Paper: Army Modernization is Never ‘Done’

Paper: Army Modernization is Never ‘Done’

Soldier shooting
Photo by: U.S. Army/Staff Sergeant Jose H. Rodriguez

As the Army transforms to meet mounting global challenges and increased threats to the homeland, its work to modernize the force will never really end, the author of a new paper writes.

“To be clear, the Army will never be ‘done’ modernizing,” writes Maj. Roye Locklear, an Active Guard Reserve officer with the Florida Army National Guard’s 927th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.
“As we deliver Army 2030, Army 2040 and beyond, we are laying the foundation to persistently modernize in response to emerging technologies, evolving challenges and our adversaries’ actions.”

This persistent effort is critical, Locklear writes, for the Army to “remain out in front of near-peer adversaries, such as China and Russia.”

“The Army of 2040 will benefit from the current ongoing modernization efforts that seek to change how we fight, what we fight with and who we are as a force,” Locklear writes in “The Army of 2040: An Extension of the 2030 Goals,” published by the Association of the U.S. Army as part of its Land Warfare series.

He notes that the service is “four years into its largest transformational change” in more than 40 years, aiming to build a multidomain-capable force that can deliver speed, range and “convergence of emerging technologies.”

But Locklear also cautions that modernization without transformation could create a well-equipped force that is “short on critical resources.”

By 2040, he writes, China and Russia are expected to be in a position to undermine the United States’ global national security interests. As such, the development and growth of the Army of 2040 must be manned, trained and equipped, and it must lead with a focus on readiness to conduct large-scale combat operations.

“These types of operations are inherently joint in terms of scope and size of the forces committed, and they entail high tempo, high resource consumption and generally high casualty rates,” Locklear writes, adding that such combat will come with “levels of complexity, lethality, ambiguity and speed” not common in other types of operations.

As an example, Locklear cites the critical role that will be played by Army Materiel Command in large-scale combat operations, whose mission of providing supplies and helping keep equipment ready “will continue to be critical to the success of units in battle.”

“Sustainment in the Army of 2040 will continue to determine the depth and duration of Army operations,” he writes. “Successful sustainment enables freedom of action by increasing the number and quality of options available to the commander; it will remain as a key enabler to retaining and exploiting the initiative.”

Read the full paper here.