Lieutenant General Thomas Todd, incoming deputy commanding general for Acquisition and Systems Management at the Army Futures Command (AFC), outlined his priorities for the new role today, including collaborations with industry and an iterative approach to technology.
AFC is the modernization arm of the agency responsible for providing the U.S. Army with capabilities ready for the future of war. At a September 1 Dcode event, Todd shared his perspective on the mission.
“We’re here to now create what are better soldier-centric designs than we ever have in the past,” he said. “Now it’s not that the Army doesn’t and hasn’t done that, it’s just we’ve done it in iterations whereas we are at a sea change, if you will, in technologies … and we have to make sure that we utilize them and give them to our soldiers at the right point of need.”
Todd called AFC’s approach an “integration effort” across priority area cross-functional teams. The eight priority areas span from next generation combat vehicles to synthetic training environments.
Ultimately, Todd said that AFC’s model helps the Army “end up with a better integrated, more synchronized, and lethal product, which is what we have to have” to stay prepared for the future of warfare. He added that the goal is to create an environment that keeps up with the rhythm set by industry standards because it leads to better decision making at the soldier level.
“It starts with our leadership’s guidance to buy, try, decide,” Todd explained. “So, we’re in a mode and we’re adopting a methodology that’s very much experimentation, prototyping, and make a decision in relatively rapid fashion depending on the technology.”
Todd continued that he aims to keep creating relationships both within and outside of the Army community to build joint solutions to the problems faced by all.