ARMY FUTURES COMMAND IN 2021

2021 was a standout year for Army Futures Command.

In January, we opened the doors to the Army Software Factory, welcoming an inaugural cohort of Soldier scholars eager to learn how to apply modern software development solutions to some of the Army’s most pressing challenges.

As the year progressed, our laboratories, centers, subordinate commands and Cross-Functional Teams energetically explored new resources and approaches for strengthening Army warfighting capabilities and ensuring operational overmatch. We displayed the immense gains in our knowledge and application of innovative technologies and systems at numerous modernization exercises held in 2021, but our most prominent showcase was Project Convergence 2021, the largest Joint Force experiment in the past 15 years. By demonstrating how the Army integrates with the Joint Force to employ artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomy, as well as a synchronized sensor-to-shooter network and futuristic, high-powered weaponry, to achieve advantages on the battlefield, AFC provided a realistic glimpse at the future of modern warfare.

Our dedicated staff embraced a diligent and intentional process that expertly incorporated Soldier feedback and sought to accelerate progress across the Army’s 31+4 signature modernization efforts, resulting in plans to get at least 24 deliveries into the hands of Soldiers by fiscal year 2023 (FY23). AFC scientists also achieved groundbreaking medical advances, including in the area of COVID-19 and vaccine research, to further protect the health and vitality of our great nation.

We also deepened mutually beneficial partnerships with leading universities in Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and across the country, to tap into the creativity and drive of our nation’s budding researchers and engineers. In addition, we furthered our working relationships with pioneering small businesses, startups and other nontraditional entities while continuing to draw upon the experience and expertise of tech and defense industry leaders.

We look forward to continuing to forge the future in 2022 through our invaluable collaborations with industry, academia and our nation’s most imaginative entrepreneurs, who similarly understand that...

TOMORROW IS WORTH PROTECTING®.

MODERNIZATION
MILESTONES

The 31+4 lines of effort delivering the Army of the future

Chief of Staff of the Army
Gen. James C. McConville

...announced in 2021 that at least 24 signature modernization projects will be in Soldiers’ hands by FY23. By employing Soldier-centered design, AFC has reduced the time it takes to align technological solutions to Army challenges and to get solutions into Soldiers’ hands by two to three years.

Soldier Touchpoints

... bring end users, Soldiers, into the development process in a regular and meaningful way to provide input to developers and industry and identify concerns that may be otherwise overlooked. Soldier touchpoints inform requirements, facilitate rapid iteration of prototypes and ensure the Army is providing Soldiers with the capabilities they need to fight and win.

SYSTEMS BEING DEVELOPED FOR FY23 INCLUDE:

LONG RANGE PRECISION FIRES

NEW MANNED AND UNMANNED VEHICLES

TRAINING SYSTEMS

NETWORK CAPABILITIES

BETTER, MORE ACCURATE GPS

UNDERSTANDING THE 31+4

The Army has defined a list of priority systems for modernization, all of which align with or enable the Army’s six modernization priorities of Long Range Precision Fires, Next Generation Combat Vehicles, Future Vertical Lift, Network, Air and Missile Defense and Soldier Lethality. The list is referred to as the 31+4 because it includes 31 systems led by AFC Cross-Functional Teams and four systems led by RCCTO.

There are more than 100 ongoing projects in support of Army modernization priorities.

Below are 24 projects that are slated to be in Soldiers’ hands, either as prototypes or fully-operational systems, by FY23.

PrSM

Precision Missile Strike

ERCA

Extended Range Cannon Artillery

LRHW

Long Range Hypersonic Weapon

MRC

Mid-Range Capability

AMPV

Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle

RCV

Robotic Combat Vehicle

MPF

Mobile Protective Firepower

FUA/FTUAS

Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems/ Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System

Unified Network

Integrated Tactical Network

COE: CPCE/MCE

Common Operating Environment: Command Post Computing Environment/ Mounted Computed Environment

CPI2

Command Post Integrated Infrastructure

MAPS

Modular Active Protection Systems

DAPS

Dismounted Assured Positioning, Navigation, and Timing System

M-SHORAD

Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense

Iron Dome

Indirect Fires Protection Capability

LTAMDS

Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor

AIAMD

Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense

DE M-SHORAD

Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense

NGSW

Next Generation Squad Weapon

IVAS

Integrated Visual Augmentation System

ENVG-B

Enhanced Night Vision Goggle - Binocular

RVCT

Reconfigurable Virtual Collective Trainer

SiVT

IVAS Squad Immersive Virtual Trainer

OWT/TMT/TSS

One World Terrain/ Training Management Tools/ Training Simulation Software

100+

Soldier touchpoints conducted in addition to assesssments and user testing

2-3

Year reduction in time to get Army technology in Soldiers’ hands

24

Army Modernization systems to be in Soldiers’ hands by FY23

FUTURES AND CONCEPTS CENTER

Providing the intellectual foundation and disciplined approach to design, develop and field a more lethal future Army. The Future Concepts Team develops concepts, determines requirements, conducts experimentation and begins integration of the future force to ensure the Army wins in 2035 and beyond.

ARMY OPERATIONAL ENERGY STRATEGY

Explores ways to reduce organizational dependence on fossil fuels and increase energy security against adversaries. This will facilitate the Army’s evolution toward a perspective that considers the critical role of energy as a mission enabler.

ARMY TACTICAL
WHEELED VEHICLES

Analyzes gaps and possible solutions with a focus on unit mobility, distribution and transportation, and data interchange between vehicles.

FUTURES INTEGRATION DIRECTORATE (FID)

Led a capabilities-based assessment of the INDOPACOM area of responsibility to analyze threats and capability gaps to provide better security in the region.

Futures Integration Directorate also streamlined Army Capability Development with the Entry Gate Process. The Entry Gate process produced a 97% approval rate from the Army Futures Command Commanding General and decreased staffing time 45%, from 138 days to 76 days. This process has been codified in both standard operating procedures as well as an instruction guide to assist the enterprise write better requirement documents.

  • approval rate from the AFC CG

  • decreased staffing time

THE CROSS-FUNCTIONAL TEAMS IN 2021

The Cross-Functional Teams (CFTs) narrow existing capability gaps by developing capability documents, informed by experimentation and technical demonstrations, to rapidly deliver requirements to the Army Acquisition System. The Army’s modernization priorities, which are necessary for future readiness and Multi-Domain Operations, are the focus of the CFT activity:

  • AIR & MISSILE DEFENSE CFT

    ARMY INTEGRATED AIR & MISSILE DEFENSE (AIAMD)

    The AIAMD test battalion carried out operational test and evaluation activities and conducted new equipment training.

    MANEUVER SHORT-RANGE AIR DEFENSE (M-SHORAD)

    The first platoon was equipped with an M-SHORAD system, which it successfully field-tested.

    LOWER-TIER AIR AND MISSILE DEFENSE SENSOR (LTAMDS)

    The first LTAMDS prototype was also delivered and began testing.

    IRON DOME SYSTEM

    In the realm of indirect fire protection capabilities, an Air Defense Artillery battery was certified to operate the Iron Dome system following performance testing and a live-fire exercise.

    AMD continued to build momentum for the four major programs in its portfolio and conduct outreach efforts with key stakeholders.

  • ASSURED POSITIONING, NAVIGATION
    AND TIMING/SPACE CFT

    MOUNTED ASSURED PNT SYSTEM (MAPS)

    PEO-GCS equipped the first Armor BCT, including Abrams and Bradleys, with the first-generation Mounted Assured PNT System (MAPS).

    100+

    technologies tested at the annual PNTAX exercise

    DISMOUNTED ASSURED PNT SYSTEM (DAPS)

    In a separate Soldier touchpoint, dismounted Soldiers conducted two separate mission routes using the Dismount Assured PNT System (DAPS).

    600

    personnel hosted at the annual PNTAX exercise

    U.S. ARMY SPACE AND MISSILE COMMAND CENTER (USAMDC)

    U.S. Army Space and Missile Command Center (USAMDC) launched a Gunsmoke-J satellite, which will provide critical data to both USAMDC and APNT/S.

    70

    organizations and partners hosted at the annual PNTAX exercise

  • FUTURE VERTICAL LIFT CFT

    FUTURE TACTICAL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM (FTUAS)

    FTUAS completed a yearlong Soldier touchpoint including multiple combat training centers rotations and culminating in a FTUAS Rodeo.

    FVL achieved 70 technical objectives on 17 different FVL capabilities through involvement in five of seven use cases at EDGE 21, Project Convergence 2021 and PNTAX.

    Expanded partnerships to include:

    USMA Dept. of Systems Engineering

    Wichita State’s FirePoint Innovations Center

    Defense advanced research projects agency (DARPA)

    Medical Research and Development Command (MRDC)

  • LONG RANGE
    PRECISION FIRES CFT

    EXTENDED RANGE CANNON ARTILLERY (ERCA)

    ERCA conducted multiple tests, proving a dramatic increase in both range and rate of fire for cannon artillery.

    PRECISION STRIKE MISSILE (PrSM)

    The PrSM demonstrated a maximum range exceeding 499 km.

    LONG RANGE CANNON (LRC)

    Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, completed a demonstration-capable LRC for initial testing and the first two ERCA prototypes.

    SYNCHRONIZED HIGH OPTEMPO TARGETING (SHOT)

    LRPF integrated ERCA and PrSM live fires into a constructed environment at Project Convergence 2021, which leveraged the capabilities provided by the SHOT prototype.

    LRPF executed demonstrations and tests throughout 2021 that will pave the way for the fielding of new capabilities across tactical, operational and strategic fires. LRPF and DEVCOM demonstrated a proof of concept for an Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher (AML) to showcase its lethality potential in anti-access and area denial operations.

  • NETWORK CFT

    CAPABILITY SETS

    Network (NET) CFT continued assisting in fielding modernized network equipment to prepare Soldiers to conduct Multi-Domain Operations. The NET CFT fielded a new Capability Set, which enables commanders to better understand the current situation and make quick decisions, to four IBCTs. It also prototyped Capability Set 23, planned to be released in 2023, and began detailed technical design and industry outreach on Capability Set 25. With the capability set foundation in place, the NET CFT also focused on designing the future network to be transport-agnostic, data-centric, and underpinned by a modernized security architecture and cyber resiliency.

    With Network CFT’s help, the Army also fielded three Expeditionary Signal Battalion Enhanced (ESB-Es) with agile network infrastructure that enables a more rapid deployment.

    The network touches everything on the battlefield and is foundational to Army modernization efforts. The Army also brings the ground domain data and network transport to Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2), which will enable resilient, adaptable communications across the entire Joint Force.

  • NEXT GENERATION
    COMBAT VEHICLES CFT

    OPTIONALLY MANNED FIGHTING VEHICLE (OMFV)

    This year, the Army selected five companies to produce designs for Phase II of the OMFV development.

    MOBILE PROTECTIVE FIREPOWER (MPF)

    MPF vendors conducted a Soldier Vehicle Assessment and Limited User Test.

    MANNED-UNMANNED TEAMING (MUM-T)

    NGCV conducted multiple Soldier Touchpoints to evaluate MUM-T technology in live-fire and situational training exercises.

    In 2021, the Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) CFT narrowed assigned capability gaps to give the future force overmatch against adversaries.

  • SOLDIER LETHALITY CFT

    ENHANCED NIGHT VISION GOGGLE – BINOCULAR (ENVG-B)

    Gives dismounted Soldiers a singular system that provides unparalleled vision day or night in low light, no light, fog, smoke or inclement weather. It offers greater clarity, better depth perception, rapid target acquisition and augmented reality.

    INTEGRATED VISUAL AUGMENTATION SYSTEM (IVAS)

    IVAS provides, for the first time, a single platform that allows the Soldier to fight, rehearse and train, with a suite of capabilities that will improve sensing, decision making, target acquisition, and target engagement capabilities.

    NEXT GENERATION SQUAD WEAPONS (NGSW)

    The NGSW program includes two 6.8mm caliber weapons (the Rifle and Automatic Rifle), a common family of ammunition, and a common fire control.

  • SYNTHETIC TRAINING
    ENVIRONMENT CFT

    ONE WORLD TERRAIN

    The One World Terrain team supported the 82nd Airborne Division during Afghanistan operations by creating and delivering a 3D representation of Hamid Karzai International Airport that provided a more accurate and detailed perspective of the area and threat levels. This enabled commanders and analysts to identify where crowds were massing and potential vulnerabilities to defend.

    The STE CFT also partnered with 1st Cavalry Division and Cole Engineering Services, Inc., to hold the first Soldier Touchpoint using newly developed tools:

    Training Software System

    Training Management Tool

    Reconfigurable Virtual Collective Trainer

    These tools will allow leaders to conduct realistic, multi-echelon, multi-domain, live, collective training anywhere in the world.

PROJECT CONVERGENCE

Testing and integrating advances in modern warfare

Project Convergence 2021 represented the next evolution of AFC's campaign of learning by integrating with our Joint Force partners.

"We are transforming to provide the Joint Force with speed, range, and convergence of cutting-edge technologies to gain the decision dominance and overmatch we will need to win the next fight.

- Gen. James McConville
Chief of Staff of the Army

By incorporating the Joint Forces...

...in a large-scale series of demonstrations and experiments, we were able to better inform how the Army integrates into Joint operations to rapidly and continuously converge effects across all domains.

Through PC21, we field-tested the effectiveness and interoperability of more than 100 new or updated technologies with the help of nearly 1,500 participants from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Space Force.

PC Five Core Components

PEOPLE

INFORMATION

TERRAIN

WEAPON SYSTEMS

COMMAND
AND CONTROL

We refined sensor-to-shooter network capabilities to improve communications with our Joint partners, demonstrated the ability of semi-autonomous vehicles to improve resupply operations and showcased advanced imaging technologies that will help us to better detect and neutralize threats on the battlefield, among many other activities.

PC21 also paved the way for further technological developments, which the Army will test with Joint and Allied partners in 2022.

ARMY SCIENCE &
TECHNOLOGY

Discovering, innovating and enhancing capabilities

MEDICAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMAND

AFC and our units were hard at work in 2021, battling COVID-19 and applying new approaches to low cost and rapid modification of equipment. MRDC spent the year on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19. The command began developing wearable tech that could identify symptoms of COVID-19, and potentially other diseases, in the wearer, identifying infection earlier and enabling caregivers more time to treat the disease.

ASSISTED ARMY MEDICINE IN DEVELOPING A COVID-19 VACCINE.

DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGY TO IDENTIFY THE VIRUS IN THE AIR.

CREATING 3-D PRINTED N-95 MASKS TO INCREASE THE SUPPLY TO FIRST RESPONDERS.

EQUIPPED WITH THE RIGHT TEAM

The Command is staffed with highly qualified scientists, program managers, acquisition experts and support personnel. The critical expertise in these areas ensures we have the medical capabilities the Army needs to fight and win on the battlefield.

MRDC WRAIR

MRDC WRAIR scientists developed the Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle (SpFN) vaccine platform, which entered phase 1 clinical trials in 2021, showing early success. This vaccine platform uses ferritin, found in almost all living organisms, to block COVID-19 infection. Most importantly, the SpFN vaccine is designed to combat all coronaviruses, not just COVID-19.

US ARMY MEDICAL MATERIEL DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY

MRDC’s U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity played a critical role in developing the test run of Abbott Laboratories’ i-STAT Alinity platform to run a blood test that will help give healthcare professionals an objective tool for evaluating potential traumatic brain injury.

TELEMEDICINE AND ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH CENTER

MRDC’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center launched the next-generation NEXUS laboratory in 2021. The NEXUS is a cutting-edge medical performance measurement laboratory that will explore the intersection of humans and technology across the Military Health System. This will be a major asset in training personnel to provide combat casualty care and other medical procedures.

MOMRP PARTNERED WITH UC SAN DIEGO & UC SAN FRANCISCO

MRDC’s Military Operational Medicine Research Program (MOMRP) partnered with UC San Diego and UC San Francisco to begin testing a wearable smart-ring that may identify COVID-19 or other infections in a person even before symptoms appear. The technology and algorithms developed through this partnership may lead to earlier identification and testing of infection, curbing the spread of disease.

BIODEFENSE MASS SEQUENCING AND SURVEILLANCE (B-MASS)

MRDC developed the B-MASS method to allow large-formation infection testing with a rapid turnaround time and individual sample results using next-generation sequencing. This method enables commanders to limit spread of disease quickly by isolating positive cases.

MOMRP PARTNERED WITH RICE UNIVERSITY

MOMRP also partnered with Rice University to develop a “sleeping cap” that can analyze the flow of fluid that cleanses the brain during sleep. This is a non-invasive way to measure and modulate cerebrospinal fluid flow, and may lead to the development of wearable technology that can identify and treat sleep disorders in real time.

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FOR THE PANDEMIC AND BEYOND, WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY POINTS THE WAY

Like all the best ideas, this one started with a question – a question about how to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus; refined over a series of meetings between U.S. Army Medical...

DOD UTILIZES 3D-PRINTING TO CREATE N95 RESPIRATORS IN THE BATTLE AGAINST COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity's Warfighter Expeditionary Medicine and Treatment Project Management...

COMBAT CAPABILITIES DEVELOPMENT COMMAND (DEVCOM)

DEVCOM accelerates technology and delivers next-generation Soldier capabilities across the lifecycle to ensure overmatch for a lethal Army. As one team, DEVCOM innovates and engineers solutions that solve priority Army Problems through four priority mission domains: Foundational Research, Science & Technology, Lifecycle Engineering, and Analysis.

363

transitioned S&T products

879

active Cooperative Research and Development Agreements

95

earned patents

44

technologies demonstrated during PC21, in addition to providing real-time Additive Manufacturing on-site

COLLABORATING FOR THE BEST RESULTS

DEVCOM fights for the future – one teammate, one idea, one technology, one capability – at a time. Below are some successes from each of the DEVCOM teams:

DEVCOM ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY (ARL)

AI research strengthens certainty in Soldiers’ battlefield decision-making. DEVCOM ARL scientists focused on managing uncertainty as part of an Internet of Battlefield Things Collaborative Research Agreement. The team reviewed frameworks to represent uncertainty, categorized sources of uncertainty in military information networks’ common operating environment, and most importantly created solutions to manage uncertainty within systems. They also developed insights from the uncertainty management approaches into a workflow that maximizes a system’s ability to accomplish mission goals despite uncertainty about some of its data. The process is designed to teach neural networks when to say, “I am sure,” and be right about it.

DEVCOM ANALYSIS CENTER (DAC)

DAC conducted Human Systems Integration analyses using data from nearly 100 Soldiers at Soldier touchpoints with FORSCOM and TRADOC to assess advanced helmet-mounted displays, pilot cueing simulations for intuitive displays, cognitive workload / decision-making proficiency and design concepts for warfighters. DAC’s expertise ensured Soldier-centric design feedback for the Army’s modernization priorities, including the FVL Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft and Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, and the Air and Missile Defense (AMD) Indirect Fire Protection Capability and Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense system.

DEVCOM AVIATION AND MISSILE CENTER (AvMC)

AvMC delivered two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Radar Training Devices (RTDs) to the Fires COE at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, which will extend Fort Sill’s current Institutional Conduct of Fires Training Capability and replace the older single, lower-fidelity system, AvMC developed software for the Longbow L7A missile and received final approval to field the upgraded capability on the MQ-1C Gray Eagle platform, increasing the Gray Eagle’s effectiveness in counter-UAS and littoral operations.

DEVCOM COMMAND, CONTROL, COMPUTERS, COMMUNICATIONS, CYBER, INTELLIGENCE, SURVEILLANCE AND RECONNAISSANCE CENTER (C5ISR)

C5ISR connected the Army and Joint Services in a virtual, operationally realistic tactical network testing environment in the Combined Joint Systems Integration Laboratory. The lab is used to understand how operational conditions will affect the resiliency and reliability of various systems, enabling the DoD community to better integrate and evaluate emerging technologies. Insights from the lab also facilitate improvements to technologies prior to field experimentation, operational testing and acquisition.

DEVCOM GROUND VEHICLE SYSTEMS CENTER (GVSC)

Engineers and technicians put Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) Light and RCV medium prototypes — both diesel-electric hybrid —through testing at Camp Grayling, Michigan. The RCVs feature GVSC-owned autonomous software, called Robotic Technology Kernel, which is an open system with flexibility for plugging in new technology quickly.

DEVCOM SOLDIER CENTER (SC)

The SC completed baseline execution events for an initiative called Measuring and Advancing Soldier Tactical Readiness and Effectiveness (MASTR-E). This program is a large-scale effort that will measure, predict and enhance close combat performance with predictive performance algorithms, sensors, data-driven decision aids and targeted interventions to maximize Soldier performance.

DEVCOM CHEMICAL BIOLOGICAL CENTER (CBC)

Scientists partnered with the University of Pennsylvania to perform research on how canines can aid in the fight against COVID-19. CBC scientists discovered that the dogs can detect a COVID-positive person days before most rapid tests can.

DEVCOM ARMAMENTS CENTER (AC)

The AC transitioned XM1299 Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) prototype to Program Manager Self-Propelled Howitzer Systems, enabling the Army cannon artillery to achieve lethal effects to targets beyond 70 kilometers.

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DRIVING FUEL CHOICES

On any given day, a large Army division may use up to 6,000 gallons of fuel, and cost estimates to ship it to theaters of war in the Middle East can run as high as $400 per gallon...

SUSTAINING THE FUTURE ARMY THROUGH DEMAND REDUCTION: AN INTERVIEW

As the first commander of Army Futures Command (AFC), Gen. John M. “Mike” Murray leads a team working to enable and synchronize the entire Army modernization enterprise to...

DEVCOM GROUND VEHICLE SYSTEMS CENTER

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center, located at Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Michigan, is the nation's laboratory for advanced...

ARMY RESEARCH PRIORITIES

ARMY APPLICATIONS LABORATORY (AAL)

AAL saved the Army more than $10M in technology contracts by enabling contracts to fail early and cheaply, identifying unsuitable contracts that wouldn’t meet Army needs before a large investment was made.

COMBAT SYSTEMS INTEGRATION DIVISION (CSID)

CSID is AFC’s conduit to a smoother transition of technology from requirement development at AFC to acquisition at Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)) to speed new technology and assets into Soldiers’ hands.

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US MILITARY ACADEMY CADETS COLLABORATE WITH LAB TO ENHANCE SOLDIER-ROBOT TEAMING

U.S. Military Academy cadets conducted joint field experiments with Army researchers on the development of enhanced Soldier-robot teaming. The academy’s Robotics Research Center...

ARMY RESEARCH ADVANCES SOLDIER-ROBOT DIALOGUE FOR MORE EFFECTIVE TEAMING

Army researchers are working to improve Soldier-robot teaming in tactical environments by enabling robots to ask questions and learn in real-time through dialogue...

TALENT MODERNIZATION

Empowering the Army workforce

For Soldiers, By Soldiers

The Army Software Factory (ASWF) opened its doors for the first time in 2021, featuring a rank-agnostic environment more conducive to software development. This flat structure bucks the traditional Army hierarchy to foster more open discussion between Army coders, regardless of their rank or background. The ASWF welcomed its first two cohorts of coders in 2021. Additionally, inaugural cohorts with the Army Artificial Intelligence Integration Center (AI2C) are underway with ongoing masters and Cloud Foundations degree programs for data analysis and engineering students.

"[Army leaders want] much more visibility into the skills of our people – beyond what MOS they’re a part of – to be able to match people more effectively with their skills to their assignments, and to give them a little bit more choice in that regard.

- Honorable Christine Wormuth
Secretary of the Army

Science and Technology Reinvention Laboratory (STRL)

In 2021, portions of AFC received an STRL designation, specifically designed for science and technology, that will allow AFC to take advantage of previously unavailable budget and infrastructure flexibilities to design a new personnel management system.

STRENGTHENING OUR WORKFORCE

Winning matters, but winning together matters more. Which is why AFC focused on developing programs to help employ experts and promote growth within our workforce.

AI AND AGILE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT WORKFORCE PILOT

AFC began the AI & Agile Software Development Workforce Pilot (USASAITMA) in concert with ASA(ALT) and Manpower and Reserve Affairs (M&RA). This effort will operationalize, array, and employ trained AI and software experts across the force.

FUTURE OF WORK CONCEPT

DEVCOM is boldly modernizing its approach to the traditional workplace and how it attracts the world’s best talent through the Future of Work Concept. DEVCOM’s future of work pilot optimizes distributed work operations to increase collaboration across competencies, time horizons and domains, while focused on delivery. The pilot is a key enabler of the command’s Talent Management Strategy.

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TRANSFORMING SOLDIERS INTO DEVELOPERS AT THE ARMY SOFTWARE FACTORY

The U.S. Army — the largest and oldest branch of the American military — is undergoing a broad-scale effort to modernize its equipment, weaponry and operational support, including by embracing the power of new technologies...

PARTNERSHIPS

Building new pathways to shared success

WORKING WITH EXPERTS

Our partnerships help keep us abreast of state-of-the art technologies and solutions, contributing to our ongoing efforts to modernize the Army.

INDUSTRY LEADERS

SMALL BUSINESSES

UNIVERSITIES

PAVING THE WAY FOR NEW IDEAS

Adding new industry leading partnerships to the AFC team.

U.S. Army Space and Missile Command Center (USAMDC)

Redstone Arsenal, AL

USAMDC launched the Gunsmoke-J satellite to provide critical data to be shared by USAMDC and APNT/S.

USMA Dept. of Systems Engineering

West Point, NY

FVL teamed with the US Military Academy’s Dept. of Systems Engineering to integrate a maintenance-free operating period to focus on improving sustainment efforts of aircraft.

Wichita State’s FirePoint Innovations Center

Wichita, KS

FVL and Wichita State University’s FirePoint Innovations Center partnered to enhance aircraft operational readiness and reduce long-term operations and support costs.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Arlington, VA

FVL and DARPA’s System of Systems Enhanced Small Unit to move forward advanced teaming technology to leverage more autonomy in sensors, flight computers, and mission planning.

82nd Airborne Division

Fort Bragg, NC

STE’s One World Terrain team supported the 82nd Airborne Division during the evacuation of Afghanistan with a 3D representation of HKIA that identified vulnerabilities, threats, and crowd levels.

1st Cavalry Division

Fort Hood, TX

STE partnered with 1st Cavalry Division and Cole Engineering Services to hold the first Soldier touchpoint using several training management tools to conduct realistic, multi-echelon, multi-domain, live, collective training.

Cole Engineering Services, Inc

Orlando, FL

STE partnered with 1st Cavalry Division and Cole Engineering Services to hold the first Soldier touchpoint using several training management tools to conduct realistic, multi-echelon, multi-domain, live, collective training.

Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM)

Aiea, HI

The FID partnered with INDOPACOM to develop a capabilities-based assessment to identify credible and defensible capability gaps in their AOR.

Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Park, IL

MMDA partnered with Abbott Laboratories to develop a blood test that will help diagnose traumatic brain injury objectively.

University of California (UC) San Diego

San Diego, CA

MOMRP partnered with UC San Diego and UC San Francisco to test wearable tech that could identify COVID-19 or other infections in the wearer.

University of California (UC) San Francisco

San Francisco, CA

MOMRP partnered with UC San Diego and UC San Francisco to test wearable tech that could identify COVID-19 or other infections in the wearer.

Rice University

Houston, TX

MOMRP and Rice University partnered to develop a “sleeping cap” technology that might help identify and treat sleep disorders.

Fires Center of Excellence (COE)

Fort Sill, OK

AvMC delivered two THAAD RTDs to Fort Sill to extend increase their training capability.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Brussels, Belgium

NATO accepted GVSC’s NATO Reference Mobility Model as a standard system to assist vehicles in predicted moving capability over specified terrain.

Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station

College Station, TX

ARL and Texas A&M partnered with a $24M contract to develop AI, robotics, and training simulations.

Defense Innovation Unit

Mountain View, CA

AAL built its first co-investment with the DIU.

Tufts University

Medford, MA and Washington, DC

The ARL, Tufts University, and Naval Research Lab partnered to develop an algorithm that will enhance robots’ effectiveness as teammates.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Cambridge, MA

ARL researchers worked with the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies with researchers at MIT, CIT, and ETH Zurich to identify new ultralight structures that could lead to lighter, stronger armor.

California Institute of Technology (CIT)

Pasadena, CA

ARL researchers worked with the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies with researchers at MIT, CIT, and ETH Zurich to identify new ultralight structures that could lead to lighter, stronger armor.

ETH Zurich

Zurich, Switzerland

ARL researchers worked with the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies with researchers at MIT, CIT, and ETH Zurich to identify new ultralight structures that could lead to lighter, stronger armor.

Argonne National Laboratory

Lemont, IL

ARL researchers partnered with the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory to study new possibilities to surface-engineer nanoparticles.

International Technology Center

Tel Aviv, Israel and Johannesburg, South Africa

DEVCOM stood up a new International Technology Center to build relationships with Israel, South Africa, and the Turkish Office of Defense Cooperation.

Turkish Office of Defense Cooperation

Ankara, Turkey

DEVCOM stood up a new International Technology Center to build relationships with Israel, South Africa, and the Turkish Office of Defense Cooperation.

University of Texas (UT)

Austin, TX

AFC partnered with the University of Texas System to host an Advanced Technology Summit to publicize upcoming technologies and solicit Army problems to focus AFC’s modernization efforts.

University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP)

El Paso, TX

ARL researchers partnered with the University of Texas – El Paso to develop cyber defense software.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Bethesda, MD

ARL researchers partnered with scientists at the National Institutes of Health and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke to identify connections between traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s disease.

University of North Carolina (UNC), Pembroke

Pembroke, NC

ARL researchers partnered with scientists at the National Institutes of Health and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke to identify connections between traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s disease.

With our headquarters based in Austin, we worked alongside the University of Texas System to host the Advanced Technology Summit, which not only presented panels discussing upcoming technologies like energy storage and electrical vehicles, but also solicited input from Army leaders and other stakeholders to identify challenges that AFC can take on.

THE UNIVERSITY TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT DIVISION

The University Technology Development Division focused on establishing partnerships in high-priority technical areas within applied and advanced research to build future technologies that enable more capabilities and support all of AFC’s CFTs.

ARMY APPLICATIONS LABORATORY (AAL)

AAL maintained the Army’s enduring strategic advantage in 2021 by building its first co-investment with an outside agency, the Defense Innovation Unit. AAL changed the narrative about the business sense of pursuing Army contracts and partnerships by receiving a 90% positive score on whether companies would recommend other businesses work with AFC.

PARTNERING WITH DEVCOM

DEVCOM collaborates across a global network of government, industry, academia and international partners to discover, develop and integrate the capabilities Soldiers need to win our nation’s wars and come home safely, today and in the future.

International Technology Center

DEVCOM stood up a new International Technology Center in Tel Aviv, Israel, to reestablish and build relationships with Israel and the Israeli Defense Force, as well as South Africa and the Turkish Office of Defense Cooperation.

xTechGlobal AI Challenge

DEVCOM partnered with USAF AFWERX, US Navy Office of Naval Research – Global, and ASA(ALT) on the first international tri-service competition, the xTechGlobal AI Challenge, to identify non-traditional international businesses and innovative solutions to address the Army requirement to process sensor data at the tactical edge.

DEVCOM ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY

The laboratory's mission is to provide innovative science, technology and analysis to enable full-spectrum operations. The Army relies on the team for scientific discoveries, technological advances and analyses to provide Soldiers with capabilities to succeed on the battlefield.

The Army Research Lab (ARL) partnered with the OSD LUCI, Tufts University, and the Naval Research Lab to develop an algorithm that enables robots to ask qualifying questions to Soldiers, increasing the robots’ value as effective teammates.

At the Argonne National Laboratory, ARL and the Center for Nanoscale Materials studied plasma treated nanoparticles to open new possibilities for the Army to surface-engineer metallic nanoparticles for energetics applications.

ARL researchers working with the Institute for Soldier Nanotechonologies at MIT, CIT, and ETH Zurich identified new ultralight structures called nanoarchitectured materials stronger than Kevlar or steel that could lead to lighter, stronger armor for personnel and equipment.

DEVCOM ARL teamed up with the National Institutes of Health and University of North Carolina – Pembroke, to study the causes of Alzheimer’s disease in Soldiers who’ve been exposed to explosive shockwaves.

COLLABORATING ON A GLOBAL SCALE

DEVCOM extends the Army’s Science and Technology ecosystem globally, leveraging and building partner capacity to ensure interoperability in support of mutually beneficial priorities.

DEVCOM has international allies and partners in 20 locations across 14 countries

$15,500,000

COMPETITIVE PROGRAM FUNDING RECEIVED

in support of international cooperative activities

In 2021, DEVCOM’s forward elements and International Technology Centers established four new Project Agreements for a total of 34 active agreements across 11 countries.

$330,000,000

LEVERAGED FUNDING IN INVESTMENTS MADE BY FOREIGN PARTNER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (R&D) EFFORTS

DEVCOM also established 213 Information/Data Exchange Annexes with 21 partner countries for technical collaboration.

DEVCOM’s forward elements and International Technology Centers awarded 109 International Grants to 98 institutions in 37 partner countries.

$10,000,000

LEVERAGED FUNDING IN FOREIGN R&D RESOURCES

DEVCOM hosted the largest ever international engagement between the Army Research Office and more than 400 university researchers to inform the academic community of Army priority research and how academia can receive grants or partnerships with the Army.

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STUDY IDENTIFIES POTENTIAL LINK BETWEEN SOLDIERS EXPOSED TO BLASTS, ALZHEIMER’S

Research shows that Soldiers exposed to shockwaves from military explosives are at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease -- even those that don’t have traumatic...

ARMY’S ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT EXPLORES ULTRAMODERN ENERGY SOLUTIONS

The Advanced Technology Summit, powered by Army Futures Command, took place at the University of Texas at Austin’s Engineering Education and Research Center from July 21...

AUGMENTED REALITY DOG GOGGLES COULD HELP PROTECT SOLDIERS

Military working dogs often scout areas for explosives devices and hazardous materials and assist in rescue operations, but giving dogs the necessary commands to perform these...

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Read about AFC's accomplishments throughout 2020 as well »