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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
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Development Planning

A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities

Committee on Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of U.S. Air Force
Pre-Acquisition Development Planning

Air Force Studies Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
                         OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.

www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS   500 Fifth Street, NW   Washington, DC 20001

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 is a report of work supported by Grant FA9550-14-1-0011 DEF between the U.S. Air Force and the National Academy of Sciences. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-31365-0
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-31365-1

Limited copies of this report are available from:

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Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2014 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
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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. C. D. Mote, Jr., 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. Victor J. Dzau 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. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
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COMMITTEE ON IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY
OF U.S. AIR FORCE PRE-ACQUISITION DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

CLAUDE M. BOLTON, JR., Defense Acquisition University, Co-Chair

PAUL G. KAMINSKI, Technovation, Inc., Co-Chair

FRANCIS J. BAKER, Wright State University

ROBERT F. BEHLER, Software Engineering Institute

W. PETER CHERRY, Ann Arbor, Michigan

KEITH A. COLEMAN, The Boeing Company

JILL P. DAHLBURG, Naval Research Laboratory

BRENDAN B. GODFREY, University of Maryland at College Park

JOHN M. GRIFFIN, Griffin Consulting

ROBERT J. HERMANN, Bloomfield, Connecticut

LESTER L. LYLES, The Lyles Group

WILLIAM L. MELVIN, Georgia Tech Research Institute

DAVID J. NICHOLLS, Institute for Defense Analyses

THOMAS E. ROMESSER, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (retired)

SONYA F. SEPAHBAN, General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc.

DAVID M. VAN WIE, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Staff

TERRY J. JAGGERS, Director, Air Force Studies Board

CARTER W. FORD, Study Director

MARGUERITE E. SCHNEIDER, Administrative Coordinator

DIONNA C. ALI, Research Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
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AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD

GREGORY S. MARTIN, GS Martin Consulting, Chair

DONALD C. FRASER, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (retired), Vice Chair

BRIAN A. ARNOLD, Peachtree City, Georgia

ALLISON ASTORINO-COURTOIS, National Security Innovations, Inc.

CLAUDE M. BOLTON, JR., Defense Acquisition University

STEVEN R.J. BRUECK, University of New Mexico

THOMAS J. BURNS, Great Falls, Virgina

FRANK J. CAPPUCCIO, Cappuccio and Associates, LLC

BLAISE J. DURANTE, U.S. Air Force (retired)

BRENDAN B. GODFREY, University of Maryland at College Park

MICHAEL A. HAMEL, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company

DANIEL E. HASTINGS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

RAYMOND E. JOHNS, FlightSafety International

PAUL G. KAMINSKI, Technovation, Inc.

ROBERT H. LATIFF, R. Latiff Associates

NANCY G. LEVESON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MARK J. LEWIS, Institute for Defense Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute

LESTER L. LYLES, The Lyles Group

ALEX MILLER, University of Tennessee

RICHARD V. REYNOLDS, The VanFleet Group, LLC

STARNES E. WALKER, University of Delaware

DEBORAH WESTPHAL, Toffler Associates

DAVID A. WHELAN, Boeing Defense, Space, and Security

REBECCA WINSTON, Winston Strategic Management Consulting

Staff

JOAN FULLER, Director (from October 20, 2014)

TERRY J. JAGGERS, Director (until October 17, 2014)

ALAN H. SHAW, Deputy Director

DIONNA C. ALI, Research Assistant

GREGORY EYRING, Senior Program Officer

CARTER W. FORD, Program Officer

CHRIS JONES, Financial Manager

MARGUERITE E. SCHNEIDER, Administrative Coordinator

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
×

Preface

The Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act (WSARA; Public Law 111-23) was enacted in 2009. Among its provisions was the direction to the Department of Defense (DoD) to implement development planning within DoD. Congress was concerned that DoD’s ability to properly plan for future capability needs had severely eroded. One of the inputs to this belief on the part of Congress was the 2008 National Research Council (NRC) report Pre-Milestone A and Early-Phase Systems Engineering: A Retrospective Review and Benefits for Future Air Force Acquisition.1 That report concluded that not only was DoD systems engineering in need of reinvigoration, but also development planning. In short, what Congress directed in WSARA was for DoD to regain its expertise in systems engineering, but also to do proper development planning, so that DoD would know what to systems engineer. While this appears to have been the right set of things for Congress to direct, implementation of development planning has been slow to meet the intent of WSARA.

Historically, the Air Force established a development planning process and used it extensively to, as accurately as possible, determine its capability needs throughout the 1970s and 1980s. A significant process within development planning, called Vanguard, was started in 1978 by General Alton Slay, then the Commander of Air Force Systems Command. From 1978 to the demise of development planning within DoD as a whole in the 1990s, development planning, and in particular

_________________

1 National Research Council (NRC), Pre-Milestone A and Early-Phase Systems Engineering: A Retrospective Review and Benefits for Future Air Force Acquisition, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2008.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
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Vanguard, supported the Air Force’s capability needs during both increasing and decreasing budgetary periods. Even though WSARA directed the reinstatement of development planning in DoD, and even though the Air Force has re-established development planning, there is concern that the full potential of development planning is not being realized.2,3

TERMS OF REFERENCE AND STUDY APPROACH

In this context, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology, and Engineering requested that the Air Force Studies Board (AFSB) of the NRC review the Air Force approach to development planning and provide recommendations to improve Air Force development planning.4 The NRC approved the terms of reference in February 2013 and appointed the Committee on Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of U.S. Air Force Pre-Acquisition Development Planning in January 2014.5 Specifically, the committee was asked to provide recommendations to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Secretary of the Air Force on the following topics:

1. How can development planning be improved to help improve near-term acquisition decisions?6

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2 See Section 3.4 of Air Force Instruction (AFI) 63-101/20-101, March 7, 2013, http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/saf_aq/publication/afi63-101/afi63-101_20-101.pdf.

3 For this study, it was difficult to find organizations in the Department of Defense (DoD) and industry that did something called “development planning.” When the committee did find DoD organizations that indicated they were doing development planning, it found a variety of definitions for development planning. As a result, the committee developed its own definition for the purposes of its report. The Navy (N81) provided a good insight to the Navy’s approach to a portion of the committee’s definition. For the Army, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology has been trying to institute some form of development planning, but this has been ongoing, and the Army is trying to determine how to codify it, although it was not clear when this would occur.

4 Appendix A provides the study’s terms of reference.

5 Appendix B provides short biographies of the committee members. The committee reflects extensive expertise in systems engineering (early SE), acquisition planning, capability planning, technology development, modeling and simulation, war gaming, life-cycle cost estimation, military utility assessment, and prototyping/experimentation.

6 The terms of reference are directed at Air Force development planning. The committee, however, recognizes that the Air Force, as it conducts development planning, needs to participate in Joint planning processes with other military departments and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. However, addressing the entire Department of Defense Joint planning process is beyond the scope of this report. The committee suggests that when the Air Force engages in the development planning process in this Joint environment that the best practices developed and demonstrated by the Air Force be considered by the other military departments and the DoD after demonstration and validation by the Air Force.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
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2. How can development planning be improved to help concepts not quite ready for acquisition become more mature, perhaps by identifying the need for more engineering analysis, hardware prototyping, etc.?

3. How can development planning be improved to enable the development of corporate strategic plans, such as science and technology investment roadmaps, Major Command capability roadmaps, workforce development plans, etc.?

4. How can development planning be used to develop and train acquisition personnel?

To address these four items, the committee held six meetings to both receive information and write its report.7 The committee met with senior Pentagon representatives from the Air Force, Army, and Navy, as well as representatives from three Air Force major commands. In addition, the committee visited two Air Force product centers, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, and the Space and Missile System Center, where much of the current Air Force development planning occurs. Finally, the committee received valuable input from several industry representatives to gain a perspective on how non-DoD organizations approach long-term strategic planning.

ROLE OF THE AIR FORCE STUDIES BOARD

The AFSB was established in 1996 as a unit of the NRC at the request of the U.S. Air Force. The AFSB brings to bear broad military, industrial, academic, scientific, engineering, and management expertise on Air Force technical challenges and other issues of importance to senior Air Force leaders. The board discusses potential studies of interest, develops and frames study tasks, ensures proper project planning, suggests potential committee members and reviewers for reports produced by fully independent ad hoc study committees, and convenes meetings to examine strategic issues. The board members were not asked to endorse the committee’s conclusions or recommendations nor did the board review the final draft of this report before its release, although board members with appropriate expertise may be nominated to serve as formal members of study committees or as report reviewers.

The committee thanks all the people who provided information, including guest speakers listed in Appendix C, their organizations, and supporting staffs. The committee also thanks the sponsor of the study, the U.S. Air Force, and David Walker, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology, and Engineering, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition

_________________

7 Appendix C provides a list of meetings and speakers.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
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and his staff. The committee is especially grateful for the NRC staff that provided superb and professional support throughout the entire study.

Claude M. Bolton, Jr., Co-Chair
Paul G. Kaminski, Co-Chair
Committee on Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of
U.S. Air Force Pre-Acquisition Development Planning

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
×

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:

Edward C. Aldridge, Jr., U.S. Department of Defense (retired),

Melani Austin, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company,

R. Stephen Berry, The University of Chicago,

Blaise J. Durante, U.S. Air Force (retired),

Alan H. Epstein, Pratt & Whitney,

Eric T. Forbes, 3M Aerospace and Commercial Transportation Division,

Ramayya Krishnan, Carnegie Mellon University,

R. Noel Longuemare, U.S. Department of Defense (retired), and

Paul A. Schneider. The Chertoff Group.

Although the reviewers listed above 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

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
×

of this report was overseen by John F. Ahearne, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, and Larry D. Welch, Institute for Defense Analyses. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were 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.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
×

Acronyms

A2/AD anti-access/area denial
ACC Air Combat Command
AFLC Air Force Logistics Command
AFLCMC Air Force Life Cycle Management Center
AFMC Air Force Materiel Command
AFNWC Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center
AFRL Air Force Research Laboratory
AFSAB Air Force Scientific Advisory Board
AFSB Air Force Studies Board
AFSC Air Force Systems Command
AoA analysis of alternatives
ATC Applied Technology Council
 
CCT capability collaboration team
CCTD Concept Characterization and Technical Description
CFL Core Function Lead
CFSP Core Function Support Plan
CMT capability material team
COCOM combatant command
CONOP concept of operation
CPT Chief of Staff of the Air Force planning team
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
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CREATE Computational Research Engineering Acquisition Tools and Environments
CSAF Chief of Staff of the Air Force
 
DCGS Distributed Common Ground Station
DoD Department of Defense
DSB Defense Science Board
DSG Defense Strategic Guidance
 
EMD engineering and manufacturing development
 
GAO Government Accountability Office, formerly the General Accounting Office
GHOST Geurts Hands-On Support Team
GMTI Ground Moving Target Indication
 
ICMB intercontinental ballistic missile
IR&D independent research and development
ISR intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance
IWSM Integrated Weapon Systems Management
 
JCS Joint Chiefs of Staff
JSTARS Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System
 
MAJCOM major command
MDD materiel development decision
 
NRC National Research Council
 
O&M operations and maintenance
 
PE program element
POM program objective memorandum
 
R&D research and development
RATPAC Revolutionary Acquisition Techniques Procedures and Collaboration
RDT&E research, development, test, and evaluation
ROI return on investment
Page xvii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Development Planning: A Strategic Approach to Future Air Force Capabilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18971.
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S&T science and technology
SAB Scientific Advisory Board
SAC Strategic Air Command
SAF/AQ Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition)
SAG Scientific Advisory Group
SECAF Secretary of the Air Force
SMC Space and Missile Systems Center
SOCOM Special Operations Command
SP3 strategy, planning, and programming process
 
T&E test and evaluation
TAC Tactical Air Command
TRL technology readiness level
 
WSARA Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act
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The development and application of technology has been an essential part of U.S. airpower, leading to a century of air supremacy. But that developmental path has rarely been straight, and it has never been smooth. Only the extraordinary efforts of exceptional leadership - in the Air Forces and the wider Department of Defense, in science and in industry - have made the triumphs of military airpower possible.

Development Planning provides recommendations to improve development planning for near-term acquisition projects, concepts not quite ready for acquisition, corporate strategic plans, and training of acquisition personnel. This report reviews past uses of development planning by the Air Force, and offers an organizational construct that will help the Air Force across its core functions. Developmental planning, used properly by experienced practitioners, can provide the Air Force leadership with a tool to answer the critical question, Over the next 20 years in 5-year increments, what capability gaps will the Air Force have that must be filled? Development planning will also provide for development of the workforce skills needed to think strategically and to defectively define and close the capability gap. This report describes what development planning could be and should be for the Air Force.

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