The SLAD portfolio and evaluation structure are based strongly in the directorate’s long history of critically important and successful ballistics-based vulnerability assessment, which has supported the Army testing and evaluation activities. SLAD has continued to broaden its program base to include the assessment of the vulnerability of communications, networks, and information processing on the battlefield.
SLAD has taken the Mission and Means Framework (MMF) for analysis and incorporated it into a larger analysis methodology called Mission-Based Test and Evaluation (MBT&E). SLAD legacy tools only evaluate performance but not the effect on mission. The objective of SLAD’s MBT&E methodology development is to add the capability of assessing how the loss of performance affects mission requirements. MMF, a methodology described in the previous ARLTAB review,1 defines the “mission capability requirements” from the top down, starting with strategic national, to strategic theater, to operational, to tactical, to task. Thus, all of the tasks required to perform a specific mission are defined. “Capability” is defined from the ground up, starting with deployed forces, up through the subsystem, to the platform capability. Top down, a set of mission-required tasks is defined; bottom up, a set of mission capabilities is defined. The MBT&E analyses then match requirements with capabilities and the effects of threats on both, resulting in a “mission performance degradation assessment.” SLAD now has, conceptually, the capability to tie together all capability and performance metric assessment groups and/or tools into a mission framework, including those of the Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED); the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC); and survivability, lethality, and vulnerability assessment (SLVA). MBT&E is intended to provide the linkage between any functionality or degradation and mission capability. Three pilot programs have been identified for the application of this new methodology. One of the pilot programs will utilize S4 software (System of Systems Survivability Simulation) and MUVES 3 (Modular UNIX-based Vulnerability Estimation Suite) as tools within the MBT&E framework.
It is notable that after trying the MBT&E process, the Director of the Army Evaluation Center (AEC) decided that it would be used for all AEC projects. The systems capabilities analytic process demonstrated meaningful results that SLAD customers want. Using it, they can directly correlate testing and modeling results to mission task success. According to SLAD, the directorate is the only organization actively developing a process to link quantitatively from a system’s capabilities to a system’s components. This is an excellent example of an opportunity for the expansion of a successful methodology to application with other activities.
SLAD has now imposed a more formal structure for program management. The directorate has an internal steering committee (including both SLAD division chiefs) that provides management oversight of the system-of-systems analysis (SoSA) program manager and subordinate SoSA operating teams. In addition, the SLAD Director has stood up a project management office within his staff as a resource on project management processes, practices, and procedures for all programs within SLAD, including SoSA. SoSA and MUVES 3 are the two places where SLAD has been the most successful with
National Research Council. 2009. 2007-2008 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.