Water and alternative energies will become increasingly important in the year 2030 and beyond. Here, Soldiers from the 1st Armored Division, and local residents, install a solar-powered water filter in Chaka 1, Lutifiyah Nahia, Iraq. (Photo courtesy of the Department of the Army)
Trying to anticipate what the world might be like in 2030 would seem to be in the realm of science fiction writers, but the Army is interested too.
Helping the Army to get a better sight picture on the future are some of the world’s greatest minds, from the academic and scientific communities, as well as the Army and Defense Department. Many of them met here at the Bolger Center for a week of participation in Unified Quest break-out study groups on future trends.
And, incidentally, science fiction writers, many of whom have advanced degrees in science and whose future visions are sometimes on target, were part of the collaboration process of Unified Quest.
The Army’s senior leaders think it is important for planning purposes to know where the service will be in 2030 and beyond, dates it terms the “deep future.”
The reason deep future is important is because plans often take decades to materialize into reality. First there are discussions and concepts leading to models and simulations; then to live experimentation, aka field exercises, to “battle-test” those plans with real soldiers; and, finally to put it in doctrine, from which real-world decisions are made in manning, materiel, tactics and strategy.
The process is dynamic, meaning these plans and concepts are continually revised based on new technologies and the ever-changing world.
Leading the future planning effort is the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC, the organization which heads the Campaign of Learning, of which Unified Quest 2013, the deep future study portion, is part.