Technological Innovations: The ACTD Program. (Military Transformation)

By Payton, Sue C. | Joint Force Quarterly, Summer 2002 | Go to article overview

Technological Innovations: The ACTD Program. (Military Transformation)


Payton, Sue C., Joint Force Quarterly


In the 1950s and 1960s, many business firms assumed that they had optimized production. Consequently they removed production from the competition equation. In the two ensuing decades foreign competitors outproduced them. Manufacturing faced a hard choice: change or die.

Now it is the turn of the defense sector, which followed the same approach for a long time. But the competition moved ahead, ranging from aggressor states to terrorists who use technologies that previous enemies never had, thus posing new challenges. The attacks on September 11 magnified the need for rapid change. Innovation within the Armed Forces is coming from the advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD) program, but such developments alone cannot ensure automatic preeminence or defeat terrorism. Technology as well as advanced concepts, tactics, techniques, and procedures must be applied to competitive areas defined in the Quadrennial Defense Review.

Enabling Preeminence

Military transformation is a major DOD focus. But what does it mean? It is about ensuring preeminence in competition to deter and defeat all enemies. Just as manufacturing bounced back in the 1980s and 1990s, the Federal government, defense industrial base, and nontraditional suppliers must respond decisively and continually to a changing marketplace. The response must maintain predominance in areas where the homeland and the security of allies are being challenged. It must be quick and continuous because of "disproportionate and discontinuous changes in the security environment," as emphasized by the Quadrennial Defense Review in 2001.

In addition, that report listed six transformational areas in which defense must ensure preeminence:

* protecting bases of operations and defeating nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons and their means of delivery

* projecting and sustaining U.S. forces in anti-access or area denial environments

* denying enemies sanctuary by persistent surveillance and rapid precision strike

* leveraging information technology and concepts to develop a joint command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ([C.sup.4]ISR) architecture

* assuring information systems that face attack and conducting information operations

* enhancing the capability and survivability of space systems.

How transformation is achieved is just as important as the key areas. It requires what the Secretary of Defense calls new approaches--the essence of ACTD procedure. This program identifies needs and ways to meet them. A warfighter-developed concept of operations, underpinned by innovative technology and demonstrated by the warfighter for the warfighter, defines success or failure.

Since 1994 this program has rapidly and continually fielded technologies. In its first thirty-six months it resulted in the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle that monitored the accords in Bosnia. By 1999 some 20 percent of ACTD products were supporting Operation Allied Force in Kosovo, By 2001 thirty products were deployed for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan as well as Operation Noble Eagle at home.

The program enables military transformation in ways not commonly recognized. To date, 97 demonstrations have been initiated. Significant improvements in joint capabilities have occurred when innovative technology was inserted at little cost. Across the joint community, ACTDs are creating paradigm shifts that are more than linear extrapolations of the present day. Moreover, they are focused on the areas where the United States must ensure preeminence.

Protecting Bases and Defeating WMD

Geography once secured our most important base: the homeland. But today the Nation is not only vulnerable to attack from threats such as cruise and ballistic missiles, but to a terrorist who wears explosive-filled tennis shoes and flies into the country from abroad. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Technological Innovations: The ACTD Program. (Military Transformation)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.