The Army Futures Command (AFC) has named Austin Community College District (ACC) as the home for its new Software Factory. The first of its kind, the Software Factory at ACC will provide a training pipeline for soldiers and ACC students. It’s designed to help students rapidly scope and solve real-life problems through advanced software development processes.
Army Futures Command
The U.S. Army has spent the last two years pursuing a modernized integrated tactical network, or ITN, that supports increased mobility, resiliency and capabilities. Now, the service has a focus toward making sure that the modernization of that network can enable joint all-domain command and control, or the concept of JADC2. The service is preparing to fight seamlessly across the sea, land, air, space and cyberspace, or multidomain operations, by 2028.
The message from the intelligence community and top leaders of the U.S. military is clear. The nation is in near-peer competition, just underneath the level of outright war. As such, the U.S. military is investing in aligning its capabilities and functionality to fight as a Joint force seamlessly across the sea, air, land, space and cyberspace. Along with the other services, the U.S. Army is working to shape the approach of how the military will fight in the future under Joint all-domain operations.
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia (W9124L-20-D-0006); Calibre Systems Inc., Alexandria, Virginia (W9124L-20-D-0007); Janus Research Group LLC, Evans, Georgia (W9124L-20-D-0008); Tec-Masters Inc., Huntsville, Alabama (W9124L-20-D-0009); and Yorktown Systems Group Inc., Huntsville, Alabama (W9124L-20-D-0010), will compete for each order of the $247,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract to provide support to the Fires Center of Excellence; all commands on Fort Sill, Oklahoma; and Army Futures Command, to develop and produce training strategies, doctrine, concepts, instruction and products for the current and future force. Bids were solicited via the internet with 12 received.
The U.S. Army Futures Command is preparing a software center designed to improve the digital competency of warfighters. The so-called software factory, in Austin, Texas, will take soldiers and civilians with a propensity toward software development and sharpen their skills. Warfighters facing near-peer threats and operating in a multidomain environment in the future may not have the ability to reach back to higher echelons for coding solutions or necessarily rely on contractor presence for software. They will need to be able to diagnose software issues of information technology that soldiers will be using the future as well as code specific solutions on the spot to support faster decision making.
Brig. Gen. Johnny K. Davis, USA, has been assigned as chief of staff, U.S. Army Futures Command, Austin, Texas.
Although the Army’s Integrated Tactical Network has faced delays for a variety of reasons, the two-channel manpack radio will undergo operational testing this fall, according to Gen. John Murray, USA, commander, Army Futures Command.
With the U.S. Defense Department’s pursuit of Joint all-domain operations and the integrated command and control technologies needed to support activities across sea, land, air, space and cyberspace, the Army is looking at how to move beyond its first year of experimentation. The service is working to put in place a more sustainable approach to assessing and experimenting with Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, capabilities, to support large-scale combat operations through each warfighting domain.
An agile and nontraditional partnership between the Solider Lethality Cross-Functional Team (SL CFT) and Microsoft is keeping the development of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) on schedule despite the outbreak of COVID-19.
Though the Army implemented strict measures to reduce the spread of the virus, Team IVAS has kept the soldiers and civilians working on the program safe without sacrificing time on the pursuit of critical next generation modernization technology.
IVAS is an augmented and virtual reality goggle system based on Microsoft’s HoloLens, and the SL CFT’s signature modernization effort. The concept was introduced when the Army partnered with Microsoft in November 2018.
Reston, Virginia-based NCI Information Systems, Inc. (NCI) will provide command, control, communications, computers, cyber, and intelligence/information technology (C5I/IT) systems to the U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC) headquarters in Austin, Texas. The prime contract, awarded by the U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command, has a 17-month period of performance, the company reported. Under the effort, NCI will supply a range of IT systems development and support services, including engineering, furnishing, installing, securing and testing for AFC’s C5I/IT systems. The company also will deliver integration of systems, project management support data, on-site training as well as equipment warranty.
The Army is two years into its aggressive front to modernize and shift to be a more agile, lethal force, moving away from counterinsurgency warfare. One of the service’s major priorities as part of that modernization effort is to create an integrated tactical network that can support soldiers fighting anywhere at anytime against near-peer adversaries in a contested environment, explained Maj. Gen.
The U.S. Army’s recently created Futures Command achieved full operational capability in July, but improving communications with industry and delivering technologies into the hands of soldiers may be its most buzzed about achievement.
There’s a common phrase in military circles about building the plane while flying it. That phrase could easily describe Futures Command’s efforts to carry on the mission at the same time officials were hiring staff, deciding on a headquarters location, building that headquarters, educating others on the command’s mission, and handling myriad other tasks and challenges associated with establishing a brand-new command.
The identification verification tools that easily work at the corner bank to access cash or online to pay a bill don't work as easily on the battlefield, where the simple action of pulling a card out of a pocket is clumsy at best and impossible at worst. To address this challenge in harsh environments, the U.S. Army is introducing tokens that can be incorporated into wearables as small as bracelets or dog tags.
The U.S. Army is well underway with its strategy to build a modern integrated tactical network through the efforts of the Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications–Tactical and the Army Futures Command’s Network Cross Functional Team. But leaders know that a tactical network on the battlefield edge won’t be effective without a robust enterprise network.
Maj. Gen. Patrick W. Burden, USA, has been assigned as deputy commanding general, acquisition and systems management, U.S. Army Futures Command, Austin, Texas.
Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, the principal military deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, a division known as ASA(ALT), joked that this July was a slow month for the U.S. Army. When in fact, the service is pursuing the establishment of its fourth command. “Everybody knows how busy the Army is,” the general said. The new Austin, Texas-based Army Futures Command—the location of which was announced last week by Army leaders at the Pentagon—will be spearheading the service’s modernization efforts.