1

Introduction

With the end of the Cold War, the Army's budget for new equipment is being slashed by billions of dollars, from about $28 billion in research, development, and acquisition in fiscal year 1985 to a projected $9 billion in 1999. With $1.2 billion reserved for research and development (R&D), higher productivity is needed more than ever to maintain the operational capabilities of reduced force structures and lower costs of future systems. Laboratories must have the flexibility to exploit advances in civilian technologies, and to provide continual upgrades of existing systems. The Army will be challenged to meet these new needs.

The policy of the Army is to accommodate declining budgets by cutting acquisition of major new systems, while maintaining stable funding 1 for the technology base (the basic research, exploratory development, and nonsystem-specific advanced development that can lead to future systems and provide continuous improvement and upgrades of existing systems) (Department of the Army, 1994). The Army Materiel Command 's (AMC's) new Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is intended to be a central component of the Army's technology base. As such, ARL is seeking a role as the Army's flagship laboratory for basic research and exploratory development (Army Research Laboratory, 1993).

As the flagship laboratory for multidisciplinary research and technology development in support of the Army's technology base, ARL must shape its program according to the Army's needs for technology 5 to 15 years into the future (Army Research Laboratory, 1993). At the same time, it has customers to serve who may have short-range needs not only for advanced technologies but also for system performance assessments and field assistance. The proper balance between its long- and short-range perspectives must be maintained. ARL will also need to strike an even more difficult balance: between building excellence in its own research in the areas of unique and crucial interest to

1  

Technology base funding will remain stable around $1.2 billion from fiscal year 1994 to fiscal year 1999, with $200 million for basic research, $600 million for exploratory development, and $400 million for nonsystem-specific advanced development.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 20
THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options 1 Introduction With the end of the Cold War, the Army's budget for new equipment is being slashed by billions of dollars, from about $28 billion in research, development, and acquisition in fiscal year 1985 to a projected $9 billion in 1999. With $1.2 billion reserved for research and development (R&D), higher productivity is needed more than ever to maintain the operational capabilities of reduced force structures and lower costs of future systems. Laboratories must have the flexibility to exploit advances in civilian technologies, and to provide continual upgrades of existing systems. The Army will be challenged to meet these new needs. The policy of the Army is to accommodate declining budgets by cutting acquisition of major new systems, while maintaining stable funding 1 for the technology base (the basic research, exploratory development, and nonsystem-specific advanced development that can lead to future systems and provide continuous improvement and upgrades of existing systems) (Department of the Army, 1994). The Army Materiel Command 's (AMC's) new Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is intended to be a central component of the Army's technology base. As such, ARL is seeking a role as the Army's flagship laboratory for basic research and exploratory development (Army Research Laboratory, 1993). As the flagship laboratory for multidisciplinary research and technology development in support of the Army's technology base, ARL must shape its program according to the Army's needs for technology 5 to 15 years into the future (Army Research Laboratory, 1993). At the same time, it has customers to serve who may have short-range needs not only for advanced technologies but also for system performance assessments and field assistance. The proper balance between its long- and short-range perspectives must be maintained. ARL will also need to strike an even more difficult balance: between building excellence in its own research in the areas of unique and crucial interest to 1   Technology base funding will remain stable around $1.2 billion from fiscal year 1994 to fiscal year 1999, with $200 million for basic research, $600 million for exploratory development, and $400 million for nonsystem-specific advanced development.

OCR for page 20
THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options the Army on the one hand, and building partnership relationships with the best and most appropriate research and technology sources outside the Army on the other. If it is to be the flagship laboratory, ARL must have the funding, personnel, and administrative support necessary to pursue excellence, not only in its own laboratories, but also through access to technology sources outside the Army. Army laboratories and engineering centers have done excellent work in the past, as is manifest in the Army's superb capabilities worldwide. The science and technology activities of AMC, including ARL, the Army Research Office, and the Research, Development and Engineering Centers (RDECs) have greatly benefited soldiers and other users. The Tri-Service Science and Technology Reliance Program, codirected by AMC personnel, has reduced duplication by introducing Department of Defense (DOD)-wide R&D planning and cooperative research. But changing conditions have prompted reassessment of ARL's organization, its mission, and its personnel, procurement, and funding practices. This study assesses organizational and management options for ARL, focusing on four distinct options in addition to the status quo, ranging from an enhancement of ARL's administrative procedures within the current setting to the contracting out of the entire program, including management. It evaluates these options in terms of the following criteria: linkage to Army strategies and objectives; potential to perform world-class land warfare research; diversity and quality of research sources; technology transfer to the Army; ability to leverage funds and programs of organizations outside ARL; and ability to improve productivity with respect to recurring costs. This report distinguishes each option from the status quo, describes the conversion issues for each option and recommends potential responses, and estimates conversion costs. To put the issues for ARL in context, it defines the characteristics of world-class research operations, and it examines the quality and relevance of research at government labs, government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) labs, and federally funded research and development centers of the military services, such as Lincoln Laboratory. The committee did not assess the scientific content of the ARL research program itself. (The committee's full statement of task is in Appendix A.) This assessment, by necessity, depends heavily on expert judgement. First of all, ARL is in a state of transition, and in its current form it has little past record to judge. More fundamentally, research management can rarely rely on quantitative data on outcomes and relationships. When necessary, the

OCR for page 20
THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options committee has compensated for the lack of quantitative data with expert judgement from within and external to the committee. THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY ARL is a multidisciplinary applied research laboratory conducting weapons and weapons-related basic research, exploratory development, and performance analyses. Formed in late 1992, it was conceived to be the Army's demonstration laboratory in support of DOD's Laboratory Demonstration (Lab Demo) Program (see Chapter 3; Atwood, 1989). The intent of the laboratory demonstration was best summarized by the Federal Advisory Commission on Consolidation and Conversion of Defense Research and Development Laboratories in 1992: The goal of the Lab Demo Program is to increase local management authority and flexibility to approach that of a GOCO laboratory while retaining the advantages of closer customer ties enjoyed by DOD laboratories. ARL is intended to be the Army's flagship laboratory under the authority of a single civilian director, performing long-range research not linked directly to Army systems. ARL provides the broad technology base to support the wide variety of Army missions in the future. The Director of ARL reports to the Commander of AMC, the Army's research, development, acquisition, and logistics agency for nonmedical systems. The current mission and program emphases of ARL were developed from the Army's Lab 21 study (Department of the Army, 1991) and the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (1991) decisions, and were influenced in great measure by the organizational elements assigned to ARL, which for the most part were derived from AMC's U.S. Army Laboratory Command. At the time of the Lab 21 study, the Army had no single laboratory organization with a widely recognized identity, like the Naval Research Laboratory. Thus, one of the more important things that came from the study was the insistence that ARL be a single entity. ARL's stated mission is to: Provide America's soldiers the technology edge by conducting a broadly based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technology directed toward new and improved materials, components, subsystems, techniques and processes, and by performing objective analyses of combat system performance. (Vitali, 1993)

OCR for page 20
THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options It carries out this mission in 10 broad areas which ARL calls “business areas”: Advanced Computational and Information Sciences; Battlefield Environment; Electronics and Power Sources; Human Research and Engineering; Materials; Sensors, Signatures, Signal and Information Processing; Survivability/Lethality Analysis; Vehicle Propulsion; Vehicle Structures; and Weapons Technology. These business areas are primarily supported with DOD funding categories 6.1 (basic research), 6.2 (exploratory development), and 6.5 (mission support), as well as some customer funds (Vitali, 1993). Table 1-1 provides a breakout of fiscal year 1993 funding. The 6.3A funding will be mostly phased out by fiscal year 1994. Mission support (6.5) is used by ARL for analysis and assessment of systems, as well as conducting occasional external studies. By fiscal year 1997, ARL 's total operating revenue will drop from $484 to $323 million (both in fiscal year 1993 dollars). No more than 30 percent of ARL's funding may be contracted out in fiscal year 1997. However, the committee has determined that planned budgets and personnel strengths will allow for only 20 percent to be contracted out in fiscal year 1997 (see Appendix D). TABLE 1-1 ARL Program Data (Fiscal Year 1993, $ Millions) Operating Revenue ($ millions) 6.1 (basic research) 37 6.2 (exploratory development) 172 6.3A (nonsystem-specific advanced development) 40 6.5 (mission support) 117 6.7 (engineering development) 2 Other appropriations* 59 Reimbursable customer program* 110 Revenues not available for ARL operations (53) Total: 484 * See Table D-5 for detailed listing.

OCR for page 20
THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options It is important to recognize that AMC's laboratories have already undergone two major realignments since 1985. In that year, it was consolidated in the U.S. Army Laboratory Command and given the mission of conducting basic research, exploratory development, and nonsystem-specific advanced development. It was also responsible for coordinating all of AMC's 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3A funding, including that of the RDECs. The intent was to reduce overlap, redundancy, and lack of focus. In 1992, most of the U.S. Army Laboratory Command and its seven “corporate laboratories,” along with a few other Army research organizations, were formed into a single laboratory, ARL, with efforts concentrated in basic research and exploratory development, and with no control over funding to AMC's RDECs. Organization ARL headquarters is in Adelphi, Maryland. There are 10 “directorates,” corresponding to the 10 business areas, as well as an Operations Directorate and an Advanced Concepts and Plans Directorate. ARL is still undergoing realignments and consolidation, and is scheduled to complete its formation in fiscal year 1997. Figure 1-1 is ARL's organizational chart. ARL directorates are currently located at eight sites in the United States: Adelphi Laboratory Center, Maryland (Headquarters; Operations; Advanced Concepts and Plans; Sensors, Signatures, Signal and Information Processing); Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland (Advanced Computational and Information Sciences; Human Research and Engineering; Weapons Technology; Survivability/Lethality Analysis); National Aeronautics and Space Administration Lewis Research Center, Ohio (Vehicle Propulsion); National Aeronautics and Space Administration Langley Research Center, Virginia (Vehicle Structures); White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico (Battlefield Environment; Survivability/Lethality Analysis); Watertown, Massachusetts (Materials); Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey (Electronics and Power Sources); and Woodbridge, Virginia (Electromagnetic Effects). Continuing consolidation will bring a further concentration of these facilities, through the closure of the Watertown, Woodbridge, and Ft. Monmouth installations, and the transfer of their activities to other sites. Adelphi and Aberdeen will be the main ARL installations.

OCR for page 20
THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options FIGURE 1-1 ARL organizational chart.

OCR for page 20
THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options THE ARMY TECHNOLOGY BASE INFRASTRUCTURE ARL is a vital part of the Army's research, development, test, and evaluation infrastructure. A view of how ARL fits into the science and technology organizational structure is illustrated in Figure 1-2. AMC's major subordinate commands which have organizational RDECs are the: Armament, Munitions and Chemical Command (soon to become part of the Industrial Operations Command) Armament RDEC (gun tubes, fire controls, munitions, mines, and warheads); Aviation and Troop Command Aviation RDEC (aviation structures, propulsion, electronics, and weapons); Belvoir RDEC (mobility, countermobility, bridging, fuels, and environmental controls); and Natick RDEC (food, clothing, shelters, airdrop, and individual equipment); Chemical and Biological Defense Command Edgewood RDEC (chemical and biological defense; nuclear, biological, and chemical reconnaissance and decontamination; and obscurants); Communications-Electronics Command Communications-Electronics RDEC (command, control, communications, and intelligence; electronic warfare; night vision; electro-optics; and surveillance); Missile Command Missile RDEC (missile/rocket systems and high-energy lasers); and Tank-Automotive Command Tank-Automotive RDEC (wheeled vehicles, tracked vehicles, and engineering support for fielded systems). The Research and Technology Process Figure 1-3 is a simple depiction of ARL's research and technology development process in support of higher level strategy, guidance and plans. The ARL process includes identifying science and technology needs it can satisfy, developing a research and technology program, executing funded basic research and exploratory development, and transitioning the scientific knowledge or technology to customers. Transitioning technology to a Program

OCR for page 20
THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options FIGURE 1-2 The Army technology base

OCR for page 20
THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options FIGURE 1-3 The ARL research and technology process.

OCR for page 20
THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options Executive Officer or Program Manager must be coordinated with the appropriate RDEC. Not shown in Figure 1-3 is ARL's mission requirement for performing an analysis of weapons and weapons-related systems. Numerous areas are analyzed, including: directed energy effects; ballistic vulnerability; nuclear survivability/vulnerability; human perceptual, cognitive, and psychomotor performance; soldier performance measurements; control, display, and workstation design; and structural analysis and dynamics. ORGANIZATIONAL OPTIONS To assess ARL's opportunities for the future, the committee defined four organizational and management options, in addition to the status quo. These options can be seen as points along a spectrum, from improvements within the current structure, through more radical changes in mission and governance, and finally to contracting out the management and performance of ARL's R&D. Properly implemented, each would be an improvement over the status quo, not only in the efficiency and flexibility of ARL 's personnel and purchasing systems, but also in more fundamental reforms, such as a more focused program, more flexibility in conducting research across the spectrum of the 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3A funding categories, better responsiveness to the Army's goals, and more fruitful relations with customers and other partners. Each of the options will likely be implemented by fiscal year 1997. For purposes of comparison, they are all assumed to have the same operating budget—that planned for ARL in 1997 ($323 million, in 1993 dollars). Implementation of any options will generate turmoil—some more than others. The options are discussed and compared more fully in Chapters 3, 4, 5, and 6. Briefly, they are: The ARL Enhanced option, involving reforms of ARL's administrative procedures within the current legislative and regulatory setting (the baseline case for comparison of options); The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) option, which builds on the ARL Enhanced reforms by further strengthening laboratory managers' discretion in personnel decisions and in forming cooperative partnerships with industry and other government agencies, based

OCR for page 20
THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options on the model of NIST, the Commerce Department's main industrial research laboratory; The ARL Multicenter option, in which most of ARL's research and development are contracted out to several centers of excellence, overseen and guided by a strong permanent staff of government technical and management experts; and The Government-Owned, Contractor-Operated (GOCO) ARL option, in which the entire program, including management, is contracted out to a single contractor. VISION OF FUTURE ARMY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND ARL'S ROLE This study is a timely one. ARL, inescapably, faces a period of dramatic change in its mission. The technology base is, arguably, more crucial to the nation's defense than ever before. At the same time, the assumptions underlying our defense are under intense scrutiny inside and outside the military establishment. Despite declining research, development, and acquisition budgets, the Army will continue to modernize. Modernization will be necessary to maintain a technological edge over potential enemies and to replace aging equipment. In the past, much of the Army's modernization was primarily accomplished through the development and procurement of new systems (known as “new starts”). However, future budgets will not support this approach. Future modernization will probably include a small portion (approximately 10 to 20 percent) of new starts, commercial buys (about 20 percent), and perhaps 60 to 70 percent using technology insertion (enhancing a fielded system by adding on or upgrading it with a new technology). To maximize the benefit of technology insertion, technologies would need to affect as many systems as possible; the emphasis is on broadly enhancing an entire force, rather than single systems. This process is known as horizontal technology integration (Garner and Hite, 1993). To manage this new modernization thrust, Army acquisition program managers would have to be oriented more toward technologies rather than systems. As the principal R&D laboratory in the Army, ARL would be best positioned to support horizontal technology integration. To accomplish this goal, ARL must have the flexibility and capability to focus its core competencies on technologies that cut across numerous systems and promise significant breakthroughs in performance. The future ARL will need to work directly with Army acquisition program managers to attain horizontal technology integration and with the AMC's RDECs on system-specific

OCR for page 20
THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options technologies. This report will emphasize the importance of ARL in supporting horizontal technology integration. The Committee's Approach In assessing ARL and comparing the four organizational and management options, the committee has sought to sweep away old preconceptions about what is or is not possible in improving military acquisition. That fresh perspective has revealed extraordinary opportunities. This report can only identify those opportunities. The Army must grasp them.

OCR for page 20
THE ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY: Alternative Organizational and Management Options REFERENCES Army Research Laboratory. 1993. Business Plan, Fiscal Years 1994–2004. 1(January). Adelphi, Maryland: Army Research Laboratory. Atwood, D.J. 1989. Laboratory demonstration program: Actions for improvement of the quality, productivity, and efficiency of DOD laboratories. November 20. Memorandum. Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. 1991. Report to the President. Washington, D.C. July 1. Department of the Army. 1991. LAB 21. Report prepared for the Secretary of the Army. Draft. Department of the Army. 1994. Army Science and Technology Master Plan. 1 (November). Garner, J.M., and R.V. Hite. 1993. Horizontal technology integration. Concept Paper. Headquarters, Department of the Army. November 8. Vitali, R. 1993. Briefing by Richard Vitali, Acting Director, Army Research Laboratory to the Committee on Alternative Futures for the Army Research Laboratory , Washington, D.C., May 24, 1993.