DOD ends think-tank effort

Office of Force Transformation’s work to move across OSD

The Pentagon’s Office of Force Transformation is going away after Oct. 1, but the ideas created from the think-tank agency will be integrated across the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Terry Pudas, acting director of OFT, said it is time to make the change.

“We have performed what we were expected to perform as a catalyst for transformation and this is the next step,” Pudas said. “As I’ve said before ... if we’re not willing to transform ourselves, we’re not really true to our own vision.”

Officials say the ideas pushed by OFT would likely fall under the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy and under the acquisition, technology and logistics organization. Defense deputy secretary Gordon England still must sign off on the decision before it becomes final.

Pudas said it’s less a disestablishment of OFT than an “organizational realignment” that grew out of this year’s Quadrennial Defense Review.

Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld created the Office of Force Transformation in 2001 to shepherd how the services and agencies thought about transformation. Rumsfeld named Vice Adm. Arthur K. Cebrowski—the man widely credited for coining the term “network-centric warfare”—as OFT’s first transformation chief.

But when Cebrowski died last year, some in DOD began reassessing whether the office should remain or whether it was time to make transformation more a central part of the existing Defense structure.

Some of the key projects to come out of OFT are Stiletto, a high-speed, high-tech, carbon-reinforced ship designed to support surveillance and reconnaissance in high-risk areas, Project Sheriff, and the Sense and Respond Logistics Concept.

Stiletto is an experimental vessel that can be outfitted with the latest sensor and communications connectivity to keep special operations forces updated with the latest information. Through the Project Sheriff initiative, OFT and the Army are experimenting with vehicles designed for urban peacekeeping.

Sense and Respond is a logistics framework aimed at better tracking the movement of supplies on the battlefield.

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