The Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli re-emphasized details of the Army’s Modernization Plan and what is “necessary” in conceiving the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle as he met with more than 200 industry representatives at the second Ground Combat Vehicle Industry Day held at the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center in Warren, Mich., Nov. 24.
Both GCV Industry Days-the first held in October-laid out the requirements for the conceptual prototypes of the Army’s future GCV. Chiarelli reminded the audience that the GCV would have to meet the challenging landscapes / terrains of today’s changing battlefield environments, and be able to be just as adaptive as the enemy.
The general admitted that he would be the first to say that he didn’t know “exactly” what the GCV would look like today, or in 20 years, however, he was adamant when he said the reasoning behind all aspects of the Army’s current modernization strategy is to “improve Soldiers’ survivability and ensure they’re able to maintain a decisive advantage over whatever enemy they face.” He cautioned all not to rely on the old ways of doing business, stressing the need to keep an open mind in “our search for new ideas.”
The GCV program is a development effort headed by the Army’s Program Executive Office Integration and created due to the termination of the Future Combat Systems and its former Manned Ground Vehicles by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Chiarelli personally believes the “network” is the most critically component of the Army’s modernization strategy. “It will require an open architecture that will allow further plug and play development in the future as our network grows and matures,” Chiarelli said. He also said that for the foreseeable future, our forces would be sharing the battlefield with many different agencies, and organizations from the State Department to our allies and with those capabilities, the necessity for our networks to be compatible is crucial.
“The new GCV represents an essential capability for our modernization strategy. In fact, it represents one of the most important combat development and acquisition decisions we will make over the next seven years,” Chiarelli said.
Chiarelli told the audience that both the military and industry were partners, “These are undoubtedly challenging times, for our Army and for our nation,” he said. “We are in this together, and it is in all of our best interests to be successful.”
The general welcomed questions from the audience and later toured the TARDEC facilities.