Colonel leading digital troops

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—Future Combat Systems (FCS), the centerpiece of the Army's transformation to the Objective Force, won't be ready until the end of the decade, but one colonel already is virtually commanding thousands of digital Objective Force troops.

Col. George Lockwood, commander of the 16th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Knox, Ky., is also the commander of the Objective Force's first unit of action—3,499 digital troops.

Lockwood said his daily job is training officers, and the "first part of that training is exercising battle command."

"The [Objective Force] unit of action piece for me is battle command," Lockwood told FCW during a Feb. 27 interview here at the Association of the U.S. Army's winter symposium. "Anything with C4ISR [command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] is where I get involved and how it relates to battle command and how we fight."

Currently, that means running digital experiments with virtual troops, but this work will directly impact how live soldiers are trained and fight in the future through the development of tactics, techniques and procedures, said Gen. Kevin Byrnes, commander of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command.

The Objective Force is a strategy to develop advanced information technology tools, vehicles and weapons that will make the Army's armored forces better able to survive an all-out fight. The first unit is scheduled to be equipped in 2008, with initial operational capability by 2010.

FCS will equip Army vehicles with information and communications systems to give soldiers capabilities for command and control, surveillance and reconnaissance, direct and nonline-of-sight weapons firing, and personnel transport.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.