U.S. Army officials establish Rapid Capabilities Office

WASHINGTON. To expedite critical technologies to the field, the U.S. Army created a Rapid Capabilities Office and will conduct rapid materiel development and delivery efforts to address immediate, near-term, and mid-term Combatant Commanders' needs.

"This office is vitally important to the Army's acquisition reform efforts, but at the same time, it's not a substitute for the acquisition practice," says Katrina McFarland, the Army acquisition executive. "The goal of the Army Rapid Capabilities Office is not to procure systems to outfit the entire Army, but rather to use targeted investments to execute strategic , concept evaluation and limited equipping -- especially in areas where technology progresses rapidly. It will help commanders and soldiers in the field today, while building an advantage for those who will follow in their footsteps."

Officials say the office will also focus on rapid prototyping and initial equipping of capabilities in the areas of , , , survivability and positioning, as well as other project areas. The intent is to deliver an operational effect within one to five years.

Secretary of the Army Eric K. Fanning, who headed the establishment of the office, states, "We're serious about keeping our edge, so we need to make changes in how we get soldiers the technology they need. The Army Rapid Capabilities Office is a major step forward, allowing us to prioritize cross-domain, integrated capabilities in order to confront emerging threats and advance America's military dominance."

The office aims to provide holistic solutions that inform on the doctrine, organization, , materiel, leadership, personnel, facilities and policy, as well as the impact of implementing new capabilities within the Army. It will also leverage other government agencies and industry innovations, including warfighter feedback, to deliver solutions within a faster timeline.

Rapid Capabilities Office Director Douglas K. Wilts will lead the day-to-day operations of the office, which will report to a board of directors headed by the Secretary of the Army.

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