The Adaptive Execution Office (AEO) prepares and coordinates field trials of advanced technology developed by DARPA. At any point in time, DARPA has technologies in all stages of development, from nascent idea to system ready for fielding. Working with Combatant Commands (COCOMs) and Service partners, AEO establishes relationships that enable the rapid insertion of these technologies into military operations and exercises to address requirements and enhance war fighting capabilities.
In the process, DARPA program managers receive direct feedback on the operational utility of prototype technology, have access to real world data and achieve an increased understanding of how the technology performs under field conditions. COCOMs and Services get early exposure to DARPA technology and better understand how emerging capabilities develop into operational systems. The direct feedback and performance data from these interactions improves individual DARPA program development, execution and DARPA’s strategic planning and direction.
Such partnerships also serve the COCOMs and Services. The Agency has a unique perspective on emerging technologies, trends and potential opportunities to synthesize advances in disciplines that may be brought to bear quickly to serve the warfighter.
AEO's program for DARPA-COCOM interaction is the DARPA Forward Cell (DFC), initially established in Afghanistan and DARPA's first full time forward presence in a combat zone since Vietnam. DFC supports a portfolio of Joint DARPA Operational Trial (JDOT) programs to provide immediate combat capability, identify areas for future research and inform DARPA's longer term technology investment strategy.