The Charter for Air Force Capability Development, signed by Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force, and General USAF Mark A. Welsh III, Chief of Staff, on June 2, 2016, including the attachment “Capability Development Terms for Reference,” is reprinted below.
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
To deliver timely and effective Air Force (AF) capabilities for the Joint warfighter, AF leadership needs a mechanism to recognize the highest priority operational challenges and opportunities and align them with strategy, planning, programming, requirements and acquisition activities across the enterprise. This mechanism will be implemented by the Air Force Capability Development Council (AF CDC), an 0-6 Level Capability Development Working Group (CDWG), and a supporting AF Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (SDPE) office. Chaired by AF/A5/8, the CDC is a 3-Star Level Governance Board that provides strategic direction and integration of operational Air Force capability development activities across the Air Force enterprise. The CDWG acts as the working group in support of the CDC. The SDPE supports the CDC by marshaling AF resources to explore materiel and non-materiel solutions to challenges spanning multiple domains or service core functions.
This charter establishes the AF CDC, CDWG, and SDPE office. The AF CDC is a governance body designed to identify the key strategic questions related to operational capability which require AF senior leadership direction. It will also serve as a verification body for new and
ongoing capability development efforts. The purpose of the AF CDC and its supporting organizations is to: 1) prioritize and integrate AF capability development across the enterprise, 2) ensure the Secretary of the Air Force (SecAF) and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF) have direct and clear oversight of capability development, and 3) prioritize and integrate capability development planning decisions into all elements of Strategy, Planning, and Programming Process (SP3).
3. OVERSIGHT AUTHORITY
SecAF and CSAF will provide AF CDC guidance and oversight. The AF CDC will use a variety of existing senior level decision forums to ensure appropriate engagement across the breadth of the AF, examples include Air Force Corporate Structure, planning choices, and SP3 engagements. The AF CDC will also establish priorities for Strategic Development Planning and recommend creation of new Enterprise Capability Collaboration Teams (ECCT), as needed, to SecAF/CSAF. The CDC will leverage and align with the authorities already established by the Headquarters Air Force (HAF) Mission Directives that provide specific authorities as to roles and responsibilities. This will ensure unity of effort, avoid duplication of functions, and optimize use of resources.
The AF CDC will provide the CDWG guidance, oversight and tasking authority. The CDWG will report its activities and deliver recommendations for verification by the AF CDC. Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) will organize, train, and equip the AF SDPE Office. All SDPE sponsored experimentation campaigns will be planned, programmed and executed under the authority of Commander, AFMC.
The AF CDC will establish strategic objectives for capability development activities across the AF. These objectives will be aligned with senior leader direction and appropriate AF and national level strategic guidance to include, but not limited to: National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, National Military Strategy, Defense Planning Guidance, Quadrennial Defense Review, Nuclear Posture Review, Air Force Strategic Environment Assessment, Air Force Strategic Master Plan, Air Force Future Operating Concept, Core Function Support Plans, or the individual Reserve Component Plans. AF CDC responsibilities include:
- Validate the prioritization of capability gaps, provide framework for opportunity development, and direct associated capability development activities
- Identify focus areas for Air Force capability development activities across the breadth of AF including Special Access Programs (SAP) activities
- — Establish ECCTs for enterprise-wide and multi-domain Air Force Capability Development
- — Drive necessary activity (i.e. Capability-based Assessments, Analysis of Alternatives, experimentation) across capability gaps, seams, and opportunities
- — Deliver decision quality analysis for senior leader action in a timely manner.
- — Provide guidance to Capability Collaboration Teams (CCT)
- Oversee and direct Air Force Strategic Development Planning .and Experimentation
- Serve as the primary AF decision making body for capability development decisions by integrating requirements, programming, and acquisition considerations
The CDWG supports the AF CDC by:
- Serving as the working group to the AF CDC
- Reviewing and assessing progress of AF Capability Development on a periodic basis for adequacy and timeliness, and making recommendations to AF CDC for direction
- Recommending prioritization of AF capability gaps, strategic opportunities and capability development efforts to the AF CDC
- CDWG recommendations and decisions will be reviewed by AF/ASR and SAF/AQR
The SDPE office supports the AF CDC by:
- Supporting ECCTs by bringing together users and operators from all AF domains, core functions, requirements, acquisition, intelligence, and science & technology (S&T) communities to formulate and explore innovative multi-domain concepts to mitigate capability gap(s) and better understand the operational decision space
- Monitoring the progress of efforts directed by flight plans approved through the actions of previous ECCTs and providing recommended actions to the AF CDC
- Marshaling service resources, establishing partnerships, and overseeing the experimentation activities needed to find agile and affordable DOTMLPF-P solutions to the challenges identified by AF senior leaders
AF/A5/8 will chair the AF CDC. Standing members of the council include: AF/A2, AF/ A3, AFIA9, AFIAIO, AF/ST, SAF/AQ, SAF/CIO A6, and SAF/FM. Other HAF stakeholders (Assistant Secretaries, AF Deputy Chiefs of Staff (DCS), 2-letter organizations) and MAJCOM Vice Commanders, or designated representatives, will be informed of all AF CDC topics and are highly encouraged to participate when matters related to the area of responsibility or functions of that DCS or MAJCOM will be under consideration by the AF CDC to ensure cross-core function equity is discussed for all agenda items.
An 0-6/GS-15 or equivalent representative from AF/A5R and SAF/AQR will co-chair the CDWG. Membership is broad and inclusive of all HAF, MAJCOM, CFL, and total force stakeholders.
A Senior Executive appointed by Commander, AFMC will lead the AF Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation office. Team membership will comprise experts from MAJCOMs, doctrine, AF analyses and assessment communities, acquisition enterprise, intelligence, Department of Defense Laboratory Enterprise, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC), academia (e.g., Air Force Institute of Technology and Air University), other military services, and industry, as appropriate.
6. OPERATING PRINCIPLES
Air Force Capability Development will operate under the principles of timely delivery of warfighting capability, collaboration, and teamwork across functional and organizational boundaries to provide balanced, technically sound, decision quality analysis to inform senior leadership direction. The following tenets shall guide capability development activities and process decisions going forward:
- Agility -emphasize speed and flexibility
- Inclusiveness -a total team effort requires leveraging the entire AF enterprise
- Transparency - shared awareness and understanding to enable unity of purpose and effort
Capability Development Terms for Reference
CAPABILITY DEVELOPMENT TERMS FOR REFERENCE
Air Force Strategic Master Plan (SMP): Sets goals and objectives for the AF in support of national objectives. The SMP is the primary source document for the development and alignment of organizational strategic plans across the entire Air Force. The alignment of Air Force priorities and goals to national guidance shall inform planning and actions at successively lower level of Air Force organizations and will form the basis for the development of future force options and performance management plans. Ref: AFPD 90-11
Capability Collaboration Team (CCT): Multidisciplinary team that facilitates development planning. CCTs are typically comprised of personnel with operational, acquisition, technology, systems engineering, operations research, and other expertise as necessary. CCT members work collaboratively, and may leverage activities such as wargaming, experimentation, and other analyses, to fully understand future capability needs and/or emerging opportunities, explore potential materiel and non-materiel concepts and solutions, and recommend follow-on activity to further development of operational capability (to include but not limited to S&T focus areas, topics for further experimentation and prototyping, etc.). Note: Enterprise Capability Collaboration Teams (ECCT) are CCTs chartered at either the SecAF or CSAF level and are focused on strategic-level areas of emphasis.
Capability Development (CD): Includes all activities from opportunity or capability gap identification to warfighter employment. CD also aligns the execution of all lines of effort at the appropriate level, including gap analysis, S&T, studies, wargaming, experimentation, development planning (DP), requirements development, acquisition strategies, and investment strategies, to provide relevant capability to future warfighters.
Capability Development Working Group (CDWG): A Headquarters, Air Force A5R and AQR led O-6 (or equivalent), cross-functional inclusive body that reports to AF/A5/8 to inform the appropriate AF processes. Primary function includes recommend prioritization of operational challenges and opportunities aligned with SP3, recommend ECCTs, synchronize high priority capability development activities across the AF enterprise, and assess the capability development activities against strategic objectives for adequacy, timeliness, and de-confliction.
capability gap: The inability to execute a specified COA or valid AF mission area. The gap may be the result of no existing capability, lack of proficiency or sufficiency in an existing capability solution, or the need to replace an existing capability solution to prevent a future gap. Ref: AFI 10-601 (adapted from CJCSI 5123.01 & JP 1-02)
Capability Solution (or Solution): A materiel or non-materiel solution to satisfy one or more capability gaps and reduce or eliminate one or more capability gaps. Ref: JCIDS Manual
Capability: The ability to achieve a desired effect under specified standards and conditions through combinations of means and ways across the DOTMLPF-P to perform a set of tasks to execute a specified course of action (COA). Ref: AFI 10-601
Comprehensive Core Capability Risk Assessment Framework (C3RAF): A network model that combines risk and multi-domain interdependency data to inform senior leader decisions. Utilizing Core Function Lead inputs the model aims to: identify core capabilities that most influence AF-wide risk, identify how changes in risk affect elements throughout the AF, and identify where planning decisions might influence systemic risk.
Development Planning (DP): A key process to support the SecAF and CSAF in strategic decisions that guide the AF toward mission success today and in the future, within available funds and with acceptable risk (Ref: National Research Council DP Study Report, 2014). Encompasses the engineering analysis and technical planning activities that provide the foundation for informed investment decisions on the fundamental path a materiel development will follow to effectively and affordably meet operational needs (Ref: DoDI5134.16). NOTE: “Strategic DP” has recently been used to describe multi-domain, enterprise-wide DP. “Planning for development” is acquisition based and includes translating user requirements into the systems, costs, schedules, and plans needed to meet those requirements, and is typically based on the results of previously conducted DP efforts.
disruptive opportunity: The identification of a potential game-changing technology or concept. These opportunities do not result solely from materiel technology, but rather from the specific ways in which a technology is applied to produce an operational capability – and how such capabilities are employed in a multi-domain, collaborative and horizontally-integrated nature. These opportunities may also be the synthesis of disparate incremental processes to achieve new capabilities. Key elements include an active and engaged leadership, ideas and concepts, experimentation, and, verification and validation.
Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team (ECCT): See Capability Collaboration Team (CCT). ECCTs are CCTs chartered at either the SecAF or CSAF level and are focused on strategic-level areas of emphasis.
flight plan: A document generated to achieve alignment across functional areas, influence resourcing decisions, provide informative inputs to support plans, or direct discrete activities (i.e. non-CF-related). Flight Plans must be aligned with AF Strategy and the Strategic Master Plan (SMP). Flight plans may also be used to develop a Planning Choice Proposal. Ref: Strategic Master Plan 2015, AFPD 90-11 6Aug15
planning for development: See Development Planning (DP).
risk to mission: The ability to execute assigned missions at acceptable human materiel, financial, and strategic cost. Ref: JCIDS Manual
risk to force: The ability to recruit, man, train, equip, and sustain the force to meet strategic objectives. Ref: JCIDS Manual
Strategic Development Planning: See Development Planning (DP).
Strategic Planning Working Group (SPWG): A Headquarters, Air Force A8X led O-6 (or equivalent), cross-functional inclusive body that reports to AF/A5/8. Primary function includes planning force prioritization, investments, and trades aligned with SP3 and as directed by the CDC, coordinates CFL inputs via the Core Function Support Plan (CFSP) process, and assess the planning force against strategic objectives and CDC guidance.
Strategy, Planning and Programming Process (SP3): Process to integrate strategy, concepts, and capability development to identify force objectives and programming to support practical organization, training, equipping and posture across the total force. Comprised of distinct, interrelated elements set in the context of Presidential and DoD guidance. The elements are categorized as Strategic Planning, Program Planning and Development, and Program Defense.
Ref: AFPD 90-11
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