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AAEF: Air Assault Expeditionary Force C4ISR Testing & Evaluation

Ft Benning, GA   2006

The AAEF experiment was designed to support Future Combat System (FCS) and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Future Force Concepts.


The basic precept underlying this experimentation was to determine what FCS technologies could be accelerated to be introduced into units deploying to the war zone. 


The AAEF was intended to be a Brigade or Division sized force heavy in Army aviation assets that could self-deploy its LAV equipped battalions in Army heavy helicopters.  Based on experimental results, the Army was to design a FCS C4ISR-enabled AAEF for early entry as a strategic covering force.


The experimental AAEF platoon was conceived to be a microcosm of the entire expeditionary force. Surrogates were used instead in Spiral 1 experiments. The experimental design accommodated an organization that would arrive in a distant, hostile region of the world using small mobility platforms to provide unprecedented levels of both protection and lethality, as well as a network of networks that would seamlessly couple Joint weapon systems to form an unprecedented “lethality capability” to the ground force regardless of echelon. Importantly, the varied outcomes of this experimentation would be directly relevant to and focused upon the technologies and acquisition strategies to make them relevant to the current force.


For the AAEF Experiment, the Platoon Missions were as follows:


  • Route Security

    • Road clearance

    • Convoy escort/protection

  • Reconnaissance patrol

    • Counter-ambush/-mine

    • Automated reporting

  • Site security

    • Perimeter defense

    • Counterfire


As a function of this experiment, Bayonet Forward authored the following Tactics Techniques and Proceedures (TTPs), the first such TTPs published by the US Army Training and Doctrine (TRADOC) Command.

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