Solving the Challenges of Change
Late last month, U.S. Army leaders in charge of tactical communications sat before the House Armed Services Committee and presented a new plan for the Army network. The proposed way forward involved some bold steps to stop programs and move funds to deliver what the warfighters needs: reliable and secure communications that perform in the fight today and are capable and adaptable for use against emerging threats in the future.
While it was not part of the exchange between lawmakers and officers, the Army remains in a exposed position on the ridgeline, largely because of change. Emerging threats, new capabilities and tactics, and evolutions (or revolutions) in technology are just a few of the dynamic factors that impede progress and frustrate all parties involved: lawmakers, Army leadership, industry and of course, those who rely on technology for their mission – the warfighters.
The fact remains, however, that the capabilities currently provided by wideband radios are a game changer that enhances our fighting forces.
Change is not easy and what the Army has been undertaking with its network strategy—fundamentally a migration from narrowband to advanced and highly-capable wideband technology—can best be described as a paradigm shift. The fact remains, however, that the capabilities currently provided by wideband radios are a game changer that enhances our fighting forces. It’s for good reason that we should sprint—not walk—forward to put this capability in the hands of the warfighter.
That’s a statement the Army and Members of Congress (not to mention warfighters) can agree with, but the questions are how and why aren’t we closer to success? The answers to both: change.
Change as a Barrier to Progress
Looking at the “why” question, just when the Army appears close to fielding a technology that meets operational requirements, something happens that necessitates changing those requirements....