WASHINGTON — Army Futures Command has yet to officially stand up after initially taking shape just six months ago, but the cross-functional team leaders in charge of the service’s most pressing modernization priorities within the command are already changing.
The service initiated a realignment of its modernization priorities under the AFC in October.
As part of that new organization, the Army implemented CFTs, that align with the Army’s six modernization priorities: Long-Range Precision Fires, next-generation combat vehicle, Future Vertical Lift, the network, air and missile defense, and soldier lethality. Two additional CFTs were also formed that cut across each priority: Synthetic Training Environment and Precision Navigation and Timing.
The CFTs are designed to compress the timeline to modernize and procure new equipment by involving the end user, defining the requirements, integrating, prototyping and validating a concept prior to low-rate initial production.
And they’ve already hit the ground running.
And even though the AFC has yet to pick a location or a commander, some new leaders are already being named to take over CFT leadership, likely this summer when the AFC is expected to reach an initial operational capability.
At the Association of the U.S. Army’s Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, last week, Army Forces Command head Gen. Robert Abrams said while the CFT directors were having to do two jobs now, the generals in charge of CFTs going forward would be 100 percent dedicated to their job when the AFC stands up. Only the Soldier Lethality CFT will have another job in addition to its role in the AFC.
It was believed that the CFT leads would become dedicated positions and that some of the current leaders were only temporary, and, according to a Defense Department general officer assignment announcement posted April 4, that belief has become reality.
Three out of eight of the current CFT leads are moving on. Whether the other CFTs will be replaced or will remain on the job remains to be seen.
Brig. Gen. Dave Lesperance will relinquish the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle CFT to Brig. Gen. Richard Coffman who is currently the deputy commanding general (Maneuver), 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Brig. Gen. Christopher Donahue, the current Soldier Lethality CFT lead, is moving on to become the deputy director for special operations and counter-terrorism, J-3, Joint Staff, in Washington.
Brig. Gen. David Hodne, who is currently the deputy commanding general (Maneuver), 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado, will be taking over the CFT and will also become the U.S. Army Infantry School commandant at the Army Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Departing from his gig as the Long Range Precision Fires CFT director, Brig. Gen. Stephen Maranian, who is also the U.S. Army Field Artillery School commandant at the Army Fires Center of Excellence in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, is slated to become the deputy commanding general of the Eighth Army, 2nd Infantry Division (Combined) in South Korea.
No announcement came simultaneously as to who will replace Maranian as the LRPF CFT lead.