. "2. Science and Technology Budgets." Review of the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Infrastructure and Aerospace Engineering Disciplines to Meet the Needs of the Air Force and the Department of Defense. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2001.
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Review of the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Infrastructure and Aerospace Engineering Disciplines to Meet the Needs of the Air Force and the Department of Defense
FIGURE 2–2 Air Force S&T budget history. SOURCE: DDR&E, 2001.
defense and that S&T funding is the source of technology advancement in the industrial sector.
In the process of refocusing its priorities and as a result of reorganizations predicated by the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the Air Force eliminated the position of deputy chief of staff for research and development, which served as a strong advocate for science and technology. In addition, Air Force Systems Command has been combined with the Air Force Logistics Command to form the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC). Although this has streamlined AFMC’s processes for development, acquisition, and support of Air Force systems, it has also tended to reduce the emphasis on S&T. Currently, the highest S&T-dedicated position in the Air Force is the two-star Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) commander position at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFB) near Dayton, Ohio, which is several levels below the Air Force Council. The AFRL commander reports directly to a general (four-star), the commander of AFMC, of which AFRL is a part. AFMC headquarters is also located at Wright-Patterson. The AFMC commander’s responsibilities are very broad, including the programs at four product centers, five air logistics centers, three test centers, and two major specialized centers, in addition to AFRL. The AFMC commander has too many other responsibilities to focus on S&T, and without an S&T advocate at the Air Staff level where budget decisions are made, support for S&T has declined substantially.
The Air Force needs to establish a deputy chief of staff, who is also a member of the Air Force Council, with primary responsibility for planning and managing future Air Force scientific and technical resources. Among his duties, which should include all Air Force technical activities from research through initial production and maintenance, this officer should be the advocate for funding science and technology requirements and for modifying and tracking the implementation of S&T requirements to minimize instabilities in S&T and R&D funding (including new production processes), ensure that adequate funding is budgeted annually, and defend against attempts to “raid” S&T or R&D funds to meet short-term budget shortfalls in other areas. Finally, this officer should be responsible for ongoing assessment of the Air Force technical resources both current and future and should present that assessment to the periodic meeting of senior Air Force leadership at Corona. Ongoing assessments should include the following estimates:
The number of technical personnel necessary now and in the future, including skills, technical specialties, and years of experience;
The organizational base and operating requirements to