Rapid Capability Assessment

Rapid Capability Assessment 12 (RCA 12)

27 - 31 March 2023

Concepts for Joint and Partner Communications in a Contested and Austere Environment 2035

Concept Overview

United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) S&T Futures, in cooperation with Norway’s Defence Research Establishment (FFI), seeks to investigate concepts for novel SOF-peculiar Joint and Partner Force Communications in the Force Development window. This Rapid Capability Assessment (RCA) will be conducted 27-31 MAR 2023 in Alexandria, VA. and will require full-time participation (~0830-1630 EST each day).

An earlier event, Innovation Foundry 12 (IF 12), “Joint and Partner Force Communication in an Austere and Contested Environment”, sought to develop concepts to support futuristic scenarios requiring Joint and Partner Force communications across a range of austere environments, a range of phases of military operations and with various levels of Joint and Partner teamwork. The goal was to ideate potential concepts to solve mission scenarios in a future (2035) great power competition scenario.

RCA 12 is the next step in the USSOCOM S&T Futures process. During this event, selected concepts will be developed further into capabilities. A group of experts from industry, academia, and defense will develop potential capability solutions that include market research of possible technology partners, a subsystem-level architectural breakdown, and a technology development roadmap. The teams will also generate initial Work Breakdown Structures and potential contract language to support follow-on capability definition.

Event Objectives

  • Develop a framework for Joint and Partner Force Communications in Austere and Contested Environments of the Future that establishes communications dominance across Joint and Partner Forces and enables SOF-peculiar concepts and capabilities.
  • Design a Technology Insertion Roadmap to assist USSOCOM in synchronizing efforts between TIRs, spend plans, and other acquisition and investment strategies.
  • Identify and prioritize near term investments for development and courses of action for potential implementation.


There are five major areas of focus for RCA 12:

  • Joint Interoperability Standards for Partner Force Operations, Command and Control, Computing and Communications
  • Low-Probability Intercept Communications
  • Backup Communications
  • Edge Comms and Computing Gamechangers
  • Contested Partner Force Logistics

Participant Tasks

RCA 12 participants will be tasked with developing detailed capability assessments of the above areas of focus, including but not limited to:

  • market research of potential technology partners (foreign and domestic)
  • a subsystem-level architectural breakdown
  • a technology development roadmap
  • initial Work Breakdown Structures
  • potential contract language to define the capabilities

RCA 12 groups may be asked to counter adversary actions using innovative technologies and processes that are appropriate for the 2035 timeframe and that are specific to their areas of focus.

For those that are selected for this event, there is potential for follow-on development and prototype OTAs from this selection.

Call for participation

We need experts to shape the framework that will potentially define Joint and Partner Force Communications of the Future.

If you have skills and interest in any of the areas of focus from any perspective, whether as a technology developer, strategist, end-user, or operator, and would be willing to help USSOCOM and NORSOCOM develop a framework for next-generation Joint and Partner Force Communications, we invite you to apply using the form below.

Participants will be selected to provide a diverse, challenging dynamic at RCA 12 with numerous different perspectives. Those selected to participate will receive an invitation to the RCA 12 event on 07 MAR 2023 at 1200 EST.

Selected attendees will be compensated upon event completion. Required elements for completion are full participation in project-based capability development tasks. Government employees and Government support contractors are eligible to participate but are not allowed to receive compensation for their participation.

We will be conducting an "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) on Wednesday March 22 at 1100 EST with Brian Sisco, Director of USSOCOM S&T Futures, and other representatives for this effort, to address any questions about the event.