needed information to strategic, operational, and tactical users alike, for operations from humanitarian assistance to active combat. As the demand for ISR capabilities grows, the Air Force experiences increasing pressure to allocate resources effectively and to acquire needed capabilities efficiently, on time, and on schedule. Additionally, Air Force ISR capabilities will be increasingly required to interoperate with capabilities managed by other U.S. organizations and coalition forces.


In response to a request from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology, and Engineering, the National Research Council (NRC) formed the Committee on Examination of the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Capability Planning and Analysis (CP&A) Process. The NRC approved the terms of reference (TOR) for the study in March 2011 (see Box 1-1), and the Air Force funded this 18-month study in July 2011. Committee members were then selected and approved by the NRC for their backgrounds in academia, industry, and government (see appendix A for biographical sketches of the committee members). Subject-matter support was provided by the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Air Force for ISR.

BOX 1-1
Terms of Reference

The NRC will:

1.  Review the current approach to the Air Force corporate planning and programming process for ISR capability generation.

2.  Review various analytical methods, processes and models for large scale, complex domains like ISR and identify best practices.

3.  Apply the current approach and recommended best practices to the Air Force corporate planning and programming process for ISR, in the context of the future Joint, National and coalition partner environment.

4.  Recommend improvements/changes to existing analytical tools, methods, roles/responsibilities, organization and management, etc. that would be required to ensure that the Air Force corporate planning and programming process for ISR is successful in addressing all Joint, National, and Coalition partners’ needs.a


aAir Force ISR investments include the air, space, and cyberspace domains, which, in turn, provide critical inputs into the ground and maritime ISR domains. The Air Force sponsor requested that the committee focus specifically on the air, space, and cyberspace domains for this report.

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