Army IT progress comes in measures
- By George I. Seffers
- Oct 19, 2000
The Army has made real progress over the past year transforming into a lighter,
leaner, more lethal force, but the information technology piece of that
transformation may be more evolutionary than revolutionary, according to
"You're talking about [transforming] the entire Army, with all of its
doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures, equipment, everything. Things
move a little slow sometimes, but that's not the case with the Army transformation.
We've had a good year," said Gregory Dahlberg, undersecretary of the Army,
speaking at the Association of the United States Army annual conference
in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.
By the end of this month, the service intends to equip part of the first
interim brigade combat team with software known as Force XXI Battle Command
Brigade and Below, a cornerstone of the service's effort to digitize its
forces. The unit already has begun training, through the use of simulation,
to use the software, and will train on the actual software beginning in
In addition, the unit this fall and next spring will receive:
* The Army Battle Command System, which provides command and control
at all echelons.
* The Tactical Internet, a mobile, battlefield version of the commercial
* Command posts at the battalion and brigade levels that are more capable
of receiving, processing and releasing information.
* A host of sensors, such as the Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
Still, at least one key official expressed concern that the IT piece
of the transformation might progress slower than the service would desire.
"The digitization effort will grow and continue to mature. There are
some real challenges in all the processes we have to keep that growth going
on into the future," said Lt. Gen. Paul Kern, military deputy of the Army
acquisition corps. He cited the use of command and control computers and
accompanying software to do tasks that "up until this point has been manual
in the U.S. Army."
Progress will be more evolutionary in those areas because it has to
fit into the joint command and control structure as well, according to Kern.
"We, the United States Army, will have to fit into the Global Grid," he