The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD (SO/LIC)) established CTTSO in 1999 to consolidate its research and development programs previously administered by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence). The research and development effort that supports the interagency Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) was the first program to transition to CTTSO. The TSWG is divided into 10 subgroups, each chaired by senior representatives from federal agencies with special expertise in those functional areas. The Explosive Ordnance Disposal/Low-Intensity Conflict (EOD/LIC) Program, which develops advanced technologies for Joint Service EOD and Special Operations Forces (SOF) missions, transitioned in 2001. In 2007, the Irregular Warfare Support (IWS) Program was initiated to satisfy a growing need to improve the capacity of the United States to counter insurgencies and fight an irregular war. In FY16, portions of the EOD/LIC and IWS Programs that support the CTTSO mission were transitioned to TSWG under the Improvised Device Defeat/Explosives Countermeasures and Irregular Warfare and Evolving Threats, respectively.
The Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) is charged with providing a forum for interagency and international users to discuss mission requirements to combat terrorism, prioritize those requirements, fund and manage solutions, and deliver capabilities. The CTTSO accomplishes these objectives through rapid prototyping of novel solutions developed and field-tested before the traditional acquisition systems are fully engaged. This low-risk approach encourages interdepartmental and interagency collaboration, thereby reducing duplication, eliminating capability gaps, and stretching development dollars.