Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO)
Rapid Reaction Technology Logo

The Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) develops risk-reducing prototypes and demonstrations of land, sea, and air systems that address mission-focused combatant command, joint-Service, and interagency capability needs to counter emerging threats and provide a hedge against technical uncertainty. RRTO provides the flexibility to respond to emergent Defense Department needs and address technology surprises within the years of execution and outside the two-year budget cycle, enabling the fielding of solutions to time-sensitive problems.

Mission & Vision
RRTO Mission:

RRTO develops prototypes and hosts technology demonstrations to counter emerging and anticipated threats in order to accelerate the delivery of resilient solutions leading to affordable warfighter capabilities. RRTO achieves its mission through partnerships with combatant commands, Service labs, Defense Department offices, other government agencies, the commercial sector, and academia.

RRTO Vision:

RRTO is the model for developing and demonstrating less mature, high-reward technologies that produce game-changing capabilities by leveraging nontraditional sources of innovation, interagency partnerships, and rapid prototyping.


The Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) was originally formed after the attacks of September 11, 2001, as the Combating Terrorism Technology Task Force (CTTTF). At that time, the Department of Defense (DoD) was trying to determine existing what science and technology capabilities could be applied to address the growing threat of terrorism.

In fiscal year 2006, the CTTTF migrated from being a te,porary task force to an established organization, reporting to the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Director, Defense Research and Engineering—now the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering. This led to the name change from CTTTF to RRTO and to a more permanent status within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. This shift acknowledged the need for a sustained focus on rapid response to insurgency and irregular warfare. In particular, RRTO’s experimentation and rapid prototyping have played key roles in the Defense Department’s efforts to develop new technologies, equipment, and corresponding tactics.


RRTO supports the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Emerging Capability and Prototyping mission to counter emerging threats and address technology surprise through proof of principle prototyping. RRTO's investments in proof of principle prototypes help validate the technical feasibility of a capability and explore its operational value. Technologies proven in the lab and ready to begin the transition to a relevant environment are good candidates for proof of principle prototyping. This type of prototyping effort culminates in a demonstration that collects data on key performance and allows the operational user to evaluate and offer feedback on a technology or capability. RRTO's programs focus on the areas of electromagnetic spectrum agility, countering weapons of mass destruction, countering electronic warfare, and developing cooperative, autonomous systems.


For assistance or questions please contact RRTO at osd.pentagon.ousd-atl.list.rrto-poc@mail.mil

RRTO Quad Chart Format

This template provides the format for submitting a quad chart with a white paper proposal to RRTO. Please include a white paper in the proper format when submitting the quad chart.

RRTO White Paper Format

This template provides the format for submitting a written proposal of no more than three pages to RRTO. Please include a quad chart when submitting the white paper.

RRTO Overview Brief

This brief describes the Rapid Reaction Technology Office organization and its overarching objectives and provides details on its business model.

National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council Report: Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism

This report validated the need for rapid prototyping to accelerate transition of new capabilities to operational users.

Rapid Reaction Program

Provide a hedge against technology risk

  • Identify and develop near-term capabilities to support irregular warfare needs
  • Complete efforts within 6 to 18 months
  • Actively seek partnership opportunities with DoD and non-DoD partners
  • Mature a capability to a prototype or demonstration
Quick Reaction Program

Accelerate conventional warfare capabilities

  • Identify and develop near-term capabilities to support conventional warfare needs
  • Required: complete efforts within 12 months of funding
  • Deliver a hardware prototype to demonstrate a capability
Emerging Capabilities Technology Development (ECTD)

Counter emerging threats

  • Identify and develop prototypes to counter emerging threats
  • Longer-term (12 to 36 months), mission-focused capability development that crosses functional domains and enhances the warfighter’s adaptability and resilience
  • Anticipate and inform formal joint and interagency requirements and acquisition processes
Biometrics and Forensics • • • •

Invest in promising biometric and forensic technologies that address emerging threats to DoD assets and missions to reduce operational risk and costs

  • Improve current technological solutions and processes to increase the completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of biometric and forensic information
  • Reduce the costs and footprint of biometric and forensic technologies employed by DoD
  • Focus on the rapid development of operational prototypes for testing against DoD applications
  • Leverage funding partnerships throughout the DoD and interagency organizations to mitigate funding risk and increase the likelihood of technology transition
Strategic Multi-layer Assessment (SMA)

Assess complex operational and technical challenges, which require multi-agency and multi-disciplinary approaches

  • Support all combatant commands (COCOMs), joint force commanders, and government agencies
  • With input from across the U.S. Government, academia, and private sector, Strategic Multi-layer Assessment develops solutions to COCOM-generated challenges and informs the command’s senior leadership
  • Priorities are set by the Joint Staff Deputy for Operations
  • Products are typically produced within 6 months and directly contribute to the decision-making process of the COCOM’s senior leaders
Innovation Outreach

Remove barriers to commercial technology utilization

  • Supports the Department’s Better Buying Power objectives by leveraging technology and emerging products developed by small, innovative businesses in the commercial sector
  • Solutions are sought to meet needs identified by combatant commanders, military Service organizations, other Defense Agencies, and interagency organizations
  • Supports the Department’s objectives of promoting effective competition and fielding affordable capabilities by developing new sources of innovation from commercial research and development investments
Demonstration Venues

Provide access for system developers, small businesses, and foreign companies to demonstrate technologies in a representative military environment

  • Thunderstorm provides the Office of the Secretary of Defense, interagency partners, combatant commanders, Services, academia, government laboratories, and commercial vendors with an enduring multi-intelligence technology demonstration venue. New and existing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance technologies can be integrated, evaluated, and assessed under real-world conditions with scripted and unscripted scenarios.
  • Stiletto is a high-speed vessel with an “electronic keel” that supports a wide range of equipment. The 88-foot-long boat is an experimental, all-carbon fiber craft that was designed to rapidly acquire, integrate, and employ new capabilities to explore the military utility of emerging technologies and concepts for special and expeditionary forces. Stiletto participates in coordinated exercises and technology assessments with the direct involvement of military commands, Services, and interagency partners.
  • Multi-Domain Demonstrations leverage existing demonstration venues and sites within RRTO and across the military Services to evaluate emerging technologies and prototypes at the system and individual component levels. Demonstrations focus on integrating emerging capabilities across space, air, sea, and ground domains, giving non-traditional businesses easy access to realistic environments. For example, RRTO sponsored testing of more than 300 systems at the Joint Experimental Range Complex (JERC) at the Yuma Proving Grounds since 2003. The results of these evaluations enable improvements to prototype systems, inform the procurement process for future enhanced capabilities, and alert operational users of capabilities in development.
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