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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