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The Army Rapid Capabilities Office was created in August 2016 to expedite the delivery of critical combat materiel capabilities to the Warfighter to meet Combatant Commanders’ needs. The Office is headquartered in the National Capital Region.
The Army Rapid Capabilities Office rapidly develops, acquires, integrates and equips selected capabilities; implements streamlined acquisition methods, processes and techniques; and acts as an agent of change by challenging traditional approaches. The Army Rapid Capabilities Office is primarily focused on the highest priority Army requirements with an intent to deliver an operational effect within one to five years. This mission is complementary to Programs of Record that aim deeper into the future and to equip the entire Army for the full spectrum of war. The Army Rapid Capabilities Office is also distinct from the Army Rapid Equipping Force, which typically has a turnaround time of less than a year and delivers specific equipment to meet the urgent operational needs of forward-deployed units. The Army Rapid Capabilities Office provides select formations and areas of responsibility with broader capability solutions that cross portfolios, delivering a combined operational effect.
The Army Rapid Capabilities Office reports to a Board of Directors (BoD) led by the Secretary of the Army, and including the Chief of Staff of the Army and the Army Acquisition Executive. All decision-making authority related to Army Rapid Capabilities Office projects resides within the BoD and Army Rapid Capabilities Office construct, including addressing requirements refinement, acquisition tailoring, contracting execution, testing and potential limited fielding decisions. (If and when any Army Rapid Capabilities Office projects reach the Acquisition Category 1 level, milestone decision authority resides with the Undersecretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) (USD (AT&L)).
Key Operating Principles
Key operating principles for Army Rapid Capabilities Office include a short and narrow chain of command, overarching programmatic insight, early and prominent Warfighter involvement, and a collaborative integrated team of functional specialists. The Army Rapid Capabilities Office leverages innovation by other government agencies and industry partners, as well as Warfighter feedback, to deliver solutions on an accelerated timeline. Ordinarily, enduring capabilities resulting from these efforts will be transitioned over to a Program Executive Office for continued production, modification, sustainment, and support. The Army Rapid Capabilities Office provides expertise not solely focused on materiel; it seeks to provide holistic solutions that inform the Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership, Personnel, Facilities and Policy (DOTMLPF) impacts of implementing new capabilities within the operational Army.