Combatant Commander Essay

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Combatant Commanders' Integrated Priority Lists Drive Requirements
The 15 to 17-year U.S. Army acquisition process is too long to develop 21st century weapon systems. Conversely, the transition from soft-skinned High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) used during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, to up-armored HMMVW in 2005, and then beginning in April 2007, the introduction of the Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected (MRAP) vehicles in Iraq, represent a tall feat for any military and the prowess of the U.S. Army's acquisition system. Acquisition isn't the problem, it's the requirements process.
10 U.S.C. § 164 assigns a Combatant Commander the responsibility for the performance of assigned missions by the President (POTUS) or
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First, JCIDS provides the organizational and process logic to gather the IPL from each Combatant Commander. To explain, once a total of nine lists are secure, the Joint Staff J8 bins each prioritized shortfall using the Joint Capabilities Areas (JCA) taxonomy. Each JCA is served by a group of subject matter experts functionally adept at understanding what operational systems and acquisition programs exist within their "portfolio" of capabilities. These experts meet as a JCA specific working group and functional capabilities board (FCB) throughout the first and second quarters of every fiscal year to assess whether the capabilities necessary to mitigate the combatant commander's shortfall reside within a current program of record or not. Ultimately, a program evaluation is completed and the actions necessary to close the capability gap become clear. The outcome of this annual process is a Joint Requirements Oversight Council memorandum released each Spring detailing a list of validated capability shortfalls. This list is known as the Capabilities Gap Assessment. Here, it is reasonable to infer this Capability Gap Assessment could constitute a list of current and future operational requirements that 10 U.S.C. § 3013 directs the Secretary of the Army to fulfill on behalf of the Combatant

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