• Leave system demonstrations principally to MCWL, fleet battle experiments, and the FNCs.

  • Embark on a discovery program to identify and refine technologies that can have a substantial payoff in achieving Operational Maneuver From the Sea (OMFTS).

  • Exploit the talents and insights of other ONR divisions in program formulation and performer selection.

Transitioning Code 353’s program to a discovery program will be challenging in light of the program’s history and the interests and capabilities of its traditional performers; however, such a transition is necessary to build a much more technically exciting program than currently exists.

Balancing the Five Imperatives and Venturing Outside the Box

Chapter 1 (in “ Lack of Quantitative System Analyses ,” pages 11-12) noted that the five technology imperatives identified by the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) were a reasonable taxonomy for S&T investment but that the needs were interdependent, with improvement in one area potentially reducing the requirement for improvements in others.


The committee did not find a process in place for balancing investments in the technology imperatives in terms of potential contributions to Marine Corps operational effectiveness. Instead, approaches chosen and even levels of investment seemed to be determined by the performing organizations. Performers are expected to be advocates of their assigned mission, but as one aphorism reminds us, if one has only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Furthermore, institutions sometimes regard maintenance of a level of investment in their technology and approaches as a right that does not have to be justified in terms of potential operational payoff.

In Chapter 1 (in “ Lack of Quantitative System Analyses ,” pages 11-12) the committee noted that the general lack of quantification of force size and Ship-to-Objective Maneuver distance in the OFMTS concept could make it difficult to assess the value of a technology-enabled performance improvement. However, ONR can assist in the clarification of the OMFTS concept by identifying technologies that can support increasing force size and distance and estimating availability dates for these technologies.


The committee recommends that Code 353 build the necessary relations with MCCDC and other organizations to permit assessment of the operational payoff of a successful technology investment before investments are made in that particular technology, and that Code 353 have the authority to


ONR’s mission is to maintain a close relationship with the research and development community 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 description online at < http://www.onr.navy.mil/sci_tech/ >.

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