All five Green Beret groups were tapped to receive a fourth battalion, the Army Special Operations Command said when it announced the expansion.

    At Fort Carson, where Army infantry units deploy and return with fanfare, the Green Berets have shrouded their movements in secrecy and avoided media glare.

    That's an occupational necessity for a unit that deploys in small teams for classified operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Although the post has been generally low-key about its fresh arrivals, the new battalion is hardly a state secret.

    "Other groups have stood up a fourth battalion, this is our turn and there will be others," said 10th Special Forces Group spokesman Lt. Col. Steve Osterholzer.

    The 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, Ky., got the first additions in August 2008.

    The 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, N.C., stood up a new battalion last summer.

    The 10th Group plans to publicly announce the new battalion at an Aug. 19 news conference at Fort Carson.

    The new Soldiers will bring Fort Carson's contingent of Green Berets to three operational battalions. A fourth operational battalion under 10th Special Forces Group is based in Stuttgart, Germany.

    Osterholzer said the new battalion is about 70 percent complete.

    "We've taken a blend of experienced (Special Forces) Soldiers from other organizations and balanced them in with new Soldiers straight out of the qualification course," he said.

    Osterholzer said training began "a good number of months ago," with cold-weather mountain warfare drills and urban combat exercises.

    To accommodate the new arrivals, Fort Carson will in all likelihood need to add a barracks in the 10th Group area, Col. Robert McLaughlin, the garrison commander, said in a recent interview.

    Until then, the unit will have to improvise by filling rooms left vacant by Soldiers who are deployed, he said.

    "We're able to shuffle so that our population can be billeted," McLaughlin said.

    From an economic standpoint, the new arrivals are good news for the rest of the Pikes Peak Region, said Brian Binn, president of military affairs for The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce.

    "If you add any number of Soldiers, then you add to the economic base," he said.

    © Copyright 2010 The Gazette, Colorado Springs,Colo..

  2. #2

    Army Crafts Tailorable Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Acquisition Strategy

    (Source: US Army; issued Aug 13, 2010)

    WASHINGTON --- The U.S. Army has released its Tactical Wheeled Vehicles Acquisition Strategy report to Congress, calling for a tailorable approach to vehicle procurement to include new buys and repair, sustainment and recapitalization of the existing fleet service officials said.

    The acquisition strategy lays out a roadmap for Tactical Wheeled Vehicles, including the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected, or MRAP vehicles from 2010 through 2025.

    "The acquisition objective is to have the ability to adapt to change and mitigate the risk of uncertainty caused by an evolving threat," said Tim Goddette, director, Combat Sustainment Systems.

    "The challenge is finding the balance between an unconstrained requirements process and a constrained resource process that promotes stability and efficiencies."

    Overall, the report takes up plans for the 260,000 TWVs in the Army inventory, representing an initial procurement investment of $50 billion.

    The TWV Acquisition Strategy is nested in the philosophy that combat and threat circumstances are subject to change, thus resulting in a commensurate need to shift procurement strategy in response to prevailing combat and budgetary circumstances.

    "Finding the right balance and mix of TWVs requires the Army to continually assess and adjust investments," the report states. "Managing this fleet effectively goes beyond simply buying new vehicles as the existing vehicles age beyond their useful life. We will use a combination of new procurement, repair (sustainment ), recapitalization (recap), and divesture to achieve our strategic objective by addressing the readiness and mission issues of the fleet."

    For instance, the report calls for sustainment and recapitalization of 50,000 up-armored Humvees and the progressive divestiture of up to 50,000aging Humvees -- to be incrementally replaced by the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV.

    For the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles or FMTVs -- the Army will continue to buy new ones, 44,000 will be sustained through reset, and up to 28,000 aging trucks will be retired or divested, according to the report. In addition, the Army's truck divesture plan calls for complete divesture of all M35 2.5-ton vehicles by the end of FY11.

    The report also places a premium on fostering competition within industry so as to increase productivity and reduce costs; it is important to have contract mechanisms in place such that production can surge should that be needed, the report says.

    "Competition improves quality and reduces costs, while providing the Army access to a full range of industry (depot, private, or public private teaming) capabilities, processes and potential technical advances," the report says.

    Armor Protections

    Also, the report points out how post-9/11 conflicts have changed the mission scope and threat levels encountered by tactical trucks in today's current wars and this phenomenon has had a distinct impact on the procurement of tactical trucks as it has evolved to meet current and evolving threats.

    Prior to the events leading up to Sept. 11, 2001, the main focus of effort on the TWV fleet consisted primarily on vehicle performance and payload, according to the report.

    "The general assumption was that the battlefield was linear such that combat vehicles positioned forward in formations required protection from enemy fire, but tactical vehicles providing supporting functions did not," the report states.

    "The result was a fleet designed without the burden of armor protection and the corresponding automotive impacts that potential add-on armor would have on critical truck sub-components like the engine, suspension, transmission, and axles."

    The report goes on to point out that the events following 9/11 and the beginning of the Global War on Terrorism had a significant impact on the TWV fleet, in particular the need for armored trucks. Assumptions about the linear battlefields of the Cold War gave way to the complex, urban terrain and supporting the forward operating bases of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, according to the report.

    "Without a front line, all vehicles proved to be targets of enemy fire, particularly emergent threats of improvised explosive devices that would drive the need for greater and greater protection levels across the truck fleet," the report states.

    These dynamics have lead to the creation of a Long Term Armor Strategy, or LTAS which, according to the report, seeks to build tactical trucks with an A-kit, B-kit modular armor approach -- allowing trucks to adjust their protection to the potential threats they will face in combat.

    "The A-Cab is designed to accept additional armor in the form of a B-Kit. The A-Cab/B-Kit concept allows the Army flexibility in several areas: the armor B-Kit can be taken off when not needed -- reducing unnecessary wear and tear on the vehicles; the Army can continue to pursue upgrades in armor protection -- adapting B-Kits to match the threat; and the versatility of the B-Kit enables the transfer of armor from unit to unit -- makes armor requirements affordable by pooling assets versus buying armor that is only for one vehicle," the report states.

    When it comes to buying armor, the strategy seeks to make room for the acquisition community to accommodate the pace of technological change and buy newer materials as they emerge.

    "With armor, since it is ever-changing, our industry partners are constantly finding new ways to improve its effectiveness. You want to buy a certain amount and then to make sure you have the best going to the field and a source you can surge into production as needed," said Col. Mark Barbosa, division chief for Focused Logistics, Army G8. "We are integrating the elements TRADOC and G3 worked very hard on in the long term protection strategy in the Tactical Vehicle Strategy which covers all the fleets."

    "Everybody wants to get the product right so that when you go to war you meet expectations and there are no shortcomings," said Goddette. "You don't' always know what kind of war you might be called upon to fight, so we must be flexible. How do we apply the art of acquisition to meet the uncertainty of the world we live in?"


  3. #3

    Army Lacks A Complete Plan for Armored Fleet

    (Source: Lexington Institute; issued August 13, 2010)

    (© Lexington Institute; reproduced by permission)

    Very shortly, the Army will announce the winners of initial contracts to build its new Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV). The GCV program was the Secretary of Defense’s consolation prize to the Army when he cancelled the manned ground vehicle portion of its Future Combat System (FCS) program. Gone are the days when the Army was supposed to be light and easily deployable; from Humvees and MRAPS to the GCV the Army mantra now is all the weight necessary to protect the passengers and crew.

    Based on the lessons learned from nine years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the GCV is intended, first and foremost, to be a highly survivable, maneuverable troop carrier that can also fight. The requirements laid down by the Army for the initial design of the vehicle include better protection than the vaunted MRAP, capability to carry a squad of 12 plus crew, a lot of power generation capability and heavy armament. With all these requirements the GCV is almost certainly going to be big and heavy.

    Depending on who you talk to in the Army, the GCV is either just the next step in an evolutionary process for armored vehicles or a revolutionary leap forward based on taking in all the lessons of the recent past. The Army’s current plan is to replace the existing Bradley Fighting Vehicles in its Heavy Brigade Combat Teams (HBCTs) with the GCV.

    This is fine as far as it goes. But there are a lot of other armored vehicles in the Army’s inventory. For example, there are also over 5,000 M-113 armored personnel carriers in the HBCTs and at higher echelons. Then there are the Stryker wheeled combat vehicles in the uniquely designed Stryker Brigade Combat teams, the M-1 Abrams tank and, of course, around 20,000 MRAPs and M-ATVs.

    The Army has made some efforts to enhance its other armored vehicles even as it planned for the introduction of new vehicles. There have been survivability upgrades to the Bradleys and the M-1s that made them the best protected vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan, better than the MRAPs. There is a program for the relatively new Strykers to, among other things, modify them with a v-shaped plate on their underside to defeat IEDs.

    Unfortunately, the Army seems to be so fixated on the GCV program that it has had a “brain freeze” with regard to creating an overall plan for the future of its armored vehicle fleets. Additional planned upgrades for both the Bradley and the M-1 have been put on hold.

    More important, the Army has not made a decision regarding replacing the obsolete M-113s. Will it be Bradleys, Strykers, MRAPs or, more likely, some combination? What about the thousands of Bradleys that will remain in the inventory for decades while the GCV is slowly introduced? Should the Army create additional Stryker brigades? Oh yes, will there be any effort to finally replace -- or at least significantly upgrade -- the Paladin self-propelled howitzer now that the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon has been cancelled?

    The Army appears to be repeating a mistake it made with the FCS program, specifically acting like this is the only program or system it has. The Army needs to figure out for itself what it wants to do with its armored vehicle fleets and then let the rest of us in on the secret.


  4. #4

    Army Will Whack Tac Vehicles

    By Colin Clark Tuesday, August 17th, 2010 4:31 pm

    UPDATED: Congressional Aide Says JLTV Fate Looks Uncertain; Less Biz for Industry

    The Army has come out with its tactical vehicle strategy and it commits the force to field 244,000 trucks with scalable armor that can support network connections, including MRAPs. That will leave the service with smaller total fleet, down to 244,000 by 2025 from the current level of 260,000.

    A congressional aide said the new strategy will mean, “a significant decline for all the companies building new trucks (AM General, Oshkosh, and BAE, primarily).

    The Army was pushed by Congress to come out with a strategy out of worries the service was basically buying MRAPS and other gear without any kind of intelligent, long-term plan. As the defense appropriations report language put it:

    Concerns persist regarding the absence of an overall truck acquisition strategy to guide the Army’s plans and programs. It is not clear that the Army has conducted the needed analyses for sound acquisition plans or to reap potential savings. defense appropriations report language.

    Here’s the basic plan. Overall, the Army will shrink its fleet of HUMVEEs, MRAPs and medium trucks to 244,000 by 2025 from its current 260,000. How? The service will rid itself of 4,000 of the hardest to maintain and most beat up MRAPS by 2025. It will scrap the 28,000-strong M35 fleet and replace it with new FMTVs for a fleet total of 76,000. That will mean a total reduction of 4,000 trucks. The HUMVEE fleet will shrink the most, going from 101,000 to 35,000 by 2025. But there appears to be one big hole in the Army plan. It does not project how many Joint Light Tactical Wheeled Vehicles it will be. The strategy’s answer: TBD.

    Overall, the service wants to“buy less, more often” because it thinks this “allows maximum flexibility and technology insertion, thereby reducing risk of obsolescence in the face of a highly adaptive enemy.” To put it another way, the Army won’t again have to pour unplanned money into something like MRAPs, which lack automated maintenance technology and standard tools, parts and maintenance training that has long been required for most Army vehicles. Not to mention how poorly most MRAPs perform once they leave highways.

    What does Congress think of the plan? One aide still in town –quoted above — said the report didn’t have much new information and didn’t answer some of the questions the Army needs to answer.

    “The only new information appears to be a tacit admission that due to the large number of new trucks procured since 2001 that they are going to significantly reduce procurement of new vehicles in favor of recap/mods,” the aide said.

    Things don’t look great for JLTV if the plan turns out to be what actually happens. “The fact that JLTV is a “TBD” does not auger well for the program. It seems likely that we will buy just enough to support deployed units, for example, vs. equipping the entire Army. If one assumes only a few brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan at some point, that is a small number of JLTVs. As far as those numbers go, they seem to be just nibbling around the margins,” the aide added.

    On top of that, the service didn’t really address “what assumptions they are making about force structure. In theory, every type of unit in the Army should have X trucks. If you total up the requirement, that tells you what the entire Army needs (call it X’). I’m not sure I understand how they explain having less than the current X’ for each truck type,” the aide said in an email.

    Read more: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2010/08/17/ar...#ixzz0wuYy9l8c

  5. #5

    More on this...........

    U.S. Army Submits Vehicle Report To Congress


    Published: 18 Aug 2010 15:32

    A report to Congress sheds some light on the U.S. Army's tactical wheeled vehicle strategy, but leaves many questions unanswered until further information becomes available.

    The report, which was mandated by Congress in the explanatory statement accompanying the 2010 defense appropriations bill, broadly outlines the Army's acquisition strategy for tactical wheeled vehicles. It was first reported by InsideDefense.com.

    Citing concerns that the Army lacked an overall strategy for procuring trucks, Congress required the service to submit a report on its plans. In the report, the Army admits that the document submitted is not the full picture.

    One missing piece of information is the number of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) the Army plans to buy. A chart in the report outlines the Army's procurement goals for 2025. For JLTV, the report says, "to be determined."

    It's been reported that the Marine Corps is expected to purchase 5,500 of the Humvee replacements, and the Army has said it could buy 60,000 or so. However, Army officials have acknowledged that number could change as the tactical wheeled vehicle strategy evolves.

    The overall number of light, medium and heavy trucks is expected to fall between now and 2025, according to the report. Today, the Army has 260,000 trucks, and in 2025 it plans to have 244,000.

    The Army explains how it plans to manage and armor its fleet, but the service is waiting on a number of other reviews to wrap up or be approved before it can provide more information, according to the report.

    Under "constraints," the report says, "There are several key [tactical wheeled vehicle] documents that are currently not approved and are being worked that have influenced the Army's overall [tactical wheeled vehicle] acquisition strategy." These are the draft tactical wheeled vehicle long-term protection strategy, a G-8-initiated tactical wheeled vehicle strategy update, phase two of a truck study being done by the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), and a Defense Department Cost Assessment Program Evaluation study for the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles.

    TRADOC is also leading a major force-mix and force-design study to help shape the next two program objective memorandums. Changes to the Army's force structure will directly affect the number of trucks and associated armor kits the Army plans to buy.

    "Changes to the Army force structure and how the Army equips the new force structure continues to mold TWV requirements with respect to quantity and quality metrics," the report reads.

    The Army's truck portfolio is unwieldy to manage because it is so big and because there are several variants of each type of vehicle. The Army plans to buy new vehicles, repair and upgrade existing trucks, and retire older ones across the fleet to ensure the best mix of vehicles is available, the report says.

    For example, the Army plans to shed 4,000 of its 19,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) and MRAP-All Terrain Vehicles by 2025.

    In addition to how many, the Army is also trying to answer questions about how to armor and how much to armor its giant fleet of trucks. Prior to Sept. 11, 2001, armor protection was not a priority for the Army's tactical wheeled vehicles, the report says. Instead, performance and payload were paramount.

    Cold War assumptions about linear battlefields were made obsolete by roadside bombs and the complex terrain in Iraq and Afghanistan. All of a sudden, light trucks designed to operate behind front lines were fitted with heavy armor packages, which take a toll on the trucks' engines, suspension systems, transmissions and axles, the report explains.

    To avoid this situation in the future, the Army wants to maintain some flexibility in its fleet so that it can adapt to emerging threats. One way it plans to accomplish this is through scalable armor packages for its vehicles. It also wants vehicles to share armor kits, so that the Army can buy fewer and use the leftover dollars to invest in research and development in advanced armor solutions, the report says.

    The Army also wants to continue using competition to drive down costs. According to the report, the contest for the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles resulted in a new contract award that represents 28 percent in savings over the old contract.

    The report also indicates the Army intends to shift resources from buying brand new vehicles to efforts to upgrade the existing fleet and do service-life extension programs. These types of activities keep production lines warm, but don't lock the Army into inflexible schedules that it has trouble modifying, the report says. The goal is to have more flexibility to respond to emerging requirements.

  6. #6

    U.S. Army Releases Operating Concept


    Published: 19 Aug 2010 18:12

    The U.S. Army on Aug. 19 published the Army Operating Concept, which describes how the service will fight in 2016 to 2028. The 65-page paper describes combined arms maneuver and security operations as the service's core contributions to the joint force.

    The 2016-2028 Army Operating Concept

    "Army forces capable of combined arms maneuver and wide area security operations are an essential component of the joint force's ability to achieve or facilitate the achievement of strategic and policy goals," says Gen. Martin Dempsey in the document's foreword. Dempsey is the commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

    Defense News previously reported on a June 15 draft.

    The concept is not considered Army doctrine, which implies more permanence within Army thinking. Instead, the concept paper is more experimental and is meant to influence future concept writing, Army force structure decisions and capabilities development.

    The concept development work was led by Army Brig. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who was asked by Gen. David Petraeus to join him in Afghanistan. Previously, he served as director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center's Concepts Development and Experimentation Directorate, which is part of TRADOC.

    McMaster's TRADOC effort expands on the ideas introduced in the Army's Capstone Concept, published in December.

    The operating concept is to serve as the "central guide for the development of subordinate warfighting functional concepts addressing mission command, intelligence, movement and maneuver, fires, protection, and sustainment," Dempsey says at the beginning of the paper.

    Combined arms maneuver and security operations are described as the main ways the Army conducts full-spectrum operations. Army forces need to be able to do both within the context of joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational efforts, the concept says.

    Army forces conduct combined arms maneuver to gain "physical, temporal, and psychological advantages over enemy organizations," and they conduct security operations to "consolidate gains and ensure freedom of movement and action," the concept says.

    Put simply, combined arms maneuver is how Army forces can beat the enemy and through security operations, how they can maintain those gains.

  7. #7

    Well the US has cheaper options, bullets and artillery rounds that have traditionally dealt with these low-tech problems, however they have a cheese eating surrender monkey in charge, so...

  8. #8

    US Army To Prioritize New Light Vehicle, Stryker Upgrade

    By Jen Judson 3:31 p.m. EDT October 11, 2015

    (Photo: Sgt Austan Owen/US Army)

    WASHINGTON — The US Army's plan to modernize its combat vehicle fleet in the near term looks to acquire a new lightweight vehicle for infantry brigade combat teams and increase the lethality of its Strykers, according to the service's new combat vehicle modernization strategy.

    In the outlying years of the strategy, vehicles will have robust mobile protected firepower capability and formations could see mostly unmanned, autonomous systems carry out security and reconnaissance missions.

    The strategy acknowledges there are no "silver bullet technologies," Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the head of the Army's Capabilities Integration Center, told Defense News in an exclusive interview.

    The Army's brigade combat teams need to come to the battlefield overmatching the enemy's capabilities, McMaster explained.

    When the Army is "in close combat with the enemy, you want to be the Terminator, if you can be," he added.

    The Army has struggled to get new vehicle programs off the ground, canceling its Future Combat Systems and the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) without providing new capabilities. The Army awarding a contract to Oshkosh for its new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is the service's only recent victory in the vehicle realm.

    The strategy, obtained by Defense News, acknowledges that future missions will require the Army's brigade combat teams to fight with a joint force and "to win against well-armed state, non-state and hybrid threats across a range of operations. Therefore, there is urgency in refocusing the Army's combat vehicle modernization strategy and a need to increase investment to prepare for existing and emerging threats."

    Those investments will include quickly procuring a lightweight combat vehicle for infantry brigade combat teams to rapidly deploy in restrictive areas across all types of terrain and urban and austere environments.

    The Army also wants a light reconnaissance vehicle in the near term particularly for cavalry squadrons that would need to execute early or forced entry operations.

    Stryker armored personnel carriers need to be more lethal. That means adding a 30mm cannon on half of them and Javelin anti-tank missiles on the rest, along with machine guns.

    With the cancellation of the GCV program, the Army has fallen further behind in replacing its aging Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. A newer program, the Future Fighting Vehicle, is on the horizon, but McMaster said the Army needs to move on its development “like now. I mean like right now.”

    The strategy also called for the near-term replacement of the M113 armored personnel carrier. The Army needs to do "everything it can do to accelerate the AMPV because we are already behind," McMaster said, adding the M113 is "kind of a death trap now."

    For more details on the Army’s Combat Modernization Strategy, pick up a copy of the Association of the United States Army’s show daily.

    Email: jjudson@defensenews.com

  9. #9

    U.S. Air Force photo by SSgt Matthew B. Fredericks

    Seven Things Our Army Needs, Right Now

    October 11, 2015 By Gordon Sullivan

    AUSA's president calls for stabilizing the size of the Army, giving it more money, and ending partisan conflict.

    The Association of the U.S. Army opens its annual three-day symposium and exposition today with deep concerns about the future of America’s Army.

    Ret. Army Gen. Gordon Sullivan is president of the Association of the United States Army and was the 32nd Army Chief of Staff.
    The world outside the U.S. is in turmoil. Our Army is getting smaller, and we have no clue when our force size will hit bottom. Meanwhile, political dialogue in this country focuses not on our critical national-security situations, but on internal political issues.

    This is not a picture of stability. This is not a picture of strength. In an unpredictable world, we don’t need any doubt of the Army’s ability to quickly, forcefully, and decisively respond to missions, large or small, on any domain. As we flounder, we risk losing the support of our soldiers and their families. Our allies will continue to lose confidence in our role as a global leader. Potential adversaries will see weakness.

    For these reasons, the path ahead for our Army will be foremost on the minds of the 26,000 people we estimate will be part of AUSA’s annual meeting. The Army’s new uniformed leader, Chief of Staff. Gen. Mark A. Milley, has made his priorities very clear: Readiness is first, followed by building the Army of the future and taking care of soldiers. All these priorities require resources that are not guaranteed in our current budget climate, with caps on defense spending and the continued threat of sequestration.

    In my view, based on my 36 years in the Army and 17 years as president of AUSA, we as a nation need to do seven things:

    1. We must stop the drop in Army force strength, at least until we have consensus on what needs to be done and how many soldiers this will take. We run the risk of dropping below the levels needed to carry out our commitments if we cut first and strategize later.

    2. We need budget stability. We need a reasonable five-year defense plan that the Army and its industry partners can trust, without gimmicks and without fear of sequestration. It is absurd that our national security apparatus is guided by such a dysfunctional and potentially disastrous budgetary process.

    3. We must believe—not just say—that active, National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers are equal partners on the One Army team. With the current force, the Army and our nation need everyone fully resourced so they are staffed, trained and equipped to pull their share of the load. Budgetary stability will help in this regard, because fear of reduced funding has fueled distrust, especially between the active Army and the National Guard.

    4. Rotational deployments to Europe, Asia, and other locations, and rotations to the National Training Center, need to be fully supported and, if possible, expanded because a smaller Army has to work harder at being a global presence. With fewer forward-based soldiers, rotational deployments and prepositioned weapons and stockpiles will be extremely important to U.S. national interests, and show that the United States is still in the game.

    5. The Army needs money to experiment on weapons, because innovation and technological breakthroughs are the future of the force.

    6. We have to mean it when we say we support the troops. Three consecutive years of caps on military pay and moves afoot to overhaul retired pay, increase out-of-pocket health care costs and cut taxpayer support for commissaries all are tough to swallow, for soldiers and especially for soldiers’ families. The drip-drip-drip of discussion of benefits cuts is almost worse for morale than any actual changes.

    7. Partisan bickering on national security policy has to stop. Reluctance to compromise and attempts to use every single action taken by our government as an excuse for finger-pointing emboldens our enemies, concerns our allies, and weakens the morale of our soldiers and their families.

    The national-security consequences of failing to take these seven steps could be enormous. The new Army chief of staff and the new Army secretary we expect to be confirmed by the Senate later this year need to be standing on firm ground in terms of budget and policy as they move the Army forward, especially in their efforts to eliminate inefficiencies that are diverting dollars from pressing needs.

    Our soldiers, from top leaders down to the newest private, need assurance that their commitment to serve in uniform is backed by an equally steadfast commitment from our nation. Industry and its skilled civilian workforce need reassurance that dedicating time and money on defense weapons and equipment is economically smart.

    We cannot overlook what the world thinks of us. For our friends, foes, and those still on the fence about the U.S., we can restore our national credibility by not just talking strong, but by standing on a solid foundation.

  10. #10

    Army Seeks More Adaptable, Modular Missile Systems

    By Jen Judson 7 p.m. EDT October 12, 2015

    (Photo: Casey Slusser/US Army)

    WASHINGTON — The Army is looking at how it can take its largely stovepiped missile systems and make them more modular and adaptable, said the program executive officer for missiles and space.

    “The material answer to ‘win in a complex world’ is modularity and adaptability,” Brig. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood said Monday at the Association of the US Army’s annual meeting. “No longer can I afford to buy a piece of equipment that is only good at asymmetric warfare. I have to buy a piece of equipment that I can start at this base capability down here at asymmetric, and build onto it modularity to get it up to a full-spectrum battlespace.”

    And that is where the Army needs help, he added.

    “We need to put our innovative thinking caps on and get into the battlespace where we can use modular skills and modular technologies to advance capabilities and combine them in new and different ways.”

    Thurgood said the Army is continuing to work toward a fiscal 2018 fielding of the brains of its air and missile defense system, called the Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS). Northrop Grumman is the program’s contractor.

    “For many years, like we do today, you can go out and shoot the Avenger and it doesn’t really talk to anything else, it looks out with its radar and shoots its missile. ... The Patriot does the same thing today,” Thurgood said. “We have to get past that.”

    The Army wants to get to a point where it can use any sensor or any missile to take out a wide variety of threats, Thurgood said.

    When IBCS is fielded it will be “the decisive point,” Thurgood said. IBCS will be able to connect with any launcher, radar, missile combination seamlessly.

    This translates to taking “better shots, more cost-effective shots in the right geometry of the battlespace,” he added.

    The Army is nearing the end of an analysis of alternatives for the lower-tier air and missile defense capability that will provide insight on how the service should move forward in procuring a new radar that brings 360 degree views of the battlespace.

    Preliminary results of the analysis are expected in December with a full report “some time in February,” Col. John Eggert, the program manager for the lower tier project office, said.

    The Army also looked at possible launchers, he added.

    The service has also built two prototypes for a multimission launcher for its next-generation Avenger mobile air and missile defense system called the Integrated Fire Protection Capability (IFPC), Thurgood said.

    Several missiles have already been fired from the prototype launcher such as an AIM 9X Sidewinder that Raytheon builds, a miniature hit-to-kill missile and Raytheon’s Accelerated Improved Interceptor Initiative AI3 missile. The service plans soon to shoot more missiles, such as Lockheed Martin’s Hellfire, according to Thurgood.

    “What is unique about the IFPC program is that for years in the air defense community we bought a system that did one thing, it shot one kind of missile like the Hawk, like the Stinger shooting off of Avenger. We have really migrated past that technology,” he added.

    The multimission launcher that the Army is building has 15 tubes, which can load a variety of missiles.

    Thurgood called on industry to bring missiles to the Army for testing with the launcher, offering to enter into cooperative research-and-development agreements with interested companies “to get those missiles shot off those platforms to help the Army make informed choices.”

    Email: jjudson@defensenews.com
    Twitter: @jenjudson

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