investments against the wrong yardsticks (e.g., saving money in narrow domains, as distinct from changing the very way the organization does business and improving effectiveness for mainstream missions). It is also common for investments to go awry because (1) the new technology is procured and used as an add-on without sufficient buy-in and influence by the organization's core responsibility and workers, (2) too much is done by committee without leaders and champions who understand the core business, or (3) the educational groundwork has not been laid. Despite much ongoing success, all of these M&S-related problems are visible in DOD's components, including the Navy and the Marine Corps.
Based on the history of technology assimilation and the specifics of the current situation with respect to M&S, the panel recommends that the Department of the Navy make a strategic commitment to the success of exploiting M&S. Such a commitment would have consequences for organizational structure and responsibility (although the panel makes no recommendations on such matters), investment mechanisms (e.g., assuring that investment funds are available without forcing program managers always to make tradeoffs within their own domains), and the establishment of clear policies and strategies that would make manifest the leadership' s demand for constant improvements in “validity” (as understood in the context of sometimes-extreme uncertainties) and usefulness to decision makers. As discussed above, the panel believes that the appropriate strategy would place considerable emphasis on warfare areas and cross-cutting modeling challenges, rather than still more emphasis on computer and software technology. To put this more bluntly, if funding tradeoffs are needed within M&S budgets, then the panel recommends giving higher priority to research improving model content rather than programming or reprogramming of current models.
In addition to investing in research to improve the quality and content of models, the Department of the Navy must organize, plan, and invest strategically if it is to enjoy the potentially great benefits of simulation-based acquisition. In doing so, it should take a long view because, as in other aspects of M&S, there are substantial obstacles. Success will be evolutionary over a period of decades.
One element of a strategy should be increased education in M&S for next-generation officers. The effective exploitation of M&S depends on the experience, knowledge, and wisdom of its practitioners, hence upon their education. The panel recommends increased Navy investment in such education at all levels: for those who acquire and design M&S tools, and also for those who rely on them to guide acquisition, training, and operations. Some of the education should be in the form of enhanced master's and Ph.D.-level programs. Other aspects should include short courses tailored for officers needing refresher courses, technology updates, and preparation for next assignments involving M&S management.