Managing Materials for a Twenty-first Century Military
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Contract No. SP8000-06-C-0013 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Defense. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
Cover: A titanium splash. Titanium is a light, strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant metal that can withstand extreme temperatures. Titanium alloys have many uses in military systems, including in aircraft, armor plating, naval ships, spacecraft, and missiles. SOURCE: Gerald Petrak, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
COMMITTEE ON ASSESSING THE NEED FOR A DEFENSE STOCKPILE
ROBERT H. LATIFF, Chair,
HERMAN M. REININGA, Vice Chair,
Rockwell Collins (retired)
Sandia National Laboratories
BRUCE E. BLUE,
Freedom Metals, Inc.
KENNETH S. FLAMM,
The University of Texas, Austin
KATHARINE G. FRASE,
DONALD E. GESSAMAN,
STEPHEN T. GONCZY,
Gateway Materials Technology, Inc.
RALPH L. KEENEY,
EDWARD R. KIELTY,
Hall Chemical Company
J. PATRICK LOONEY,
Brookhaven National Laboratory
GRAHAM R. MITCHELL,
PETER C. MORY,
U.S. Bureau of Mines and Defense National Stockpile Center (retired)
DAVID C. MOWERY,
University of California, Berkeley
DANIEL B. MUELLER,
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
MADAN M. SINGH,
Department of Mines and Mineral Resources, State of Arizona
KATHLEEN A. WALSH,
Naval War College
JAMES C. WILLIAMS,
The Ohio State University
MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Study Director
TERI THOROWGOOD, Administrative Coordinator
NATIONAL MATERIALS ADVISORY BOARD
KATHARINE G. FRASE, Chair,
LYLE H. SCHWARTZ, Vice Chair, Consultant
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
EVERETT E. BLOOM,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (retired)
BARBARA D. BOYAN,
Georgia Institute of Technology
PETER R. BRIDENBAUGH,
Alcoa, Inc. (retired)
L. CATHERINE BRINSON,
JOHN W. CAHN,
University of Washington
The Boeing Company
Medtronic, Inc. (retired)
GEORGE T. GRAY, III,
Los Alamos National Laboratory
SOSSINA M. HAILE,
California Institute of Technology
CAROL A. HANDWERKER,
Sandia National Laboratories
DAVID W. JOHNSON, JR.,
Stevens Institute of Technology
ROBERT H. LATIFF,
Science Applications International Corporation
KENNETH H. SANDHAGE,
Georgia Institute of Technology
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
ROBERT E. SCHAFRIK,
GE Aircraft Engines
JAMES C. SEFERIS,
Strategic Analysis, Inc.
GARY FISCHMAN, Director
MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Senior Program Officer
EMILY ANN MEYER, Program Officer
TERI THOROWGOOD, Administrative Coordinator
HEATHER LOZOWSKI, Financial Associate
In the report language for the 2006 National Defense Authorization Act, the Armed Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives (HASC) directed the Department of Defense (DoD) (1) to review its policy for disposing of material in the National Defense Stockpile (NDS) and (2) to determine whether the NDS should be reconfigured “to adapt to current world market conditions to ensure future availability of materials required for defense needs.”1 In July 2006, in response to this request, DoD, through the Defense National Stockpile Center (DNSC) at the Defense Logistics Agency, issued a report suggesting that the National Research Council (NRC) be asked to carry out a study on the NDS.2 In response, the NRC formed the Committee on Assessing the Need for a Defense Stockpile to assess the continuing need for and value of the NDS and, if needed, to develop general principles for its operation and configuration. In carrying out this charge the committee was asked to
Describe, drawing on previous studies of the National Academies, current national defense materials needs, taking account of the recent evolution of the domestic and global materials supply chains and the impact of growing international materials needs on materials availability.
Re-assess the national need for the stockpiling and safe, secure, and environmentally sound stewardship for strategic and critical defense-related materials in the United States. In conducting this assessment the committee will consider other nations’ stockpiling initiatives.
Recommend general concepts and scenarios for the operation of any future national stockpile that would consider the roles of government, industry, and the wider materials community in the identification of specific defense materials needs.
By NRC standards, the time available to the committee to do its work (fewer than 6 months elapsed between the committee’s first meeting and this report going into NRC review) was much shorter than usual. As a result, the scope of the committee’s work had to be limited to what was achievable in a comprehensive way within the expedited schedule. The committee was not able to analyze in depth specific defense materials needs, but this report does provide an outline of those needs based on the work of other committees and studies, including NRC reports (as called for in the charge), the expertise of the committee members, presentations to the committee, and information gathered by committee members during the study. While the committee began its work by considering the narrow matter of need for the stockpile, its focus evolved over the course of the study to considering the larger matter of assuring supply. Also, while the committee drew conclusions on stockpiling as one method to assure supply—the core issue in the committee’s opinion—it did not have the time or resources to assess the safety, security, or environmentally sound stewardship of materials in the stockpile. These stewardship issues could be considered in any future work on the configuration of the stockpile. The committee, in fact, hopes that this study will only be a beginning and that serious consideration will be given to a more thorough, deliberate, and longer look into the important issues that remain.
The NRC populated the committee with members having a broad range of backgrounds and interests.3 They came from government laboratories, large and small companies, and academia. While several members had some experience or knowledge of stockpile history and operations, the subject was a new one for a majority of the members. This was by design, and the committee embarked on the study with no preconceived ideas about the outcome.
The committee heard from representatives of DoD, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Institute for Defense Analyses, the Department of Commerce, academic institutions, industry associations, and aerospace industries. It reviewed stockpile legislation, DoD policies, past studies by the General Accounting Office, the Congressional Budget Office, and the NRC, and other reports on national defense materials needs. The full committee met twice in open session and several times by teleconference.
Additionally, several members tasked with major report drafting responsibilities met twice in Washington, D.C. In both cases, the drafts were vetted by the committee as a whole. The committee then met a third and final time in plenary closed session to come to consensus on this report and its conclusions and recommendations.
While the study was under way, the NRC’s Board on Earth Sciences and Resources was in the midst of a related study, on minerals and mineral products critical to industry and emerging technologies in the U.S. economy. While neither committee was privy to the other’s private deliberations in closed committee sessions or draft reports, the committees did share the publicly available information they had gathered. This committee is grateful to the members and staff of the Committee on Critical Mineral Impacts on the U.S. Economy for their cooperation.
My thanks go to the committee for its extraordinary efforts to produce this report in a short time. Although members came together from a variety of professional backgrounds, the committee was united in its diligence and dedication to completing its task—a task all quickly saw as being important to the country. Overall, this was an enjoyable and educational experience. None of it would have been possible without the commitment of the NRC staff, who supported the committee’s work and made it possible for the committee to adhere to its expedited schedule.
The committee worked diligently to understand the legislation, policies, and actual operation of the NDS as well as legislation and policy governing other aspects of materials supply, logistics, and the defense industrial base. Significant effort was devoted to analyzing the history of stockpile operations as they relate to defense planning. In the end, the committee was struck by the fact that despite the efforts of interested organizations and dedicated individuals in DoD and the Congress to make critical and strategic materials decisions based on sound analysis and assessment of risk, the NDS remains a low-priority activity for DoD leadership.
The committee has attempted to call attention to the dramatically different situation in which the country finds itself compared with 70 years ago, when much of the stockpile legislation and policy was originally conceived. The globalization of materials production and supply has radically changed the ability of the United States to produce and to procure materials vital to defense needs. Yet, little has been done in the face of changed materials needs in the military nor have the methods of computing stockpile requirements or the means of assuring continued supplies been adapted to reflect these changes. The committee is hopeful that this report will be the catalyst for long-awaited and much-needed action.
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Jack E. Buffington, University of Arkansas,
John Busch, IBIS Associates,
Dianne Chong, The Boeing Company,
Fiona Doyle, University of California, Berkeley,
Steven W. Freiman, National Institute of Standards and Technology (retired),
Ivan L. Herring, General Motors (retired),
John D. Morgan, U.S. Bureau of Mines (retired), and
Subhash C. Singhal, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Elisabeth M. Drake, Massachusetts Institute
of Technology. Appointed by the National Research Council, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.