The head of the Army’s newly retooled rapid capabilities office said senior leadership has tasked his organization with a focus to specifically deliver emerging hypersonics, directed energy and low-Earth orbit technologies.

Col. John Eggert, acting executive director of the newly named Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO), told attendees at last week’s AUSA Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Ala., his office will now operate under a board of directors delivering directed requirements and prioritized resourcing to work around traditional acquisition and prototyping efforts.

Col. John Eggert, acting executive director for the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office. (U.S. Army photo by Monica King)

“This office, the RCCTO, is enabled to take emerging technologies and build experimental prototypes out of that critical emerging technologies, and then rapidly take it out to the field to allow the operators a chance to use it and collect data,” Eggert said. “Army senior leaders were deliberate in adding the ‘critical technologies’ to our name, and that was to combat the so-called ‘valley of death’ where you have some immature technology that gets thrown over to acquisition and it kind of just languishes.”

The Army’s rapid capabilities office received its new charter in December, which included transitioning away from a sole focus on electronic warfare, position, navigation and timing, and cyber, while also setting up the new board of directors.

“This new charter actually pivots us to three new technology areas that are going to be critical in Multi-Domain Operations. The first is hypersonics, the second is directed energy and the third is space, specifically low-Earth orbit,” Eggert said.

RCCTO’s six-member board includes Army Secretary Mark Esper, Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, Vice Chief Gen. James McConville, top acquisition executive Bruce Jette, and Gen. Mike Murray, head of Army Futures Command.

“We don’t fit under Army acquisition. We don’t fit under Army Futures Command. We’re kind of a hybrid unit. We take all of our direction from the board of directors, which is made up of six individuals,” Eggert said.