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Table of Knowledge Acts as Think Tank for Project Convergence Capstone 4

As the largest Army-hosted, joint, multinational experiment, Project Convergence Capstone 4 draws upon insights from previous experiments conducted not only in the United States, but across the globe in the Philippines, Australia and Europe.

Created in 2022, PC-C4's "table of knowledge" acts as the Army's think tank and generates key insights from observations for senior leaders to analyze how joint and multinational forces can effectively communicate, maneuver, fight and win in the future. 
Army Lt. Col. Ricky Jones, Army Maj. Derek Torrez, Jim Bailey and Russell Lange — all with the Army Joint Modernization Command — share previous lessons learned from the table of knowledge in Project Convergence 2022 and projected insights for PC-C4.

A service member stands in front of a trailer while posing for a photo.
Project Convergence
Army Lt. Col. Ricky Jones, assessment branch chief and field artillery officer with the Joint Modernization Command, stands in front of JMC’s trailer at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 21, 2024. Jones detailed the latest efforts with the Table of Knowledge during Project Convergence – Capstone 4.
Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. LaShic Patterson
VIRIN: 240221-A-YM380-1008

The table of knowledge consists of subject matter experts who begin the experiment by gathering observations through surveys and data collection. Jones wears several hats as the assessment branch chief, operational insights lead and field artillery officer. 
"This is the second iteration of the table of knowledge concept," Jones said. "We are a brain, using it as an analogy, that receives information through our [observation analysts], which are like our eyes and our fingers. Then, we make that into something that is of significance for senior leaders, not just a cruncher of numbers, but a communicator of expectations, future concepts and messaging." 
PC-C4 looks to assess and develop systems, equipment and technology through persistent experimentation, which will inform network systems, data-driven decisions and joint-warfighting concepts, allowing continuous learning, transforming capabilities and future readiness.

"One thing that Army Futures Command has done is establish a concept of persistent experimentation," Jones said. "The table of knowledge, which was a part of Project Convergence 22, came away with key takeaways and recommendations. We carry that forward through all of the planning leading up to execution." 
Torrez acts as the table of knowledge officer-in-command, also serving as the assessments branch deputy and force manager during PC-C4. He works with subject matter experts from the Capability Development Integration directorates to generate insights and articulate to senior leaders about technologies and concepts formulated within the experiment's four use cases for the Army's operating concept.
PC-C4 incorporates four use cases, including integrated fires, joint, forcible-entry operations, expansion of maneuvers for penetration and exploitation, and a combination of the three for the Joint and Multinational force. Torrez compared use cases in PC-C4 to scientific experiments that start by forming questions and hypotheses.

"Within each use case, there are mission threads, and the mission thread for us really captures the hypotheses that we're trying to answer," Torrez said. "As we developed each mission thread, it initially was an experimental question. That question might have been, 'How do robotic platforms enable expanded maneuver?' Over time, we continue to develop that into a hypothesis."
When a hypothesis is proven, it becomes a theory, and in the case of PC-C4, observations, if proven, become insights.

A service member looks into the camera with his arms crossed; behind him is a grassy area with portable buildings.
Project Convergence
Army Maj. Derek Torrez, assessment branch deputy and force manager for the Joint Modernization Command, poses for photo in front of JMC’s trailer at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 21, 2024. Torrez had finished describing the function of Table of Knowledge during Project Convergence – Capstone 4.
Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. LaShic Patterson
VIRIN: 240221-A-YM380-1009

"As we continue to experiment, we'll be able to answer how robots are employed in human formations," Torrez said. "The difference between an observation and an insight is that observation is raw data; it does not become an insight until we have witnessed that same observation a number of times. When we start to see trends [is] when we can then take that observation and link it to a capability document." 
Jones said some projected takeaways for the table of knowledge are using small unmanned aircraft systems, robotics, artificial intelligence and joint and multinational integrated capabilities.

"We're going to learn how robotic formations not just work alongside manned formations, but how those formations integrate and can execute complex and risky tasks — such as a breach, a crossing or a movement to contact against an enemy defensive position," Jones said. "We're trying to learn and expand on multinational and combined joint integration, how our formations can talk to each other, share data and collaborate." 
More than 4,000 service members and civilians from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Space Force will work together in the experiment's continuous learning campaign. According to Jones, the table of knowledge hopes to see the integration of sensors for offensive and defensive fires and how artificial intelligence and machine learning enable the commander to make decisions at the speed necessary for large-scale combat operations. 
"With the Marine Corps, we're doing a lot of collaboration on joint maritime sustainment with our different systems to include Army watercraft," Jones said. "For the Air Force, we are experimenting jointly with their agile combat employment capabilities. With the Navy, there's some fleet experimentational objectives they want to accomplish. We will synthesize observations on how the Combined Joint Task Force can leverage an experimental U.S. Navy command and control capability."

Bailey, senior integration analyst, and Lange, integration analyst, served as air defense artillery soldiers during the Cold War. Bailey developed the concept of the table of knowledge, answering the Army's efforts to go back to the strategies of the Cold War. He also expanded his talented team of experts from a table to an entire tent this year. 

Lange elaborated on the Army's shift in tactics. "We're going back to large-scale operations," Lange said. "In other words, the focus is now on the division, rather than the brigade, as the unit of action. In the Middle East, the brigade was the focus of that, and now, it's back to the division. Now, we have air [and cyber] threats that we didn't have to face as much in the Middle East."

Two men dressed in civilian clothing pose for a photo while shaking hands. Behind them is a portable building.
Project Convergence
Jim Bailey, senior integration analyst, and Russell Lang, integration analyst, shake hands after discussing their newest efforts for the Table of Knowledge during Project Convergence – Capstone 4 at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 21, 2024. Both men are assigned to the Army’s Joint Modernization Command.
Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. LaShic Patterson
VIRIN: 240221-A-YM380-1023

The table of knowledge relies on their experience in implementing new efforts to help the think tank become "super integrated," according to Bailey. The table of knowledge team started by adding use case deputies and operational research system analysts to assist the use case leads in managing the experiment's four use cases. 
"We added a use case deputy," Bailey said. "That use case deputy is handpicked from the Fire Center of Excellence, and what the ORSA does is they are the senior analytical officers who are on that team who can feed us after-action reviews or any critical data points. As things are happening, they're kind of painting the picture per mission thread." 
Bailey and his team also added observer writers to manage the observer analysts, who collect data during the experiment. 
"In the past, we had just all OAs," Bailey said. "This year, we added the OW, which is an observer writer, and they're subject matter experts in their functional areas. When you look across here, you have the intel, the space, the cyber, the fires and the [air defense artillery], and each of the OWs has several OAs, usually about three to five." 
With allies and partners from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France and Japan, PC-C4 aims to evaluate technology's potential to deter and defeat current and emerging threats. For the first time in Project Convergence experimentation, the table of knowledge included a workspace for multinational allies and partners to collaborate with the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force and French army elements. 
"We are working collaboratively to produce, in the stride of experimentation, information documents that are going to go to the Department of Defense, the leadership within our joint services, and Congress to help them make budgetary decisions," Jones said. "We're going to report on the capabilities that we are experimenting with today, which will be delivered to the Army of 2030." 
In building the Army of 2030, PC-C4 will test interoperability, demonstrate transformation efforts, expand war-winning capabilities and aid in delivering joint all-domain warfare for the future operating environment for the Army of 2040 vision.

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