HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The U.S. Army is creating a new modernization team that will develop contested logistics capability, Gen. James E. Rainey, head of Army Futures Command told Defense News.

AFC, established in 2018 to tackle the service’s requirements for modernization, created eight signature cross-functional teams, each tasked with advancing one of the Army’s six modernization priorities or a capability considered to cut across a number of those.

The original CFTs are Long-Range Precision Fires, Next-Generation Combat Vehicles, Future Vertical Lift, the Network to include Precision Navigation and Timing, Air-and-Missile Defense, Soldier Lethality and Synthetic Training Environment. The idea was to convene a range of Army officials, from training and doctrine writers to sustainment experts to acquisition officers and even system operators, to ensure the success of a program.

Now AFC is adding a “contested logistics cross-functional team,” according to Rainey, which will “focus on tactical, division and below issues” in the realm, delivering capability by the 2030 timeframe.

The CFT will reach an initial operational capability next month and will reside in Huntsville, Alabama, at Redstone Arsenal where it will be nested with Army Materiel Command, which is in charge of the Army’s massive logistics and sustainment enterprise.

“There’s a ton of talent here in the logistics business,” Rainey said in an exclusive interview at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Global Force Symposium in Huntsville.

Rainey said he and Gen. Charles Hamilton, AMC’s commander, will load the CFT with “three to five things” to work on to address logistics in contested environments, but is waiting for Army leadership’s approval of those lines of effort before publicly discussing them. He noted a director for the CFT has also been selected but that announcement will also come later.

CFTs need something tangible to work on, Rainey said, “part of this formula of success [for CFTs] is [having] a very specific problem statement.”

The teams need to be scoped properly, he stressed, so as the Army stands up potentially more teams going forward, “the very important critical step is accurately loading that CFT, what are the three to five specific, tangible things that they’re going to do?”

At a think-tank event in Washington this month, Rainey said that he would continually assess the future of the original CFTs – whether they need to be reloaded with new efforts or refocused – and the possibility of creating more CFTs to address emerging problem sets.

Some of the other possible CFTs could address deep sensing, adapting soldier lethality to focus more on formation-based lethality and even human-and-machine integration.

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.

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