Washington, Sep 2 (EFE).- The US Army has just created a new unit, the task of which is to decide how the wars of the future will be fought and to prepare “soldiers of the future,” a mission for which – for the first time – the Pentagon has established a command within an academic institution.
In an unprecedented decision, the Defense Department has set up the command for its new unit at the University of Texas in Austin, where a large number of the 500 employees – 400 of them civilians – comprising the team will work.
“At Army Futures Command, we believe in utilizing the best expertise, whatever the source, to create innovative solutions faster and better. We’re on a quest to modernize the way the Army does business by creating a space of endless possibilities to explore, develop, and test new methods, organizations, and technologies,” the futuristic unit says on its Web page.
“Above all else, we want to make sure Soldiers have what they need, before they need it, to defend tomorrow – today,” the unit adds.
To carry out this mission, the Pentagon and the scientific community will join forces to outline how armed conflicts will be fought in the next 30 years.
“We can’t resolve all the challenges we’re facing alone,” admitted Col. Patrick Seiber, the communications director for the Army Futures Command, told EFE.
Heading this ambitious mission will be four-star Gen. John Murray, who joined the US Armed Forces in 1982 and has served in a command role in Afghanistan.
“For too long we have focused only on cost, schedule and performance. We must now also focus on value. Value to the young men and women that will be operating the equipment we build, and utilizing the concepts we develop,” said Murray on Aug. 24 during the new command’s inauguration ceremony.
The Army Futures Command, broadly speaking, will be focused on advancing the service’s six modernization priorities: long-range precision fires; the next generation combat vehicle; a future vertical lift platform; the Army network; air and missile defense; and soldier lethality.
“In the past, we’ve focused on the current war, while some of our nuclear adversaries, such as Russia and China – or, to a lesser degree, North Korea and Iran – were looking to the future,” said Seiber during his telephone interview with EFE.
The formation of the new command, Seiber said, is the first formal reorganization of the Army in 45 years – that is, since 1973, when after the disappointment of Vietnam the Pentagon determined that it was not possible to keep fighting wars as during World War II and began making changes in tactics and updating its equipment.
During the new unit’s inauguration ceremony, Gen. Mark Milley, the Army chief of staff, emphasized the importance of new areas and emerging technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence, in which the private sector and the academic world can play key roles.