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FCW : October 2016
Army’s Rapid Capabilities Office speeds through startup phase states had asked DHS for help in securing election systems as of Oct. 1 21 Trending October 2016 FCW.COM 3 FCW CALENDAR Defense DOD CIO Terry Halvorsen is the keynote speaker at a summit exploring the Joint Information Environment and “the new military landscape,” hosted by FCW’s sister publication Defense Systems. Arlington, Va. defensesystems.com/summit Leadership ACT- IAC’s Executive Leadership Conference has a three-part focus: transformational leadership, agile government and disruptive technologies. Speakers include Harvard’s Antonio Oftelie and GSA’s Lisa Nelson. Williamsburg, Va. is.gd/ELC_2016 11/1 10/23-25 Acquisition DHS Chief Procurement Officer Soraya Correa and DOD Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall are among the speakers at the Federal IT Acquisition Summit. Washington, D.C. fcw.com/fias 11/16 The Army’s Rapid Capabilities Office is fast-tracking its own formation as it seeks to close technological gaps in cyber, electronic warfare, and position- ing and navigation on the battlefield. The office, announced on Aug. 31, passed a crucial milestone by holding its first board meeting and is on its way to finalizing its charter by Nov. 1. Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt, the RCO’s deputy director, told FCW that to save time, the office “plagiarized [the char- ter] from the Air Force” because that is the model the Army is using for the new office. “We sent [the charter] out to the four- star commands and the primary three- star staff officers... and said you’ve got togetbacktousbythe14thofthe month... and we’re going to the sec- retary for signature at the end of the month,” Piatt told FCW. He said the Army would typically take a year or more to formalize a new entity, but launching quickly is a meta- phor for what the office was created to do — rapidly get needed technology to warfighters. “Technology is evolving at a speed that our acquisition process couldn’t turn fast enough, but our adversaries [can], so that’s why this office was cre- ated,” Piatt said. In fact, the RCO is as much a pilot program designed to spur acquisition reform as it is an entity tasked with finding technological solutions for the modern battlefield. “I think we create efficiencies, we don’t create workarounds,” Piatt said, adding that RCO plans to take advantage of underused acquisition mechanisms such as other transac- tion authority. He said the office will give com- manders a view of the strategic environment and the technological demands on the ground in their areas of responsibility. Officials will be looking at “where the enemy is gain- ing advantage, where adversaries are closing gaps through their moderniza- tion plans and what we need to do to maintain our advantages and create the offset that the secretary of defense is trying to do.” The Army needs tools to monitor its networks to see if adversaries have pen- etrated them and put weapons systems at risk. “If we don’t know they’re doing it, we’re really hurting,” he said. He added that cyber is a particular challenge because there are new chang- es and challenges every day. The purpose of the office isn’t to pro- vide a 100 percent solution to current problems or gaps, Piatt said. Instead, the RCO will focus on finding practi- cal options that will often be based on existing technology and then present those options up the chain of command for approval and rapid deployment. — Sean D. Carberry USARMY “Technology is evolving at a speed that our acquisition process couldn’t turn fast enough... so that’s why this office was created.” — MAJ. GEN. WALTER PIATT, ARMY “Technology is evolving at a speed that our acquisition process couldn’t turn fast enough, but our adversaries [can], so that’s why this office was created.” 1016fcw_003-009.indd 3 10/11/16 2:25 PM
September 30, 2016
November and December 2016