Transforming for Multi-Domain Dominance
U.S. Army Futures Command, stood up in 2018 to lead current and future force modernization efforts, is using Project Convergence to facilitate an evolution to data-centric operations within a data-driven Joint force.
By Army Futures Command
From Armor & Mobility, Fall 2022
Our country and allies are competing with determined adversaries during a period of rapid technological change. Military innovation is about more than materiel. Armies win or lose by a combination of how they fight, organize, and equip. All three start with Army Futures Command (AFC)—we develop concepts that become doctrine, design future organizations, and develop requirements for materiel.
Though war is a fundamentally human endeavor, how we fight must change as technology advances. Technologies visible on battlefields today—including autonomy, AI, and machine learning—will mature and scale. Future battle will be radically lethal and fast-paced, fought on battlefields made more transparent by sensors, with contests in every domain. To be ready for this and other changes in the operational environment and threat, we must transform how we operate, organize, and equip.
Modernization involves the entire Army, our sister services, industry, academia, and other partners. This is a team sport. Army Futures Command’s unique role on that team is to stay focused on the future and keep guiding the way. To modernize at the speed of change, we must also transform how we modernize.
AFC accelerates Army modernization by helping integrate and synchronize the effort. We have made the Army’s modernization process more threat informed, iterative, and flexible. We have championed Soldier Centered Design by getting prototypes into the hands of Soldiers to experiment early. We iterate often so we can get requirements right before significant investments are made.
Project Convergence makes it real. Project Convergence is the centerpiece of the Army’s campaign of learning and experimentation to inform how we fight, organize, and equip as part of a Joint and multinational force. It allows promising technologies to get out of the laboratory, into the dirt, and into the hands of Soldiers, scientists, and Joint partners.
Project Convergence also gets modernization out of organizational stovepipes. In the past, we developed systems separately—we waited too long to try to make them interoperable. Through Project Convergence, we are integrating systems early, while we can still shape the requirements. By doing Project Convergence with the Joint Force, we are getting Joint integration baked into requirements across Services.
AFC is helping pave the way to a data-centric Army as part of a data-centric Joint Force. People are the foundation of a data-centric Army. The Army Software Factory at Austin, TX and the Artificial Intelligence Integration Center at Carnegie Mellon University are piloting efforts to ensure future Soldiers are forward, on the battlefield, with the data and software skills needed to achieve decision advantage.
AFC is proud to support the delivery of 24 transformational systems into the hands of Soldiers by 2023. Together we are building the Army of 2030, and the Army of 2030 is the steppingstone on the path to the Army of 2040 and beyond.