Executive Summary

This review of the Science and Technology (S&T) program of the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR’s) Expeditionary Warfare Operations Technology Division, Code 353, comes at a time of considerable change in the Marine Corps and in ONR, which are currently in the midst of significant transitions. The Marine Corps is making plans to equip and train for engaging in a new style of warfare known as Operational Maneuver From the Sea (OMFTS) 1 and for performing a wide variety of missions in urban settings, ranging from humanitarian assistance to combat and mixes of these suggested by the term three-block war. During 1999, ONR assumed management of that portion of the Marine Corps S&T program that had not been assigned several years earlier to the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL). In 2002, control of most of ONR’s advanced development funding (6.3), and of much of its exploratory development funding (6.2), will move from ONR’s line divisions, of which Code 353 is one of many, to 12 new program offices, each dedicated to demonstrating technologies for future naval capabilities (FNCs).

Given these changes, it is not surprising that some of the projects inherited recently by ONR, and assessed by the Committee for the Review of ONR’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program under the auspices of the Naval Studies Board of the National Research Council, differed from the customary ONR project and were more akin to preacquisition or acquisition support than to S&T. It is also not surprising that Code 353 could not articulate its plans for future investments clearly and concisely, given the current uncertainty about the content of and funding level for FNCs.

The Marine Corps S&T program supports the five imperatives for technology advancement that the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) has identified as prerequisites for the transition to OMFTS: maneuver, firepower, logistics, training and education, and command and control. The committee supports investment in these areas and, in the report’s discussions and recommendations, follows the five imperatives.

1  

Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. 1996. “Operational Maneuver From the Sea,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., January 4.



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2000 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program Executive Summary This review of the Science and Technology (S&T) program of the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR’s) Expeditionary Warfare Operations Technology Division, Code 353, comes at a time of considerable change in the Marine Corps and in ONR, which are currently in the midst of significant transitions. The Marine Corps is making plans to equip and train for engaging in a new style of warfare known as Operational Maneuver From the Sea (OMFTS) 1 and for performing a wide variety of missions in urban settings, ranging from humanitarian assistance to combat and mixes of these suggested by the term three-block war. During 1999, ONR assumed management of that portion of the Marine Corps S&T program that had not been assigned several years earlier to the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL). In 2002, control of most of ONR’s advanced development funding (6.3), and of much of its exploratory development funding (6.2), will move from ONR’s line divisions, of which Code 353 is one of many, to 12 new program offices, each dedicated to demonstrating technologies for future naval capabilities (FNCs). Given these changes, it is not surprising that some of the projects inherited recently by ONR, and assessed by the Committee for the Review of ONR’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program under the auspices of the Naval Studies Board of the National Research Council, differed from the customary ONR project and were more akin to preacquisition or acquisition support than to S&T. It is also not surprising that Code 353 could not articulate its plans for future investments clearly and concisely, given the current uncertainty about the content of and funding level for FNCs. The Marine Corps S&T program supports the five imperatives for technology advancement that the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) has identified as prerequisites for the transition to OMFTS: maneuver, firepower, logistics, training and education, and command and control. The committee supports investment in these areas and, in the report’s discussions and recommendations, follows the five imperatives. 1   Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. 1996. “Operational Maneuver From the Sea,” U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., January 4.

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2000 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program Within recent months, Navy 6.1 (basic research) funds have been made available to Code 353 to initiate a basic research program in technology topics with the potential for applications to support Marine Corps priorities and requirements. Although this program is too new to permit evaluation of its progress, the report comments on the topics selected and proposes additional topics for new investment. The body of this report describes in detail the committee’s findings and recommendations concerning the individual projects now being pursued by Code 353. At the request of the Head of ONR’s Naval Expeditionary Warfare S&T Department (Code 35), the committee also reviewed the Extending the Littoral Battlespace (ELB) advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD). 2 The recommended actions, which include continuation, redirection, consideration for support from other budget categories, and termination, are summarized in Table ES.1 . The report also offers recommendations for alternative future Code 353 S&T investments. These recommendations are summarized in Table ES.2 . The strategy recommended for ONR that forms the basis of the committee’s individual recommendations on the Code 353 program can be described as follows: Eliminate from the Code 353 program, at an orderly but determined pace, preacquisition and other activities that do not conform to the usual ONR S&T standards of innovation and technical aggressiveness. 3 Leave system demonstrations principally to MCWL, fleet battle experiments (FBEs), and the FNCs. Embark on a discovery program to identify and refine technologies that can have a substantial payoff in achieving OMFTS. Exploit the talents and insights of other ONR divisions in program formulation and performer selection. With regard to the last point, the committee approves of the Code 353 strategy of physically locating its program officers near other ONR program officers working in similar scientific fields. However, although propinquity may be a necessary condition for successful informal interaction, it is far from a sufficient condition. Code 353 will have to make a special effort to achieve effective liaison. The committee recommends that ONR management demonstrate its commitment to supporting this interaction by doing the following: Providing additional staff to Code 353 so that program officers can interact effectively with their ONR peers and Code 353 can participate more forcefully in the management of the Marine Corps S&T program, and Communicating clearly that support of the Marine Corps is the responsibility of the entire Office of Naval Research. The committee believes that Code 353 has other important work to do beyond formulating and managing the execution of the Marine Corps S&T program and the supporting 6.1 program. Examples follow below. 2   The ONR ELB ACTD does not fall under the purview of ONR Code 353; rather, it is a program office reporting directly to ONR Code 35. 3   ONR’s mission is to maintain a close relationship with the research and development community in order to support long-range research, foster discovery, nurture future generations of researchers, produce new technologies that meet known naval requirements, and provide order-of-magnitude innovations in fields relevant to the future Navy and Marine Corps. See ONR’s description online at < http://www.onr.navy.mil/sci_tech >.

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2000 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program TABLE ES.1 Summary of Recommendations for Code 353 Projects and the ELB ACTD   Project Recommendation Imperative for OMFTS Maneuver JMDT Enlist other institutions in conducting controlled sensor experiments and in gathering, analyzing, and publishing databases.   RST-V Consider other power plants such as the micro gas turbine, and evaluate lithium battery safety.   MEFF-V Support, but periodically reevaluate payoff.   Autonomous Operations Design new vehicles to accommodate autonomy. Monitor the work of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and others.   Simulation-based Acquisition Ensure Marine Corps specificity; include cost. Reexamine funding category. Firepower ETAL Look beyond ETAL to targeting multiple mobile targets.   OCSW Maintain a funding line for new starts.   CLAWS Transfer to future naval capability. Logistics Bulk Liquids Complete and transition EPS. Continue sensor exploration. Consider water.   Corrosion Focus on AAAV.   Modeling and Simulation Simplify TLoaDS setup. Assess airlift vulnerability.   SUL Use error-correcting codes. Devise means of synchronizing databases. Develop and test decision aids. Training and Education SUTT Quantify payoff. Develop a formal evaluation plan.   Motion Capture Continue, but demonstrate cost-effectiveness of fidelity.   Wearable Computers Continue through demonstration; include evaluation.   RSEDG (SBIR Phase II) Continue through demonstration; include evaluation.   STO Scoring Withhold approval until angular accuracy is verified.   MOUT Continue through demonstration and evaluation.   MAGTF FOM Review, reevaluate feasibility, and adjust as indicated.   MAGTF XXI and TDGs Incorporate evaluation plans. Command and Control Harsh Environments Terminate.   JTRS Mobile Network Minimize JTRS requirements accretion. Explore ad hoc networking technology.   JTRS Antenna Continue funding, but seek alternatives to body mounting.   Mobile DF Coordinate with the National Security Agency and others. Focus on vehicle-mounted antenna performance. Reexamine funding category.   PC-based TDOA Review feasibility; terminate or redirect to exploration of various processing algorithms.   Wideband Tactical Communications Map out experiments. Consider for incorporation in SUL ACTD.

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2000 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program   Project Recommendation 6.1 UWB Ranging Consider for 6.2 funding.   UWB Channel Coding Consider for 6.2 funding.   Low-power CMOS Consider for 6.3 funding.   Multiple Sensors Continue, but structure to account for Marine Corps needs.   Multisource Mobile Program review by Code 31.   Thin-film Batteries Continue materials task, but transition prototyping to 6.2.   Fuel Cells Look for a transition to 6.2.   Modeling Power Systems Look for an early transition to 6.2. ELB NA Focus on experimentation. Minimize development investment. Learn how to accommodate outages. Perform a security analysis. Quantify capacity requirements. Collaborate. NOTE: For definitions of acronyms, see Appendix D Because the OMFTS concept has usually been described qualitatively and without target dates, no mechanism exists for quantitatively assessing the payoff in mission effectiveness that a possible improvement in technical performance would provide, and no guidance is given regarding target dates for meeting technology needs. Without such mechanisms and explicit milestones, ONR will find it hard to transform a largely performer-driven program into one responsive to requirements and opportunities. Without such mechanisms, opportunities to adjust performance goals across the imperatives and to rebalance investments accordingly may be overlooked. For example, qualitative thinking suggests that precision targeting information allowing efficient and effective use of ordnance can reduce the need for logistics capacity, but quantitative analysis is needed to establish the extent to which technologies that provide more accurate targeting can decrease the lift required for munitions. Similarly, the lack of quantitative OMFTS goals—concerning, for example, the size of forces that must maneuver directly from ships to their objective and the distances involved—makes it difficult to assess the adequacy of systems based on current or clearly foreseeable technology. Because the Marine Corps has no organizational component responsible for establishing S&T requirements—a function performed instead by a working group that meets periodically—the committee recommends that Code 353 take an active role in: Urging quantitative analysis of the OMFTS concept and providing, if necessary, some of the support and technology for such analyses; and Creating technology roadmaps that predict the performance levels and availability dates of the systems that are based on technologies that Code 353 and others are exploring. Code 353 program officers should achieve more in their interactions with their peers than an exchange of ideas about how to direct the Marine Corps S&T program. They should make their peers aware of Marine Corps needs so that, to the greatest extent possible, the Navy S&T program—which

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2000 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Marine Corps Science and Technology Program TABLE ES.2 Summary of Topics Recommended for New Investments   Topic Imperative for OMFTS Maneuver None, other than 6.1 research in mine detection phenomenology Firepower Concepts for weapons of controllable lethality   New concepts for mortars, hand grenades, and rifle grenades   Countersniper weapons   Sensor systems to support counterbattery weapons Logistics Vulnerability of sea-based logistics train   Shipment development/item location in shipboard environment   Innovative approaches to water usage Training and Education General military training   Proficiency training   Team training   Limitations of close-combat computer games   A long-range research and technology plan for overall training and education that includes the rationale for selecting programs Command and Control Connectivity to joint and national sensors   Mobile networking for Marine-specific problems   Network security issues for MOUT and OMFTS   Networking the AAAV   Deception and other information operations 6.1 Investigation of other phenomena that could be incorporated into weapons of controllable lethality   Other fundamental research that could lead to better devices and techniques for urban warfare   Phenomena and devices for detecting mines, particularly remotely, and for mine countermeasures   Techniques for gaining and disseminating situational awareness in a Marine Corps context to enable informed maneuver   Materials that could reduce the logistics burden of OMFTS dwarfs the Marine Corps program in funding level—will benefit the Corps. Enhancing awareness of requirements for fulfilling the Marine Corps mission can be accomplished through program-specific interactions and also by facilitation of interchanges between ONR program officers, ONR-supported researchers, and the Marine Corps customers for ONR’s technology. Code 353 also should reach out beyond the naval services to learn about other technology developers and to sensitize those developers to Marine Corps needs. Overall, the shortcomings of the specific projects reviewed by the committee are not overly alarming, given the history of the program and the short time it has been managed by ONR. The committee hopes that ONR and Code 353 will treat the circumstances recounted at the beginning of this summary as an opportunity to formulate a new, technically exciting program that will help the Marine Corps achieve its goals for OMFTS.