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Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - November 2013 Newsletter: Executive-in-Residence News: Jim Ruma: "TARDEC Makes Plans for 30-Year Vehicle Modernization Strategy" via
"TARDEC Makes Plans for 30-Year Vehicle Modernization Strategy: Push for More Coordinated Science & Technology Continues"
By Tony Bertuca
Posted on November 15, 2013

The Army's Tank-Automotive Research and Development Command recently announced that it plans to adopt a 30-year vehicle and equipment modernization strategy to provide the service and industry with a roadmap of future capabilities.

"TARDEC's 30-Year Strategy establishes the long-range model that will fill potential capability gaps, explore future programs of record (PORs) and provide engineering services that will support Soldiers of today and tomorrow," according to a recent TARDEC statement. "The 30-Year Strategy enables TARDEC to achieve its vision of becoming the recognized [Defense Department] leader for ground systems and combat support systems, technology integration and system-of-systems engineering. It brings together associates and engages collaborative partners to leverage resources and streamline the process to deliver products and services."

As the Army's acquisition budget remains poised for a decade of massive cuts brought on by sequestration, service officials have increasingly been advocating affordable modernization through smaller, but coordinated science and technology efforts (Inside the Army, Oct. 29, 2012).

TARDEC has laid out three "value streams" as a foundation for its 30-year strategy. The first value stream, called VS1, is that TARDEC shape requirements for future programs of record; VS2 states that TARDEC develop new capabilities for current ground systems with a focus on integrating new technologies into existing programs of record; and VS3 says TARDEC should provide engineering support and services to industry throughout vehicle life cycles.

"As an organization, in a broad sense, TARDEC provides value in those three ways," Michael Rose, team leader for TARDEC Strategic Technology Planning, explained in the statement. "Over the past 10 years, we have been primarily focused on what is now known as VS2 -- developing capabilities for current ground systems. What the 30-Year Strategy does is acknowledges our commitment to VS1 and VS3, and emphasizes the importance of developing new concepts for the future force, supporting the acquisition community with engineering services and support, and providing expertise in systems engineering capabilities and modeling and simulation."

In the 30-Year strategy, TARDEC's value streams are composed of varying Lines of Effort (LoE). "For instance, the VS1 LoEs are autonomy-enabled systems, ground systems architecture, protected mobility, and power density and energy efficiency," according to TARDEC's statement. "The LoEs unify efforts and support task organization to achieve the desired results."

The LoEs will encompass groups of programs which will then come together to form Key Outcomes (KO). "A KO under the autonomy-enabled systems LoE will demonstrate autonomy-enabled convoy operations to support global logistical resupply operations to reduce soldiers' burdens," the plan states.

Ultimately, TARDEC seeks to form demonstration capabilities sets from across their three value streams. "These capability sets become the big demonstration of new capabilities that are coming out of this organization," Rose said.

For example, one of TARDEC's 14 capabilities sets calls for a "coordinated combination of manned vehicles, autonomy-enabled systems and dismounted soldiers working in teams," according to the statement.

"The 30-Year strategy is meant to guide associates in a new way of thinking about their role here, as part of a larger organization rather than as parts of an individual directorate," Rose said. "We need to work as a unified whole with common long-range objectives -- the KOs and Css -- if we are truly going to be the Army's leading ground system integrators."