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Army innovation hub will set sights on Korean Peninsula

June 2, 2017 (Photo Credit: Pvt. Kihyun Kwon/Army)
The Army’s Rapid Capabilities Office — which works to field emerging technologies within one to five years in the arena of electronic warfare, cyber, and position, navigation and timing — has made the European theater its priority given Russia's growing assertiveness.

However, the organization’s director of operations said the office is setting its sights on the Korean Peninsula next.

“We’re looking very closely at the challenges in Europe, the challenge on the Korean Peninsula, all commandant commands … starting with Europe and then the Korean Peninsula,” Maj. Gen. Wilson Shoffner said during an AFCEA-hosted event in Northern Virginia on Thursday.

Following his remarks, he clarified to C4ISRNET that the Army's RCO has an eye on all combatant commands, but Korea will be the priority after Europe.

“We want to make sure we plug into the combatant commander there [on the Korean Peninsula]… and understand his needs and whatever operational needs he’s articulated, we’ll take a look at those, make sure solutions that we are pursuing get at his expressed operational needs,” he told C4ISRNET.

Officials have been more open about the challenging environment as a whole in the European theater to include the electronic and cyber arena as opposed to the Pacific.

“If you’ve paid attention to recent history, take a look at the experiences in the Ukraine,” Shoffner told an audience of mostly defense contractors, urging them to search online “two battalions destroyed in 10 minutes” in the context of how EW has been used during the Ukraine crisis. The video is “eye-opening in terms of how electronic warfare was used to set conditions for fires, which had a devastating effect on the Ukrainian forces. That’s got our attention," he added.

RCO has already delivered a prototype EW capability to Europe, which will participate in exercises with the next push taking place this fall into early 2018.

For all the combatant commanders, the RCO is aiming to “give the maneuver commander the freedom of action to be able to operate in a degraded environment, in a contested environment,” Shoffner said.
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