Collaborative Autonomy: A Tactical Offset Strategy

Collaborative Autonomy: A Tactical Offset Strategy

ARL intelligent systems S&T is leading to a tactical offset strategy for operations in a range of challenging settings. by Dr. Brian M. Sadler The desire for a third offset strategy has been a major focus of DOD science and technology (S&T) discussion for the past few years. While the Navy and Air Force primarily face issues related to large-scale, extended-range operations, the Army must address a different set of long-term challenges in complex operational scenarios. These notably include megacities and other perplexing domains such as subterranean and jungle environments. It is not difficult to envision a megacity in a developing nation facing a quicksand of natural disaster, failing infrastructure, […]

Faces of the Force: Tara Clark

Faces of the Force: Tara Clark

COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Alabama TITLE: Ballistic missile defense project manager YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 14 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in facilities engineering EDUCATION: MBA, The Citadel; B.S. in mechanical engineering, Geneva College; Professional Engineer – Pennsylvania and certified Project Manager Professional AWARDS: Huntsville Center Project Manager of the Year; Achievement Medal for Civilian Service; Europe District Hero of the Battle; Certificate of Achievement, NATO Special Operations Headquarters Project Delivery Team; Certificate of Achievement, Interagency and International Services Project Delivery Team; Certificate of Achievement, Phased Adaptive Approach Romanian Planning Charrette A CAREER MARKED BY BIG TRANSITIONS By Susan Follett In her 14 years of working […]

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: Humans Out of the Loop

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: Humans Out of the Loop

Our interview for the April – June Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre—he’s a Ranger vet who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan who is now a robotics expert at the Center for a New American Security—covered so much good material, but we didn’t want to leave it on the cutting room floor. Here’s Scharre on humans out-of-the-loop. Army AL&T: What work is being done on armed unmanned systems (without a human in the loop)? Scharre: There’s a very robust discussion going on internationally and within certain sectors of the U.S. defense community, particularly among lawyers, about this idea of autonomous weapons that would do targeting on their own and are […]

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: Predicting the Future

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: Predicting the Future

Our interview for the April – June Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre—he’s a Ranger vet who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan who is now a robotics expert at the Center for a New American Security—covered so much good material, but we didn’t want to leave it on the cutting room floor. Here’s Scharre on how DOD should pick which advances in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to pursue. Army AL&T: It’s a high-stakes game of predicting the future, better testing and lower barriers to entry and innovation for the work of research labs and outside industry. Scharre: It’s just so hard to predict what technologies are going to matter. […]

The Jungle Boot

The Jungle Boot

A good jungle boot is one of a Soldier’s bare necessities—and the system for providing those necessities would make Mowgli’s head spin. Mowgli had to deal with jungle cats; he never had to deal with an ACAT III. Unfortunately, Soldiers do. by Donald Schlomer, Lt. Col., USA (Ret.) Mowgli, the hero of Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 classic “The Jungle Book,” did perfectly well without boots or even shoes. U.S. Soldiers, however, have different needs. Soldiers in the U.S. Army have not had a new jungle boot since the Vietnam era, and with the request for a new jungle boot—well, therein lies a tale, but a tale far less straightforward than Kipling’s […]

Army AL&T magazine editors host pilot writers workshop at PEO C3T

Army AL&T magazine editors host pilot writers workshop at PEO C3T

By Ashley Tolbert ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (April 13, 2017) — Army AL&T magazine Senior Editor Steve Stark and Editor Mike Bold conducted a newly revamped writers workshop March 31, hosted by the Project Lead for Network Enablers in the Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The workshop was a pilot for a new approach by Army AL&T that emphasizes one-on-one interaction. “We’ve held an annual writers workshop for the last four years,” Stark said. “This year we found an opportunity to work very closely with small groups of subject matter experts at Network Enablers.” The organization’s leadership, Project […]

Faces of the Force: Lt. Col. James E. Howell III

Faces of the Force: Lt. Col. James E. Howell III

POSITION AND OFFICIAL TITLE: DA Systems Coordinator (DASC) for Defensive Cyber Operations; Handheld, Manpack and Small Form Fit; and the Joint Tactical Networking Center YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 7 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: 23 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in program management EDUCATION: M.A. in procurement and acquisition management, Webster University; master of communications technology, National Radio Examiners; B.S in psychology and political science, Campbell University AWARDS: Bronze Star (3), Meritorious Service Medal (4), Army Commendation Medal (2), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (1 campaign star), Iraq Campaign Medal (3 campaign stars), Combat Action Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Army Staff Identification Badge Capitalizing on a […]

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: Army Challenges

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: Army Challenges

Our interview for the April – June Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre—he’s a Ranger vet who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan who is now a robotics expert at the Center for a New American Security—covered so much good material, but we didn’t want to leave it on the cutting room floor. Here’s Scharre on challenges to automation and artificial intelligence (AI). Army AL&T: If the Army’s main challenge is finding the right places to use robots, automation and AI … what are those places? Scharre: The fundamental problem with automation is that it’s brittle. You can design really specific machine intelligence tools to solve very specific problems, like playing […]

Been There, Done That Preparation for Operational Testing

Been There, Done That Preparation for Operational Testing

Rapid and evolutionary acquisition bring some change to OT, but some things will remain constant—like surprises. by John T. Dillard, Col., USA (Ret.) Many years ago, Dr. Philip E. Coyle III, the long-experienced, former DOD director of operational test and evaluation, cautioned program managers (PMs) about program risk in the new era of evolutionary acquisition, fielding capabilities in sequential increments. What he suggested back then was that even with evolutionary acquisition, we would likely be fully testing each of the system capability blocks individually. In that vein, he presented some salient points about past programs’ readiness for what he called the binary or pass/fail environment of operational testing, and how […]

Night Vision lab director to serve as acting CERDEC director

Night Vision lab director to serve as acting CERDEC director

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (April 10, 2017)—The U.S. Army has selected Dr. Donald Reago Jr. to serve as acting director of its Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, as the search begins to fill the position left open in the wake of Henry J. Muller Jr.’s retirement. Reago, who was selected for the Senior Executive Service in May 2014, previously served as the director of the CERDEC Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. In his previous capacity as NVESD director, Reago was responsible for planning and executing the Army’s science and technology investments in Electro-Optical/Infrared and Countermine/Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices sensors and signal processing. The […]