Contested Logistics CFT Coming

Contested Logistics CFT Coming

Gen. James Rainey speaks at AUSA's Global Force symposium
Photo by: AUSA/Jared Lieberher

A new cross-functional team focused on contested logistics is being stood up in Huntsville, Alabama, the commander of Army Futures Command announced March 29 at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Global Force Symposium and Exposition.

The team, the Army’s ninth, will be “focused on the division and below aspect of all things that have to do with contested logistics,” Gen. James Rainey said during his keynote address. Created in partnership with Army Materiel Command, which has its headquarters in Huntsville, the team will address a “critical problem,” Rainey said. “We know we’ve got to get better at this problem.”

Army leaders have emphasized the importance of honing the service’s ability to sustain large-scale combat operations in a contested environment, particularly after watching the Russian military struggle in Ukraine.

The new team also proves the success of the cross-functional team concept and the work the existing teams have done to deliver the Army’s modernization priorities. “We are absolutely not backing off that approach and those cross-functional teams,” Rainey said. “I’m interested in how do we capitalize on the success of those cross-functional teams. What are the next things we want to load them up with to maintain momentum?”

These efforts are part of Futures Command’s ongoing effort to transform the Army to ensure “war-winning readiness,” Rainey said. “The United States Army is the dominant land force in the world today … and we want to be that in 2030, we want to be that in 2040, and we want to be that every day between now and then.”

The Army has “strong momentum” as it works to deliver the Army of 2030, Rainey said. The Army has fielded eight of its signature efforts, with six more in tests this fiscal year and 10 others in “various types of soldier touch points,” Rainey said. “That’s a lot of progress … [and] we’re staying laser-focused there,” he said. “But what I’m really interested in is how do we translate modernization success into actual capability?”

Because the Army’s 2030 efforts are on track, Futures Command has been able to “think about what’s next” and look to 2040, Rainey said. This includes studying what the future battlefield could look like, how the Army can better use emerging technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning, and how the force must adapt to operating under “constant observation and constant contact,” he said.

Ultimately, Futures Command has two main tasks—deliver the Army of 2030 and design the Army of 2040, Rainey said. “We’ve got to modernize the Army, but all of us together as an Army have to work together and take that modernization and transform the Army and translate that into true war-winning capability,” Rainey said.

The Army also needs a sense of urgency about 2040, he said. “The Army of Desert Storm, that awesome early ‘90s Army, the thinking and experimenting and doctrine writing of that happened in the late ‘70s,” he said. “So, we’re in the early ‘20s, and we’re talking about 2040. Now is the time to be aggressive and work together to solve tough problems.”