News

Leaders Tapped for Eight Cross-Functional Team Pilots

From Inside Defense, Oct. 27, Courtney McBride

The Army has achieved initial operational capability for the first eight cross-functional teams tasked with pursuing senior leaders’ top modernization priorities, Inside the Army has learned.

Acting Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley directed the establishment of the CFTs in an Oct. 6 memorandum. The directive aims “to establish a scalable CFT pilot” involving personnel from communities across the service: “requirements, acquisition, science and technology, test and evaluation, resourcing, contracting, costing, acquisition logisticians, and U.S. Army Forces Command (as well as Army Service Component Commands as applicable).”

The teams are expected to leverage the expertise of industry and academia as needed. Initially, the Army is pursuing “eight priority CFTs . . . aligned with the CSA’s six modernization priorities.”

The service has tapped directors for each of the teams. Brig. Gen. Stephen Maranian, commandant of the field artillery at Ft. Sill, OK, will head the CFT dedicated to Long Range Precision Fires.

Brig. Gen. David Lesperance, commandant of the Armor School at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Ft. Benning, GA, will head the Next Generation Combat Vehicle CFT.

Col. Walter Rugen, deputy commander for support at the 7th Infantry Division, will serve as director of the Future Vertical Lift CFT.

The Senate Armed Services Committee on Oct. 16 received Rugen’s nomination for the rank of brigadier general.

Modernizing the Army’s network command, control, communication and intelligence — a priority for Milley — is split across two CFTs: one for C3I and another for assured position, navigation and timing. Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher is to lead the C3I-focused team. Gallagher is the director of architecture, operations, networks and space in the office of the Army chief information officer/G-6. Kevin Coggins, currently the project manager for position, navigation and timing, will head the CFT for assured PNT.

The CFT focused on the future of air and missile defense is to be headed by Brig. Gen. Randall McIntire, commandant of the Air Defense Artillery at Ft. Sill, OK.

Soldier lethality — another priority for Milley — is divided into two CFTs: soldier lethality and synthetic training environment. Brig. Gen. Christopher Donahue, commandant of the infantry school at Ft. Benning, GA, is to head the soldier lethality CFT.

Maj. Gen. Maria Gervais will head the CFT focused on the synthetic training environment. Gervais serves as deputy commanding general for training at the Combined Arms Center at Ft. Leavenworth, KS. McCarthy and Milley’s directive characterizes the cross-functional teams as an “innovative organizational construct to integrate and synchronize processes across multiple stakeholders.”

The teams are to be “responsible for developing the respective capability documents; informed in appropriate cases by pre-Materiel Solution Analysis Phase experimentation and technical demonstrations to ensure that planned capabilities are technologically feasible, affordable, and available to soldiers.”The Oct. 6 memo outlines three phases to the CFT pilot: establishment, execution of a charter and transition to programs of record.

The first phase is slated to conclude “when the CFT director gives a backbrief of the Strategic Capability Roadmap to the [under secretary and vice chief of staff] and is prepared to begin capability development.”

The second phase begins upon approval of these two documents by the under secretary and vice chief and concludes when they determine the capability is ready to transition to a materiel solution. This decision triggers the third and final phase, which concludes with a materiel development decision acquisition decision memorandum. The pilot program is to be evaluated “against desired organizational and program outcomes, focusing on improving cost, speed, and capability outcomes for materiel solutions to meet warfighter requirements,” according to the memo.