Faced with a complex and evolving security environment, Army Intelligence requires a directional and provisional blueprint for the future. This blueprint, described in the following pages, discusses how to leverage innovative concepts and Science and Technology (S&T) to adapt to current and emerging threats while informing the design of the future Intelligence force and systems; to target and develop the right technologies to support the future force envisioned in the Army Operating Concept; and to address future long-term requirements beyond 2035. Army Intelligence must partner with industry, academia, Department of Defense initiatives, the joint community and the Army’s acquisition community to develop the capabilities required to support the future force envisioned in 2025 and beyond.
In the November 1956 issue of ARMY magazine, Lieutenant Colonel Robert B. Rigg described the Army of 1974 as one in which Soldiers would routinely use exotic technologies such as rotor-wing aircraft, helmet radios, see-in-the-dark goggles, pocket radars and composite body armor. Additionally, he foresaw an operational environment filled with “mechanical spies” and seeing-eye drone scouts.” Today, one might view his vision as quaint or dated. The Army’s use of helicopters, combat vehicle crewman’s helmets, night observation devices, unattended ground sensors and unmanned aircraft systems is all taken for granted. What should be appreciated, however, is the scope and breadth of his vision to project these capabilities against a future operating environment in the years immediately following the Korean War, as well as the effort necessary to bring that vision to fruition. In 1956, advances in aerospace, sensing and communications provided a glimpse into what could be. Rigg extrapolated those emerging technologies and imagined how they could be integrated into a coherent means of fighting based on his interpretation of future threats and the American way of war. If the Army is to fight and win in future wars, it must thoroughly understand the challenges that it will face and how those challenges will impact the way it intends to fight. It must act now to ensure that it possesses a technological edge over its adversaries.