FORT MONROE, Va. (TRADOC News Service) -- Training and Doctrine Command is leading the entire Army in an effort to build a 21st Century fighting force in a program appropriately named Joint Venture.
"Our function is the conceptual redesign of the operational Army, essentially from the individual fighting soldier up through corps level," said Col. John A. Klevecz, director of Training and Doctrine Command's battle lab integration, technology and concepts.
Joint Venture is one of three axes of a program that will create Army XXI. Another is redesign of the processes and policies of the institutional Army at major command headquarters, including Headquarters, Department of the Army, according to Klevecz. "This is the TDA (table of distribution and allowance)," he said.
The third axis is the integration of information technologies, overseen by a task force from the Army Digitization Office.
All three axes interact and support each other to reach the common goal of Army XXI.
Gen. William W. Hartzog, TRADOC commander, heads up Joint Venture, coordinating use of Army assets to experiment with concepts and materiel.
Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, former Army chief of staff, coined the term Joint Venture.
"The name was really to connote the issue of cooperative effort," Klevecz said. "We have elements of every major command participating in Joint Venture; essentially the entire Army."
"Army agencies have not had to be tasked to participate in Joint Venture. Agencies eagerly volunteer.
"We certainly have senior leaders in the Army at this time who are willing to experiment," he said.
Experimentation is the tool with which the future Army will be built, he said. There has already been a series of major advanced warfighting experiments (AWEs), and many smaller experiments at the eight battle labs.
An "aggressive schedule" of experiments will be conducted over the next five years.
"They may vary from battle lab experiments where we may be looking at specific pieces of equipment all the way up to experiments that involve elements greater than a division," Klevecz said.
Each experiment leads to the next, with results fed into subsequent experiments. The series will culminate with corps-level trials. Those experiments will be done with constructive and virtual simulations. It would be prohibitively expensive to field several thousands of soldiers for corps AWEs.
Results of experiments will enable Army leadership to make one of three decisions about concepts being tested. One is to invest in the concept, whether it is materiel or organizational changes. The second is to continue experimenting to learn more. The last is to discontinue efforts because results show the concept is not workable.
One such concept that was discarded was the idea of a "paperless" tactical operation center.
"There was a notion that we could pass information via computers and do away with passing paper back and forth," Klevecz said. "We determined, however, that we're not ready for the paperless TOC just yet, so we discarded it."
Data collection for live experiments has advanced to the point that events can be electronically captured and replayed through construction and virtual simulations.
"Simulators are sophisticated enough that you can vary the conditions, make day into night, make good weather into bad. You can introduce fog, smoke, confusion on the battlefield and see how people react," Klevecz said.
Even though Joint Venture was intended to describe total Army participation, other services are participating in Army experiments. Two past AWEs -- Theater Missile Defense and Atlantic Resolve -- were conducted with Air Force and Navy elements.
Air Force and Marine Corps units will also participate in the Task Force XXI AWE at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., in February 1997.
"We're talking about changing an Army in a process that has never been done before," Klevecz said. "We want to make sure we provide to the senior leaders the rigorous analysis gained from these experiments that will enable them to make necessary decisions."
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