5
A System-of-Systems Engineering Approach for Joint Sea Basing

BACKGROUND

Previous chapters in the report documented the specific conditions that have demonstrated that the joint Sea Basing concept lacks a clear joint definition and is currently characterized by disparate organizational and institutional views. The lack of an approved overall joint Sea Basing vision and empowered centralized planning authority has resulted in divergent efforts, a lack of clear communication among and within the military Services, and the absence of an effective top-level process or mechanism that might be successful in identifying and enabling a coordinated joint path forward.

While the committee agrees with the conclusion of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Sea Basing that Sea Basing is a critical, national, joint military competency to project forces rapidly from the United States, as yet no effective organizational entity has been commissioned that will bear the task of bringing this future joint military capability to reality.1 Even the basic working definitions and therefore the candidate technical solutions for achieving a joint Sea Basing capability differ by Service, resulting in little unanimity on key aspects of the way ahead in fielding a joint sea basing capability.

The crux of the problem, as determined by this study, is that one cannot realistically expect the Services to individually or collectively design the grand

1  

Defense Science Board. 2003. Defense Science Board Task Force on Sea Basing. Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Washington, D.C., August.



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Sea Basing: Ensuring Joint Force Access from the Sea 5 A System-of-Systems Engineering Approach for Joint Sea Basing BACKGROUND Previous chapters in the report documented the specific conditions that have demonstrated that the joint Sea Basing concept lacks a clear joint definition and is currently characterized by disparate organizational and institutional views. The lack of an approved overall joint Sea Basing vision and empowered centralized planning authority has resulted in divergent efforts, a lack of clear communication among and within the military Services, and the absence of an effective top-level process or mechanism that might be successful in identifying and enabling a coordinated joint path forward. While the committee agrees with the conclusion of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Sea Basing that Sea Basing is a critical, national, joint military competency to project forces rapidly from the United States, as yet no effective organizational entity has been commissioned that will bear the task of bringing this future joint military capability to reality.1 Even the basic working definitions and therefore the candidate technical solutions for achieving a joint Sea Basing capability differ by Service, resulting in little unanimity on key aspects of the way ahead in fielding a joint sea basing capability. The crux of the problem, as determined by this study, is that one cannot realistically expect the Services to individually or collectively design the grand 1   Defense Science Board. 2003. Defense Science Board Task Force on Sea Basing. Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Washington, D.C., August.

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Sea Basing: Ensuring Joint Force Access from the Sea scheme of joint integrated Sea Basing absent increased top-down guidance and a centrally managed system-of-systems approach. The complexity and difficulty of transforming diverse aspects of extant and programmed U.S. military capabilities in order to achieve an effective future joint Sea Basing competency require the coordinated development of a joint Sea Basing system of systems. The successful development of joint Sea Basing capabilities for the nation involves long-term capital investments in interdependent complex platforms, connectors, and supporting technologies, some of which exist today or are under development and some of which are yet to be developed. To succeed, such an effort must of necessity involve all of the military Services and the appropriate U.S. government agencies in a coordinated development process under a coherent set of ultimate goals, common standards, integrated requirements, and time-phased, mutually-accepted priorities. MAIN ELEMENTS OF A SYSTEM-OF-SYSTEMS APPROACH Creation of a Top-Level Joint Sea Basing Concept Vision Briefings to the committee indicated that there currently are widely divergent views among the various stakeholders and Service representatives regarding the joint Sea Basing mission, concept of operations, and required capabilities. This tendency to see the concept from primarily single-Service perspectives can be expected to continue until an empowered senior central authority exists to generate an approved, official Joint Sea Basing Vision. Given the complexity of a joint Sea Basing system-of-systems approach and the long-term nature of the major capital investments by Services in new platforms, development of advanced technologies, and the introduction of appropriate joint doctrine, such a unifying vision will be essential in order to best leverage existing currently programmed and future Service capabilities. The office that creates the Joint Sea Basing Vision will also have a continuing role in coordinating the long-term spiral development of the joint Sea Basing capability. Key provisions of the overarching Joint Sea Basing Vision should include the following: The joint Sea Basing mission statement, The joint Sea Basing concept of operations and employment, Identification of specific Service and agency roles and missions within the joint Sea Basing concept, The designation of a Joint Sea Base Planning Office that can grow into a Joint Program Office for the Sea Base and the appointment of a flag or general officer as the responsible system-of-systems executive to implement the Joint Sea Basing Vision and manage joint Sea Basing spiral development,

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Sea Basing: Ensuring Joint Force Access from the Sea The designation of a lead Service or Services to conduct joint Sea Basing field testing and experimentation, The appointment of a lead Service or lead agency for joint Sea Basing joint doctrine development, The publication of a joint Sea Basing technology roadmap, and The publication of a joint Sea Basing plan of objectives and milestones (system-of-systems master time line). Include All Service and Government Agency Programs in the Joint System-of-Systems Management Plan The designated Joint Sea Base Planning Office should centrally manage and deconflict requirements-generation and procurement programs for all Service components participating in the implementation of joint Sea Basing. The purpose of this effort would be to correlate Service requirements and advise Service procurements to appropriately exploit the interdependence of Service-specific capabilities while avoiding excessive capability duplication, redundancy, and conflicting acquisitions. This system is not intended to replace the current Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) or acquisition process but to provide a single source that coordinates and advises individual Services as inputs to the current joint process. Coordinate the Development and Testing of All Relevant Sea Basing Technologies Given the complexity and diversity and long-term impact of individual Service’s technological development and implementation on closely related programs, such as the sea base surface and air connectors with the larger joint prepositioning ships, a centralized management and coordination agent is necessary to correlate, deconflict, and integrate technology development according to the Sea Basing master plan. Only a central agency can possibly optimize technological synergies, maximize multi-Service applications, and minimize unnecessary redundancy or the duplication of currently uncoordinated efforts. Identify the Interrelationships Among Decisions on Diverse Programs, Technology, and Force Structure It was clear to the committee that individual Service decisions on specific technology roadmaps, force structure options, and developmental decisions and doctrines would have far-reaching impacts, including secondary- and tertiary-level ramifications, within and across broader Service and joint capabilities, doctrine, and force structure. One of the primary functions of a Joint Sea Base

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Sea Basing: Ensuring Joint Force Access from the Sea Planning Office would be the identification and management of the long-term ripple effect of various decisions and technology paths chosen. For example, the composition of the future Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), with either two or three large-deck amphibious ships, would have great impact on the capability gap analysis in terms of determining what future capability must be included in future programs. The doctrinal decision as to whether a Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) (MPF(F)) squadron would be expected to operate in a hostile environment absent the Sea Shield umbrella provided by Carrier Strike Groups (CSGs) and ESGs would have great impact on self-defense and survivability requirements and therefore on the cost of any future MPF(F) ship design. There are also questions relating to force structure that center on two main issues: command and use. If the sea base ships come under the Military Sealift Command (MSC), the Navy, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and so on, would somewhat lose control of these ships, as they would be manned by civilian crews and masters. Thus, unless specific agreements were made up-front, the degree of military control would be constrained unless the ships were involved in actual combat. If the ships are intended to be built to “combat” rather than to “commercial” survivability standards, will they be crewed by U.S. Navy personnel? If so, many force structure implications that impinge on recruiting, training, retention, troop strength, and so on must be addressed. SYSTEM-WIDE ISSUES FOR THE SEA BASING CONCEPT Strategic Airlift and Sealift Strategic airlift and sealift will continue to play an important role in ferrying troops from the continental United States (CONUS) to the sea base and in surging heavy equipment and resupply cargo from CONUS to advanced bases, intermediate bases, and, if possible, the sea base. There is much to be done in working with the Air Mobility Command (AMC) and the Military Sealift Command in identifying specific lift requirements and resources that might be available in a wide variety of national security contingency scenarios. Regarding strategic airlift and sealift, the committee concludes the following: It is not clear that the sea Services have adequately assessed future capabilities and interdependencies between AMC airlift and MSC sealift across the spectrum of potential scenarios for future crises and conflicts. Nor has any analysis been conducted to include the increased capabilities inherent in intratheater systems such as the Navy’s future littoral combat ship and the Army’s theater support vessel platforms. Increased cross-pollination with the AMC and the MSC and the Services is required in order to develop an integrated path forward in providing the best

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Sea Basing: Ensuring Joint Force Access from the Sea balance in the strategic and operational lift requirements for joint Sea Basing operations. In addition, theater support airlift, with precision airdrop capabilities or the possibility of landing (but not refueling) at forward locations, will also be available, if needed, to sustain the forces ashore as appropriate and feasible. Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Requirements Establishing, defending, and operating the joint sea base in either a contested or benign littoral environment will require a complicated, networked architecture of joint command and control, active and passive situational awareness, information fusion, and the ability to pass these capabilities easily from the sea base to operations ashore and then back again. The key questions regarding command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) requirements are as follows: Who will provide the bulk of this C4ISR support? Where will it be located? What is the joint C4ISR concept of operations and where is the joint master plan for bringing these capabilities online? Sense-Respond Logistics and Improved Inventory Control Most of the presentations before the committee focused on the hardware, platform, and connector facets of the joint Sea Basing concept. There needs to be equal emphasis on the new technologies and processes required for enabling efficient, sense-respond logistics concepts; conducting effective, selective on-and off-load operations; and effecting timely reload and redeployment options. Essential Technologies Roadmap Briefings to the committee convinced its members that there are many useful and potentially transformational technologies under development. However, the degree of compartmentalization of efforts, the absence of an empowered cross-Service coordination venue, and the lack of an overall Sea Basing technology roadmap provided a compelling argument for establishing a system-of-systems approach. Regarding the needed Essential Technologies Roadmap, the committee concludes the following: There is agreement on some of the fundamental essential enabling technologies for attaining the joint Sea Basing concept. However, there is currently no prioritized technology-development agenda and no centrally maintained time

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Sea Basing: Ensuring Joint Force Access from the Sea line for tracking the parallel development of relevant technologies that might be accelerated or adapted to multimission/multi-Service use. Only the publication of an approved Joint Sea Basing Essential Technologies Roadmap can bring order and synergy to the current, largely unstructured, and often divergent approach to technology development. VALUE OF A SYSTEM-OF-SYSTEMS APPROACH TO ACHIEVING JOINT SEA BASING CAPABILITY A system-of-systems approach to achieving joint Sea Basing capability would be of value in the following ways: As “conceived-and-born-joint” capability—the best path to achieving a joint Sea Basing vision and concept of operations; For avoiding excess costs of implementation by helping to prioritize individual Service and agency investments; By offering incentives for joint contributions and investments; Through the identification and coordination of parallel or sequenced development; and As the best structure for identifying and anticipating the ripple effect of early decisions upon other related components. RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendation: A Joint Sea Base Planning Office—directed by a Navy flag officer or a Marine Corps general officer—should be established. The director of this office should report to an appropriate official in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The Department of the Navy widely describes Sea Basing as being transformational. The committee agrees with this description. If implemented as described in the concept document,2 Sea Basing will occasion fundamental changes in the way that the Navy and Marine Corps operate, and it will create a truly new National Joint Capability for the future. Sea Basing would have a profound effect on force structure, logistics, training, and supporting infrastructure. Thus, it cries out for a management system that can emphasize and implement an effective systems engineering approach. The current system—with concept development, research and development, procurement, modeling and simulation, and other 2   ADM Vern Clark, USN, Chief of Naval Operations; and Gen Michael W. Hagee, USMC, Commandant of the Marine Corps. 2003. Naval Operating Concept for Joint Operations, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C., September 22.

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Sea Basing: Ensuring Joint Force Access from the Sea activities all apparently proceeding independently, and in some cases redundantly or on diverging tracks—will not yield the envisioned capability. Recommendation: In order to facilitate the management of multi-Service efforts through the use of common terminology and technologies as they create the various elements of the sea base and the airborne and seaborne connectors, and to focus the overall effort, the entire sea base effort within the Joint Sea Base Planning Office should be managed under a name—for example: “Joint Maritime Prepositioning and Sea Basing Force.” The committee recommends putting all of the various potential ship and aircraft types and programmatics, whether near term, long term, or thus far only in concept development, under a single rubric and management so that the future prepositioning force can be centrally managed for interoperability, complementary capabilities, and maximum overall efficiency, affordability, and warfighting synergy. Such an organizational construct would facilitate the orderly incorporation and spiral development of standardized and complementary new entries and improved designs over the long life of the Joint Maritime Prepositioning and Sea Basing Force (Future) effort. Recommendation: The U.S. Joint Forces Command should be designated along with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps as the initial lead Services in managing and executing the joint Sea Basing spiral development process. Recognizing that while full jointness in Sea Basing remains the ultimate goal, suitable force structure, existing or near-term capability, and relevant past expertise in this realm today reside almost exclusively within the Navy and the Marine Corps. The Army plans for a new Combat Prepositioning Force, to include the Afloat Forward Staging Base, are evolving within Army transformation and are not yet at a stage of maturity but should be included. Under the current approach to Sea Basing, the Air Force has been largely ignored, but it should instead be included as a major participant in the primary area of force deployment and sustainment. Recommendation: The Joint Strike Fighter program should be used as a model to manage the joint Sea Basing spiral development process. The Services’ recent experience with developing, coordinating, and managing the immensely complicated Joint Strike Fighter program provides a suitable model for effecting the broader transformational process; this process could bring diverse Service and agency force structures, cultures, and capabilities to a new level of cooperation and interdependence as embodied in the joint Sea Basing concept.

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Sea Basing: Ensuring Joint Force Access from the Sea Recommendation: The Joint Sea Base Planning Office should create a joint master plan for technology development, based on an integrated systems-of-systems engineering approach, for the Services to use in developing the components of the sea base within their assigned jurisdictions. As stated above, the early publication of a comprehensive technical roadmap is the first step in introducing a system-of-systems approach to Sea Basing and would go a long way in bringing order and purpose to the disparate array of independent research and development vectors that characterize today’s Sea Basing development efforts. Recommendation: A “platform-agnostic” joint capabilities-based approach should be applied to developing the initial joint Sea Basing doctrine, procedures, operational concepts, network-centric architectures, and mission requirements. Resolution of many complex and difficult decisions regarding specific platform, connector, and hardware choices will be shaped over a lengthy period of joint experimentation and the joint spiral development process. To jump-start the joint Sea Basing development process, it would be better to concentrate initially on developing a platform-agnostic approach, which focuses on a system-of-systems look at appropriate Service roles and missions, new requirements, tactics, doctrine, processes, essential technologies, and desired capabilities. Recommendation: The Department of the Navy should identify one large vessel to be used as a testbed for resolving the known problems, including those related to connectors and internal cargo handling, involved in at-sea cargo transfer at Sea States 3 and 4, or two such vessels if required for an integral flight deck in order to explore issues associated with potential future heavy-lift aircraft. A joint testbed platform, or two platforms of different types if necessitated by the heavy-lift aircraft issue, should be used by the Department of the Navy for joint experimentation and spiral development of the joint Sea Basing concept/ Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) capabilities and prototypes. The committee recommends designating a large-displacement vessel as the Sea Basing joint testbed for the conduct of joint experiments to evaluate hull design modifications, connector interfaces, advanced at-sea cargo-handling technologies, and relevant operational, logistics, and information technology initiatives and innovations. Joint Sea Basing spiral development will clearly proceed as an ongoing effort of experimentation and prototyping well beyond initial operational capability as Service doctrine and requirements are refined. A well-coordinated and appropriate joint experimentation and prototyping investment is

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Sea Basing: Ensuring Joint Force Access from the Sea required in order to successfully and efficiently integrate and field a new joint Sea Basing capability that will be relevant in answering the nation’s future needs. Some large vessels, such as an Army large, medium-speed roll on/roll off and, if needed, a reserve carrier, may already be available in the inventory being maintained as contingency assets for rapid activation in a crisis and should be considered as suitable Sea Basing testbeds.

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