a. Because of the dependence of the Army on joint enablers, the Army GF alone lacks the capability to substantively improve the strategic responsiveness of the Army. Army force projection is subject to the continued maturation, refinement, and, where appropriate, expansion of the JDDE. The Army is awaiting significant joint improvements in the areas of lift, infrastructure support, and JDDE processes capable of supporting the full range of Army assets, to include heavy, medium, and light forces deploying to multiple entry points in a wide variety of environments and limited-access situations.
b. Within the theater of operations, particularly in cases where greater distances between forces and/or complex terrain stress limited ground distribution capabilities, intratheater movement and maneuver will rely more on force projection capabilities traditionally applied to intertheater movement. The Army's greatest direct influence is in improving the infrastructure of strategic deployment platforms at home station to enable force responsiveness, especially for no-notice or short-notice crisis response. Such infrastructure improvements are expensive to implement and typically lag behind other higher priority requirements.
Accelerating Materiel Development and Equipping
Due to a variety of challenges and obstacles, especially early on, the Army GF reacted slowly, but eventually quite effectively, to warfighter demands that emerged during the course of OEF and OIF for rapid equipping of materiel solutions to satisfy significant capability gaps in-theater. The lessons learned in the past years should be institutionalized fully through the establishment of a permanent rapid equipping framework during times of peace and war. This chapter surveys the record of GF support in this area during the course of recent operations, and proposes a comprehensive set of principles and guidelines to institutionalize and improve the Army's capability.
a. One of the most consistently demanding challenges in the conduct of OEF and OIF has been the need for accelerated materiel equipping and fielding to meet urgent operational requirements. As each year passed, new capability gaps emerged in connection with the unique and changing conditions of the conflict, notably the adversaries' innovative employment of lethal means to threaten U.S. forces (and civilians) and perpetuate conditions of instability. The Army and DOD were often surprised by both the means and techniques used by adversaries. However, the efforts undertaken by the DOD represent a significant success story responding and adapting to new operational requirements, and in which the GF played a central role. This chapter examines the role of the GF in this area, asserts the need for the institutionalization of an inherent capability within the Army for rapid equipping and fielding, and proposes a set of principles and guidelines that should lead to an improvement in the capability of the GF to meet such requirements more rapidly and effectively in the future.117
b. Before doing so, however, the chapter provides a brief history of previous organizational approaches to accelerated materiel development, describes how the Army adapted to current operational needs in this area, and describes the specific challenges that need to be addressed effectively in any institutionalized organizational solution to future requirements. With respect to the core issue of institutionalizing a capability for accelerated materiel development and equipping, the creation and maturation of the Army's REF and the JIEDDO constitute particularly useful case studies.
a. Materiel development. The conception, development, and execution of solutions to materiel requirements identified and initiated through the combat developments process, translating equipment requirements into executable programs within acceptable performance, schedule, and cost parameters.118
b. Fielding. A complete and detailed DOTMLPF approach focused on a general solution for the entire Army. Fielding is the standard process, governed by Army regulations, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instructions (CJCSI), and DOD Instructions (DODI), for identifying, validating, developing, and providing new materiel capabilities.
c. Equipping. A timely and evolvable rapid solution meeting or exceeding minimum DOTMLPF issues focused on the needs of a specific unit or theater. As such, equipping is an adjunct to the standard fielding process.
a. Every conflict is accompanied by the emergence of capability gaps and introduces operationally-based requirements for rapidly delivered materiel solutions, with the urgency of those requirements most often depending on the scale, duration, and lethality of the conflict.119
b. World War II and the Korean War. Early in 1942, the War Department established the War Production Board, which then developed and used the controlled materials plan to emphasize the need to convert civilian industry to military production and to drive rapid growth of production capabilities. The overall approach included dedicated efforts to maintain visibility of dynamically changing operational conditions and requirements;120 rapidly build capabilities needed to execute new operational concepts; respond to operational assessments of fielded equipment; introduce significant upgrades and model improvements during the course of the war; and, in general, get new technology and equipment into the force as rapidly as possible. In the history of U.S. involvement in World War II, few success stories rise higher than that of the ability of the country to mobilize its industrial capacity to become the arsenal of democracy,121 not just for the U.S., but for its allied partners, as well. Initially lagging behind Nazi Germany and Japan in many military technologies, the U.S. quickly caught up and surpassed its adversaries in most areas, particularly in the air. However, not all rapidly fielded materiel solutions were successful, the tank destroyer being a notable example.122 The urgency and flexibility of the World War II system remained in place through the Korean War, but disappeared in the 1950s as the development and acquisition system became more politicized and regulated.
c. Vietnam war and cold war.
(1) During the Vietnam war, the deliberate, peacetime materiel development and procurement system largely ruled the day, with a few well-known exceptions. For example, the Army accelerated the fielding of the claymore mine, the M79 grenade launcher, and unattended ground sensors because of their high utility in that operating environment; however, all three items had already been developed prior to the war, so the developmental function was small compared to the need simply to upgrade and procure sufficient numbers. One developmental item fielded quite rapidly was the YO-3A "quiet aircraft," the requirement for which emerged in April 1967. Industry satisfied this need 5 months later with the delivery of two experimental (wooden) aircraft and eventually fielded a mature version in 1970, with a more powerful engine and improved sensor capabilities.123
(2) In the post-Vietnam and cold war years, several factors prevented the success of efforts to accelerate the acquisition process. Complications with the commitment and flexible use of funds constrained effectiveness, including the hand-off of projects from initial, rapid development to the normal long-term procurement and sustainment process. The decline of global threats and reduced commitment of forces in conflicts simultaneously reduced the perceived need for an accelerated development capability. Under such conditions, decision-makers were unwilling to maintain a program approach that inherently included substantial risk when compared to the normal, deliberately low-risk, peacetime acquisition process. The incentive to build and maintain a capability for accelerated materiel development and fielding to be better postured to respond to future conflicts simply did not exist.
d. Post-cold war.
(1) In the 1990s, the Army's Force XXI program to create a digitized force and its recognition of the future need of a more adaptive and responsive acquisition system led to the most notable effort of that time period to create a rapid materiel development program. This was driven in part by the innovative investigations of the Army After Next program to explore the requirements of future war. The initiative was the Warfighter Rapid Acquisition Program (WRAP). The intent in establishing WRAP in 1996 was to rapidly field emerging technological concepts and prototype equipment by bridging the POM process and streamlining program execution.
(2) The first WRAP program, the Bradley-Linebacker mobile air defense system, was an unqualified success that demonstrated the potential value of WRAP. In contrast to three previous efforts that consumed $8 billion and failed miserably in the preceding 25 years to achieve approval, the Bradley-Linebacker combined two proven systems (the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle and the Stinger surface-to-air missile system) to produce a line-of-sight, forward-area, heavy air defense system, going from concept to full production in only 34 months. The keys to this success included the Secretary of the Army's personal endorsement of the WRAP approach; a clear statement and broad concurrence on the requirement; use of existing, government off-the-shelf (GOTS) components; very low developmental costs; and use of an abbreviated operational requirements document. Collectively, these advantages enabled the system to bypass normal, time-consuming steps for acquisition, as envisioned by the WRAP process.124
(3) Although the Bradley-Linebacker broke new ground in rapid acquisition, WRAP was not as effective in other areas. Congressional examination into the program discovered cost growth and schedule delays on some initiatives and criticized the failure to use all the funding allocated to the program. In just a few years, WRAP fell victim to shrinking defense budgets and was disestablished as a funded program by 2003. Had it remained in existence with a continuing funding line, it could have served as the foundation for the rapid equipping and fielding organizations that were subsequently created under crisis conditions, beginning in late 2002, and perhaps helped avoid some of the difficulty and delay that the Army experienced. Instead, going into OEF in 2002 and OIF a year later, neither the Army nor DOD had an effective system in place to respond rapidly to the growing volume of urgent requests that would soon begin to emerge from Army and joint commanders.