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III. DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS Finding #] - Air Force Progress on Base-Leve] Automation. Within the limits of its current resources, strategy, and approach the Air Force is doing a good job of base-level automation' but much more remains to be done. sound. a. The concept of a standard base-level automated support system is Several decades ago, the Air Force made a fundamental decision on base-level automation. Tt decided there was a fundamental advantage in providing a standard data processing facility to each Air Force base, and that most common support systems would operate using that facility. This decision was reaffirmed and strengthened when the Air Force decided to enter into the Phase IV program to reequip the standard base facility while consolidating a number of different functional systems into a single ADP facility. The Committee agrees with the decisions made by the Air Force over 20 years ago: 0 To establish the air base as the point of focus for the build- ing of automated support systems, o To maintain a set of standard configurations for ADP hardware and software at all bases. In the Air Force, as in most organizations, the first introduction of automated data processing was to support the accounting and financial functions. Computers installed for this Purpose then began to support other functions. As the capacity of these was exceeded, equipment and software were acquired by other functional components of the organization to support their own activities. Starting in the early 1960s, the Air Force began to standardize its base-level automation support, first with a mainframe system to support supply, then with a separate system to support all other standard functions. At the time the planning was undertaken for Phase IV, there were four major functions within the Air Force that depended upon automated -13-

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support: accounting and finance, personnel, supply, and maintenance. Each of these is an Air Force-wide function, and the responsibility for general guidance and policy resides in its own separate Headquarters-leve] organi- zation. Each, however, directly supports and affects the activities of the air bases and the responsibilities that reside there. Hence, the Air Force elected to make the individual air base the focus of the automated data processing activities that support the corporate functions at that base. In conjunction with Phase IV, the Air Force not only provided for modernization and capital improvements, it also took other significant steps. For example, the Air Force: o Preserved the concept of the base-level system as the primary unit around which to organize its automated support activi- ties. O Provided a single facility -- hardware and system software -- to support the four "charter" functions of accounting and finance, personnel, supply, and maintenance, and to support the many other functions at a base that were in need of auto- mated data processing. O Established the concept of a standard family of computer equipment to be provided at all bases, having flexibility for variations among bases in size and mission. The Committee considers that these decisions were valid. Their effect has been to put the Air Force in position from which to move toward further modernization and functional improvements. b. The Phase IV capital replacement program is going well, but additional, we]~-directed efforts are needed to bring it to an orderly conclusion. The original strategy for Phase IV was: o To rigidly control the software functional baseline of the standard base-level applications as of 1980; o To replace obsolete UNIVAC and Burroughs hardware with the new Phase IV environment; 0 To convert the software functional baseline to run within the Phase IV environment and apply limited updates as necessary; o To do all this without loss of functional capability or degradation of response time. These objectives have been or soon will be realized at all instal- iations involved in Phase IV. -14-

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As with any new installation of this magnitude, there are "bugs" to be ironed out and some "fixes" are needed. In addition, there are issues that were not fully addressed during the difficult planning and implementation of Phase IV that must now be faced -- for example, the training of personnel for the new systems. There also are many simple improvements that can be made to systems now in place, that will lead to greater efficiency and broader functional capabilities. The Air Force is aware of the "bugs" and the "fixes" needed and of many functional improvements that need attention. A number of short-term efforts have been initiated to help users get the maximum benefit from the current Phase IV configuration or simple variations thereof. However, the Committee observes that no single Air Force document now exists that des- cribes an integrated plan, with priorities, schedules, and resources identified to accomplish the fixes and improvements. The Committee's suggestions on development of a Phase IV post- implementation enhancement plan are provided in Recommendation #l, Section IV of this report. c. The Air Force has taken important initial steps to evolve toward a more powerful post-Phase IV base-level system' but significant tasks remai n. The Air Force has done an excellent and imaginative job of using the so-called "requirements contracts" to augment the Phase IV configura- tion and to provide distributed processing power and direct support of users at the bases. Some of the functional area applications, such as the Core Automated Maintenance System (CAMS), are being incrementally improved beyond the capability achieved by merely converting the old software to Phase IV. A continuation and broadening of such efforts would exploit the Phase IV hardware/software foundation and provide significantly higher levels of base automation. Even though the Air Force was directed to buy, rather than lease, the Phase IV equipment, it appears to the Committee that there are possibilities for using the flexibility of the Phase IV con- tract's "technical replenishment clause" to update and expand the Phase IV portion of the standard base configuration, and the Air Force is encouraged to use this flexibility. The Air Force's efforts are almost certainly constrained by the fact that it does not have an announced policy for base-level automation spelled out in a declaratory document. Such a document is needed to enable internal Air Force organizations to plan, program, justify, fund, and coordinate their activities. In addition to looking into the policy area, the Committee thought it important to examine the Air Force's strategy for base-1eve] information systems. Al though there is no single strategy document, based on the documents, briefings, and programs that have been provided by the Air Force it appears to the Committee that the strategy has been: -15-

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o To supplement the Phase IV environment with a range of micro- computers and minicomputers, and LANs to convert them into a distributed processing network. O To provide an added range of base-level facilities, such as electronic mail, ad hoc on-1ine cross-fide inquiry, facilities allocation, scheduling packages, etc. O To provide an after-the-fact technical architecture to con- ceptually tie together the varied processors, terminals, work stations and data bases into a de facto network with distri- buted processing qualities. Having built this network and converted old functionalities, the major unintegrated single-function support systems (such as supply, maintenance, personnel, finance) are to be stream- lined and upgraded incrementally, with interfaces to and auto- mation of several previously manual functions. In some cases, such as finance, the set of old systems will be augmented by an entirely new system, namely the base-level component of the Comptroller Office of the Future (GOOF). But in mainline logistical systems, upgrades would be incremental. This is inherently a suboptimal strategy. What is needed is a standard base-level automation configuration for 1990, with a number of different type of computational equipment allowed. The instead limited Committee . noted that the Air Force has begun to address this need through a well conceived effort within the Air Staff (HQ USAF/ST) to develop a standard base ADP hardware, systems software, and communications architectures We applaud this start and would like to see it go further and faster. date, however, the efforts have been mostly contemplated and do not the needed roadmap to commit the development of the future teas information system. The architecture should be carried to a functional detail, showing where the individual syste' electronic mail switching; common storage; data entry ~ ~ To provide e-level Eve 1 no it of the future base-level Id be carried to a level of Dual system functions (e.g., data entry) wild be accommodated on a base, and at which processors or work stations. We would like to see that architecture fleshed out and then translated into a standard, upgraded base configuration. In so doing, we expect the Air Force will find that the goal of a distributed environment, with large shared data bases, com- prehensive protection, and decentralized processing, poses significant technical problems. These must be resolved before the Air Force can pro- ceed with implementation of the future base-1eve] architecture. stributed environment, with The development of a base-level architecture is not far enough along for the Committee to judge its potential success. It is our judg- ment, however, that considerably more attention must be given to the overall systems aspect of the architecture. It is not sufficient to provide communications networks and processors which can communicate over those networks. Questions of how to decompose applications to run in a distributed environment, how to share data bases and still protect the data from unauthorized access, and how to utilize a heterogeneous array of -16-

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processors in an integrated way must be dealt with. As described above, Phase IV was essentially intended to replace functions performed by older systems with the same functions on newer common hardware. Only limited capacity was added for growth and no capac- ity was added for reserve against such surges as might be triggered by crises or preparations for war. Only limited capacity was added for the improved capabilities that might serve more users. There were many good reasons at the time for such caution in the planning of Phase IV, but the effects of the decisions that stemmed from that caution are already being felt. For example, the Air Force soon may find itself with insufficient computing capacity at its bases. In addition, the Air Force is now dis- playing strong centrifugal tendencies, as exemplified by the variety of applications and equipment that have been identified and in some cases procured. The Committee has heard anecdotes and unverified quantitative arguments suggesting that at some bases the workload on the present Phase IV installations already exceeds capacity. The Committee has not enough data to judge whether this overload could be relieved by the use of more modern and efficient software. The Committee has no doubt, however, that the presently installed data processing capacities will inevitably be exceeded as a result of operational demands for increased capacity, improved quality, and better functional capability. Briefings by Sperry Corporation representatives indicated that a 50-fo1d increase in the capacity of a Phase IV system might be achieved by aggressively exploiting the "technical replenishment clause" of the Phase IV contract. But it must be noted that an annual work load growth rate of only 22-30 percent can easily consume a capacity growth factor of 50 in less than the permissible 20-year duration of the Phase IV contract. The Committee is more and more convinced that the Air Force must re-examine base-level projections and assure itself that the growth in the Sperry family of equipment, the evolving of tease-1 eye] architecture, and the attainment of a cohesive on-base automation environment (recommended elsewhere in this report) can accommodate the expected high growth rate through at least the year 2000. Otherwise, the Air Force will find itself facing another major equipment upgrade, with the inevitable disruption of on-base activities and the enormous effort required at all levels to specify, advocate, and install such an upgrade. We cannot predict tote] capacity required, except to note that it is much more than current capac- ity, it will change radically in time, and it must be adequate to run MACCOM-specific applications as well as the standard system. There are a number of technical arguments to support standardi- zation and configuration control, but the fundamental point is a military one. As time goes on, both wing and base functions become more and more dependent on automation support, to the point that the wings/bases cannot operate without base-level ADP. As stated earlier, the Committee agrees with the original decision to provide a standard ADP environment to be used

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in developing systems for individual Air Force bases. Furthermore, we believe the arguments for establishing a standard configuration for the base-level automation environment have become stronger, not weaker. Unless the base-level automation system configuration is standardized, with strict controls over the number of different hardware and software options that can be employed, the future development and maintenance of hardware and software will become a nightmare and hardware backup prohibitively expensive. The Air Force can procure the elements of the "standard configura- tion" referred to above under current and planned contracts: under the "technical replenishment clause" of the Phase IV contract for the improve- ments that Sperry is offering or planning in the near future; under the Air Force microcomputer requirements contract; under the planned mu]ti- station suPermicrocomputer buy; and perhaps under the advanced mini- computer purchase. Once the desired configuration is identified, it can be compared to the current configuration and inadequacies resolved in a consistent and logical manner. To express our thinking metaphorically, every base must have at least one standard automation "toolbox" and must use only the contents of the toolbox for specific base functions. The toolbox should include the right "tools" both for now and the future. Obviously, the toolbox wild change with additions and improvements, but there must be a controlling authority that monitors the standard base automation system configuration and the contents of the toolbox to keep up with changing needs and new technology. The Committee's suggestions for establishing a standard base- leve] automation configuration are provided in Recommendation #2, Section IV of this report. Finding #2 - A Window of Opportunity. The Air Force has a window of opportunity to rethink and reorganize several of the base-level functions for the 1990-1995 time period, and to specify information systems to support these functions. In many ways the base-level information systems resemble a set of "stovepipe" systems, each supporting a single base-level function. Many of the current base-level information systems, particularly those which were converted from the old Burroughs or UNIVAC environments to operate on Phase IV equipment, represent implementations of at least five to ten year old functional requirements. There is evidence, however, that the Air Force has taken steps to solve the problems of (~) out of date functional capabilities and (2) excessive functional compartmentalization flack of integration). The Air Force had been upgrading both the functional specifi- cations and the implementing code continuously up to the time the "base _ ~ ~ _

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line" was rigidly controlled during conversion to the Phase IV facili- ties. This evolutionary upgrading continues for current systems, in some cases incorporating major improvements, such as CAMS. For other func- tional areas, such as personnel and finance, the Air Force reports it has reexamined the functional requirements at the base, command, and Air Force levels and has designed new systems (including base-level components) in response to new requirements. The Committee has not yet investigated these reports and associated new systems. For each functional area -- 27 in all, according to the HQ USAF Program Management Directive -- the Air Force has undertaken to produce Base Information Analyses (BlA). Although the various BlAs differ somewhat in detail, they appear to be intended to: o Document current base-level information architecture in each functional area. O Identify problems in the current information flows. O Recommend new system developments and/or enhancements to solve these problems. In regard to the lack of integration, the Air Force also is traveling multiple paths in search of solutions. They are analyzing required interfaces, such as that between maintenance and supply, and identifyinq improvements that might be made to foster integration. But the Air Force recognizes that some interfaces cannot be identified in advance, such as those required to provide management information in response to as yet unspecified and probably presently unknown queries by a Wing Commander or an operations officer. Therefore, the Air Force is developing an architecture that it is hoped will allow all work stations to access the various computers on a base and communicate with each other and support inquiries and report requests which extract and combine data from more than one functional data base. In short, the Air Force is attempting to build on the original Phase IV concepts to Provide modernized base-level capability that would (~) provide a standardized and highly integrated canonical base-level environment (especially in hardware, systems software, and communications), and (2) institutionalize a process that would permit evolutionary changes in the development and integration of individual functional systems. The Committee was impressed with the Air Force's efforts in following the course outlined above, particularly in the base-level ADP environment and the maintenance system. I t appears to us that these efforts are weld launched and offer hope for successful implementation. But we believe that the Air Force may miss several extraordinary opportu- nities if present efforts are not broadened. These opportunities, which exist in large part because of the current and imminent near term successes of the base-level automation program, are: _] 9_

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to rethink and redefine base-level logistical requirements and the supporting information systems for the mid-199Os; and to analyze and define crisis and wartime needs for information of wing commanders, their staffs, and squadron commanders in carrying out their units' military missions. There is a good example of the value of this approach in modern commercial, highly automated manufacturing companies like General Motors and Genera] Electric. At first, they concentrated on providing modern computer-assisted design (CAD) technology to automate the design function, computer-assisted manufacturing (CAM) technology for the manufacturing function, and automated interfaces between the two. Such automation produced significant benefits, just as independent automation of the Air Force supply and maintenance functions has provided significant benefits. But these companies now realize there are limits to the available benefits from piece-wise automation; they realize they were in error apply ing the most modern technology without re-thinking the underlying pro- cesses they were automating. So, many firms are now reexamining the entire process, without the arbitrary division into design and manu- facturing. Presently, in advanced enterprises, the division is between technology and production, with the former providing integrated design and manufacturing productivity aids, and the latter being responsible for applying those aids to what has become a "seamless" (functionally integrated) process of design-manufacture. This new process, and the supporting information systems, almost certainly would not have happened by extending the old processes and building on the odd way of thinking in an evolutionary manner. a. Base-Leve] Logistics. The concept of process re-examination is relatively easy to explain on the logistics side. A major improvement in Air Force base-1eve] logistics is already in progress with CAMS. Improvements in the supply information systems will allow base-level maintenance personnel to enter requests for parts themselves, and find out availability and expected delivery time. AFEC item managers will be able to track status and location of their assets worldwide, in a timely fashion, and make appropriate decisions. In part because of the projected improvements in both base-level and wholesale level information systems, the Air Force is able to consider radical improvements in its maintenance, supply, and transportation strate- gies. In maintenance, the Air Force is already contemplating the shift from a strategy of repairing as much as possible on the flightline to one of replacing as many components as possible on the f~ightline, while dis- tributing and repairing the components at intermediate J eve] maintenance centers. The coming availability of more timely and accurate supply infor- mation makes Possible major changes in supply philosophy as well. One such change the Air Force is contemplating is a shift from a "demand-pull" -20-

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strategy of responding to requests from the bases, to a "supply-push" strategy initiated and managed by the item manager and the MACCOM-level supply officers. Similarly, major changes in intratheater transportation are also in planning. One example is the European Distribution System, which is analogous to the well-known Federal Express hub concept. This plethora of new information processing technology and major shifts in logistics strategy, suggests that a reorganization of the supply, maintenance, and transportation functions into an integrated logistics process may be in order and, more significantly, be possible. In any event, the Committee believes there is sufficient probable cause to consider afresh the information requirements for an integrated base-level logistics system. We favor a top-down perspective, rather than a bottom- up, incremental perspective of separate "stovepipe" maintenance, supply, and transportation systems. b. Base-Leve] Operations/Combat Support. The concept advanced here is more difficult to define for base-level operations/combat support. How- ever, the Committee believes opportunities exist for merging the wing and squadron-level operations/combat support system with some of the base- level functional systems, as the basis for a significantly enchanced wing/ squadron-level mission support system. One complication arises from the fact that the operations/combat support systems will be different for each MAdCOM. Another is that the missions they support in peacetime (such as training and peacetime transportation of Personnel and material) are in many cases quite different from the crisis and wartime missions. As a result, the operations/combat support analysis will be more difficult than the logistics analysis, it will take longer and it likely wild involve several iterations of top-down guidance and bottom-up statements of need, followed by top-down direction. We have not had the opportunity to review the MACCOMs' operational plans and the information systems designed to support them. Nevertheless, several observations lead us to believe that mission support functions are relatively neglected, and to suspect that a useful new high-1eve] system could result from a new functional analysis of mission support requirement on a MACCOM-by-MAdCOM basis. _ o Little of the Air Force's current base-level documentation and design effort appears to be devoted to operations, as such, and of that, the greatest part is directed at peacetime activities such as scheduling of personnel and aircraft for training flights. We have detected a pessimism on the part of Air Force officers regarding the feasibility of predicting the wartime needs of commanders. While we share that view when applied to high- leve] commanders, we do not believe it would be exceedingly difficult to predict the types of information that wing and squadron commanders and their battle staffs would need to support operations. This is especially true for the planning -21-

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of the second and later sorties of combat and combat support aircraft in non-nuclear warfare situations. O The top-down command and control and intelligence systems are planned and designed in isolation from the maintenance and supply systems, yet wing/squadron commanders will have to combine information from both in order to support military operations. Evidence of the need for automation support for wing and base commanders is provided in the effort introducing ADP through the Advanced Concepts Base Program, which seeks to: o validate the effectiveness and applicability of new technology in an operational environment; o demonstrate practical improvements in support to functional users; o evaluate new processes and strategies; and o avoid wasteful duplication of effort associated with uncoordi- nated prototyping. This small effort has succeeded in marshalling operations and combat support personnel to increase their effectiveness through the use of ADP. The group works on a bottom-up basis and reports to the Base Commander. This direct line to support the operations/combat support mission should be encouraged to stimulate prototype applications for evaluation by the information systems community for integration into the standard base-level automation environment. Those who have operations/ combat support roles will specify what they need to do their jobs better. In this way, the on-going needs of operations will be satisfied and such efforts can become candidates for inclusion in the total base-level automa- tion support system. The members of the Advanced Concepts Base Program team facilitate this concept without being information systems officers. The Committee has not seen much evidence that the Air Force appreciates its "window of opportunity" to develop new, top down functional designs for a base-level logistics system and a repertoire of command- sPecific wing/squadron level mission support systems. The Committee's suggestions regarding functional requirements analyses for new base-level operations/combat support and logistical systems are provided in Recommendation #3, Section IV. Finding f3 - Dependence of Wing/Base-Leve] Units on Automation Support. Air Force wing/base-level units are critically dependent on ADP support to fight effectively, but the necessary actions have not yet been taken to ensure these system capabilities are available for combat depioy- ment and operations. -22-

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Most of the Air Force officers with whom we have worked will acknowledge that this observation is true. That is, without portions of the supply, maintenance, and operations systems and data, plus command and control and intelligence systems, the Air Force cannot deploy or sustain military operations. Yet, evidence abounds that this observation is not reflected in current systems design, in equipment selection, and in practice: o Neither the deployable hardware nor software for the Combat Support System (CSSJ "formerly Deployable Combat Supply System (DOSS)] is used routinely in the peacetime base supply system. When deployed, the CSS provides a lesser functionality than that which is available in the peacetime system supported by Phase IV. Additional effort and resources are required to ensure that software is maintained up-to-date and supply personnel are adequately trained on both the peacetime and deployable systems. Due to these constraints, it is antici- pated that supply personnel will experience great difficulty in switching from the peacetime mainframe system to the deployable microcomputer system in time of crisis. O There is no standard deployable maintenance or operations system. o It is obvious that back-up repair and reconstitution of the base-level ADP environment becomes increasingly more difficult as the number of non-interchangeable essential components increase. Additionally, in this case there are significant problems of maintenance and cross-training. For these reasons alone, the requirement for continued ADP operation in a war- time environment should lead to a major reduction in the number of different brands and configurations of components of the base-level ADP environment. In fact, the opposite is happening. Yet another and different minicomputer is being procured for the deployable supply system, yet another unique architecture and equipment is being contemplated for its base- leve] personnel system, and the civil engineers are planning on still another type of computer system. The foregoing indicates that the Air Force is employing piecemeal measures to support deployment. Instead, it should take deployment into consideration as a fundamental objective of at J east its logistic and mis- sion support systems, without which the Air Force cannot effectively fight. The Committee's suggestions on automation support for combat operations are incorporated into Recommendations #2 and #3, Section IV. Finding #4 - Development/Maintenance of Base-Level Information Systems. The Air Force can realize significant technological improvements (and probably save money and manpower in the long run), if it changes the way it develops and maintains base-level information systems. -23-

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The Committee notes that the Air Force has devoted great efforts to the transfer, conversion, and transition of base-level systems from the old UNIVAC and Burroughs computers to the Phase IV computer systems. In the main, this effort focused on the preservation of the previous level of functional capability. From the earliest days of this study the Committee noted it had not observed planned, consistent efforts to upgrade applications produc- tivity. There was little evidence to indicate use (or planning for the use) of modern software development tools such as fourth generation languages, relational data bases, screen-driven program generators, application Prototyping, and the like. New applications software development and maintenance technology is available in the commercial sector, but its wholesale transfer to the Air Force tease-1 eye] environment is being hampered by a major capital (hardware) replacement program that does not include modernization of the application software. The Committee also concluded that little thought has been given to the use of commercial contractors in this area, even though many have modern tools that could expedite and improve software development and maintenance. We believe each new application and modification should be engineered so that it will be easy to use available productivity tools, introduce user-friendly techniques, develop compatibility and interfaces between existing and planned systems, reduce prototype and development time, and improve user participation in the development process. The Air Force personnel who spoke to this topic expressed a recognition of the desirability for movement toward more modern approaches, but expressed difficulty in making significant progress in this area. The difficulties appear to stem from the following: o The tradition and policy of using in-house personnel for software applications development at Gunter AFS tData Systems Design Office (DSDO)], Tinker AFB "Command and Control Systems Office (CCSO)], Lowery AFB tAir Force Accounting and Finance Center (AFAFC)], Randolph AFB tAir Force Military Personnel Center (AFMPC)], and at the MAdCOMs (for base-level MAdCOM- unique software), as well as heavy reliance on COBOL alone as a development tool. O The reported difficulty in justifying funding to acquire software productivity fools, commercially-available software packages, or to hire contractors. The chief difficulty appears to be the policy requirement to forecast savings in personnel, manpower spaces, money, or other areas as a pre- requisite for approval of requests to acquire such tools and capabilities. O The fragmentation of base-level efforts as cited above, where numerous functional entities, commands, and staff agencies are -24-

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planning independently or semi-independently to upgrade or modify existing systems, replace existing systems, or acquire totally new systems to be located at the base-level, in some cases using computers that are not directly compatible with Phase IV.* In its deliberations on this finding, the Committee felt that the Air Force would want to adopt the following objectives when considering an appropriate course of action: o To facilitate the introduction of new technology to support base-level applications. This should include such technology as software engineering productivity tools, modern applica- tions systems architecture, and techniques for enhancing and supporting near-identical software installations at over 100 sites. o To increase the use of commercially available software packages as major parts of the base-level systems. o To drastically reduce development time and costs. O To reduce the dependence of information systems in general-- and base systems in particular--on "blue-suiters" who are already in short supply in the Air Force and who are likely to be increasingly difficult to retain. O To strengthen the management structure and process for base- level automation, in order to ensure attainment of the preceding objectives. The Air Force faced a similar problem in the development of its weapons systems soon after its creation. The increasingly specialized needs of military aircraft and electronics made it difficult for the Air Force to order off-the-shelf subsystems and integrate these directly into weapons systems. In response, the Air Force shifted to a process in which it spent more time and effort specifying complex weapon systems required to support its missions. The Air Force established a System Program Office (SPO) for each major weapon system and it delegated broad authority to the SPO to ensure the successful completion of the program. The Air Force also shifted more responsibility--once the weapon system had been specified --to a single prime contractor, who not only would assemble but also would * Examples are the Automated Personnel Data System (APDS-~), which will use IBM Series ~ machines, and the CSS, which will use the Burroughs B26. In neither case is it possible to interact with the Phase IV systems without additional software, or to take advantage of the Phase IV data base management system (DBMS). -25-

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specify and procure the necessary subsystems, including those available off-the-shelf. And today, through a highly interactive process involving the SPO, the users, the prime contractor, and others, the Air Force contin- ues to specify enhancements even after initial procurement under which the contractor updates the weapon systems through subsequent models. As with weapon systems, today's modern information systems in the base environment are complex in purpose and in technology, they are very expensive, and they must support commanders and managers in both peacetime and wartime situations. The Committee has had the opportunity to observe the multiple activities that affect the present base-level systems; we believe this is the norm. A further consideration is that various system actions will be in different stages of system life and will require close engineering, management, configuration control, performance review, and budget controls to insure the Air Force receives acceptable results. If the Air Force were to consider base automation as it does weapon systems, we suggest it would decide such an approach requires the designation of a SPO and the use of a prime contractor. The Committee strongly believes the total base-level information systems complex must be addressed as a single management entity. Only in this way there can be proper planning, design, production, and coordi- nation, as weld as the assurance that compatibility will be preserved among the many functional systems supporting operational base activities and all the other functional entities that reside and operate on a base. The concept requires configuration control, standard maintenance and operations procedures, and use of the latest technology for imp~e- menting these procedures. For the Air Force base-level automation problem in particular, centralized, automated support is required for over lOO package installations, a situation faced by vendors of commercial pack- ages on a daily basis. Considerations of cost, development time, and the unavailability of Air Force information systems personnel, in our opinion, call for much more extensive exploitation of commercial packages and available application development aids. What is new is that such packages are now available for elements of many base-level systems. The Committee does not believe that piecewise introduction of new tools would achieve success and suggest the Air Force may have to introduce them in a broader way, perhaps in connection with implementation of one of the major, new base-level systems discussed earlier. The Committee's suggestions on measures to improve the management of the base-level automation environment and the introduction of new appli- cations software development and maintenance technology are provided in Recommendation #4, Section IV. -26-