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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces 3 Experimentation—Past, Present, and Future This chapter provides an overview of past, current, and future experimentation programs in the four Services. The emphasis is on naval experimentation, but the experiences and lessons of the other Services are relevant and therefore are included. U.S. NAVY The U.S. Navy has a long history and tradition of using experimentation to evaluate doctrine, equipment, and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs)—in fact all of the elements included in DOTMLPF: doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel, and facilities. In October 1884, the Naval War College was established at the behest of Captain Alfred T. Mahan and Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, who argued that future naval commanders needed a place where they could develop tactics and doctrine through experimentation. In Mahan and Luce’s day, the experimentation consisted of tabletop simulations of fleet maneuvers. Through the years, the Navy has “experimented” with new platforms (submarines in about 1901, carriers in about 1920, PT boats from about 1939 to 1941) and new propulsion systems and fuels (diesels/fuel oil1 from about 1904 to 1935). Experimentation conducted from about 1923 to 1940 with exercises that the 1 See John R. Edwards, 1904, Report of U.S. Naval “Liquid Fuel” Board of Tests Conducted on the Hohenstein Water Tube Boiler, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces Navy termed “Fleet Problems” was key to the development of U.S. carrier doctrine.2 A Case History in Past Experimentation: The Early Development of Naval Aviation The history of the Navy’s use of experimentation to achieve new capabilities is illustrated by the role of experimentation in the introduction of aircraft and aircraft carriers. The motivation to undertake an experimentation campaign related to naval aviation was driven directly by a decision of Admiral of the Fleet George Dewey, who began to push the concept of naval aviation after viewing the use of dirigibles. The admiral is said to have commented, “If you can fly higher than the crow’s nest, we will use you.”3 To pursue the concept of naval aviation, Captain Washington Chambers was designated by Admiral Dewey as the Navy’s lead aviation project officer. Chambers’s jobs were to find funding for the project and to demonstrate that an aircraft could both take off from and land on a ship. George von L. Meyer, then Secretary of the Navy, refused to include funds in the budget for the demonstration. Not to be deterred, Chambers found a rich, politically well connected publisher and aviation enthusiast named John B. Ryan to help him. Ryan contacted President Taft, who persuaded Secretary Meyer to change his mind and designate the cruiser USS Birmingham to be used for the experiment. The experiment required the construction of a wooden ramp extending from bridge to bow. While the Navy provided the ship, the cost of the ramp ($288) was paid for by Ryan. The first demonstration of an aircraft taking off from a ship took place near Norfolk, Virginia, in November 1910. Captain Chambers was then authorized to spend not more than $500 to construct an aircraft recovery ramp on the stern of the cruiser USS Pennsylvania. On the basis of experiments ashore, Chambers and his pilot, Eugene Ely, determined that arresting cables would be needed to bring the aircraft to a stop. Accordingly, 15 cables were stretched across the deck, each fastened at either end to a 50-lb sandbag. When the cost of the arresting cables exceeded the funds allocated for the project, Captain C.F. Pond, the skipper of the Pennsylvania, paid for the overrun out of his own pocket. On January 18, 1911, in San Francisco Bay, Ely landed his aircraft on an up-sloping ramp on the rear deck of the Pennsylvania. Ely’s tail hook caught the 10th arresting cable and his plane stopped 50 ft from a crash barrier. Captain Pond’s report after the experiment read: 2 “Fleet Problems” were at-sea exercises with a considerable experimentation component. See Brian McCue, 2002, “Wotan’s Workshop: Military Experiments Before the Second World War,” Occasional Paper, Center for Naval Analyses Occasional Paper, Alexandria, Va., October. 3 RADM George van Deurs, USN (retired). 1966. Wings for the Fleet; A Narrative of Naval Aviation’s Early Development, 1910-1916, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, Md., p. 3.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces This was the most important landing since the dove flew back to the Ark.4 I desire to place myself on record as positively assured of the importance of the aeroplane in future naval warfare, certainly for scouting purposes. For offensive operations such as bomb throwing, there has as yet, to my knowledge, been no demonstration of value, nor do I think there is likely to be. The extreme accuracy of control as demonstrated by Ely, while perhaps not always to be expected to the same degree, was certainly not accidental and can be repeated and probably very generally approximated to. There only remains the development of the power and endurance of the machine itself, which as with all mechanical things, is bound to come.5 In 1913, Captain Chambers determined that all available aircraft and pilots should take part in the fleet’s winter exercises of 1913 off Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. These annual exercises were the equivalent of the current Navy fleet battle experiments (FBEs). For these experiments, Chambers’s officers rigged a wireless transmitter on one of the aircraft and a receiver on the flagship. An aircraft then flew over the horizon to scout out the position of the opposing forces. Although transmission took place on the plane, reception on the flagship did not occur. However, the concept of using an elevated platform to locate hostile forces had been established. During the next 7 years, aircraft technology—driven by needs of the Allied and Central powers in World War I—accelerated rapidly, as did the number of qualified flyers and aircraft in the U.S. Navy. By the end of World War I, aircraft carried weapons (machine guns), could drop bombs, and could undertake primitive communications. Experiments had resulted in the development of moderately safe catapults that allowed pontoon aircraft to be launched from a ship’s fantail. In 1917, the British Navy undertook experiments with arresting cables that could absorb the energy of a landing aircraft more efficiently than could Ely’s arrangement of cables and sandbags. Thus, by the end of World War I, all of the technology required for an aircraft carrier was in place. On March 20, 1922, the USS Langley, the Navy’s first aircraft carrier, was commissioned. The ship had been converted from the former Jupiter, a collier. By the end of the decade, two more carriers, the Lexington and the Saratoga, were commissioned. The performance of carrier aviation in the war games (FBEs) of 1929 was a portent of the future. Opposing fleets were charged with the attack and defense of the Panama Canal. The Saratoga (attacking force), under cover of darkness and bad weather, launched 69 aircraft, which arrived over and theoretically destroyed the canal without incident. Thus, the role of the fast carrier was predicted 12 years before Pearl Harbor. 4 RADM George van Deurs, USN (retired). 1966. Wings for the Fleet; A Narrative of Naval Aviation’s Early Development, 1910-1916, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, Md., p. 28. 5 RADM George van Deurs, USN (retired). 1966. Wings for the Fleet; A Narrative of Naval Aviation’s Early Development, 1910-1916, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, Md., p. 29.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces Evolution of the Linear Development Model During World War I, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels established a Scientific Advisory Board under Thomas Edison. Edison (over the objections of other board members) pushed for the establishment of a naval experimental station that was to conduct tests and experiments leading to better gun barrels, improved radio communication techniques, improved steel armor, and new torpedoes and mines. The recommended experimental station was established by 1923 and evolved into the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), which rapidly began to operate as a scientific laboratory in the way that other board members had recommended. At the end of World War II, the Navy adopted and institutionalized the concept of Vannevar Bush that the process of change in and growth of naval capabilities was a continuous and unending process. New capabilities would result from a linear process that started with an investment in basic research. The results achieved would then enter into a development process that would eventually transition into a state of sufficient maturity so that the results of the R&D process could be incorporated into systems and equipment that could be procured for fleet use. Once new systems and equipment were delivered to the fleet, naval personnel would devise optimum techniques for their employment. This linear model resulted in some spectacular successes, yielding new warfighting capabilities that grew out of Navy basic research investments. Among these were the Global Positioning System (GPS), overhead surveillance and target localization capabilities, passive undersea surveillance, high-strength steels for submarine hulls, and phased-array antennas for radar and communications systems. Nonetheless, the linear acquisition model had several deficiencies. These included long delays in delivering products to operators in the field, products that were technologically obsolete by the time of their introduction, and products that did not perform as advertised. In response, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology (USDA&T) created the advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD), which was structured to put mature technology in the hands of operators to address a particular need. The goals of ACTD were to determine where, when, and why a system or technology did or did not work and to allow the operator an opportunity to develop TTPs using the technology. Another response to problems experienced with linear acquisition was the adoption of the spiral development method, discussed in Chapter 2. The Navy has modified its historical approach to developing potential capabilities for the fleet by incorporating both linear acquisition and spiral development methods. Since the mid 1990s, the Navy has participated in various ACTDs such as Cruise Missile Defense, Phase 1; Extending the Littoral Battlespace; Link 16; and Coastal Area Protection System, to name a few. It has also applied spiral development, as is illustrated by the recent case study that follows.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces A Recent Experimentation Program: Advanced Rapid Commercial Off-the-Shelf Insertion A more recent example of the role of experimentation in fostering new naval capabilities—and one using a spiral development approach—can be found in the Navy’s current Advanced Rapid Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Insertion (ARCI) Program. ARCI was motivated by an analysis of U.S. submarines’ operational experience in the early 1990s. Operations conducted against quiet Soviet submarines indicated a loss of acoustic advantage. The tactical and strategic implications of this problem were fully appreciated by the Submarine Type Commanders (Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, (COMSUBLANT) and Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC)), the Submarine Programs Resource Sponsor (Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) N87)), and Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) 08 (Naval Reactors) Admiral Bruce DeMars, who was the senior submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. The recognition of the loss of acoustic advantage by the submarine force’s senior leadership galvanized a multifaceted response that included the acceleration of the existing sonar acquisition programs. The first step in solving the acoustic superiority problem was the creation of a special advisory group known as the Submarine Superiority Technical Panel. This panel examined the problem and possible courses of action for regaining acoustic superiority. The panel’s recommended approach to quickly (and cheaply) improve submarine sonar processing capability was based on a philosophy of “build, test, build.” That is, the submarine community developed and tested capabilities and then integrated and installed them together as a unit of incremental capability commonly called a “block” to achieve an improvement in capability. This process was repeated and when an additional level of capability enhancement was achieved, another block was installed in succeeding submarine developments and overhauls. Thus, capabilities were enhanced through a series of block upgrades, phased in incrementally over time, in a process in which spiral development (develop, test, develop) could occur within individual block upgrades. New algorithms hosted on COTS processors were first tested in the laboratory against data collected from at-sea controlled experiments and real-world operations. The tests were performed in the laboratory by an independent third party. Once an algorithm was determined to have performed successfully in the laboratory, it was taken to sea and tested in controlled experiments. The governing principles in at-sea testing were that (1) operational testing must be adequate and carried out under realistic conditions, and (2) degraded performance must be understood at a fundamental level. Feedback and analysis from the at-sea experiments were used to modify algorithms and correct deficiencies. The system after modification would then be integrated and would undergo an end-to-end test to ensure that it was working properly.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces To transition the successful ARCI software and hardware components, a program was established to deploy successful ARCI products into the submarine fleet as quickly as possible—by means of the block upgrades described above. Almost all 688 class submarines have been or will be upgraded with ARCI technology.6 The Seawolf- and Virginia-class programs have also integrated the ARCI approach into their sonar systems. The ARCI approach is also being followed by the antisubmarine warfare community, specifically in the Surface Ship Towed Array and Bow Sonar Acquisition Programs. In addition to testing new algorithms for detection and classification capability, a parallel effort was set up to develop TTPs as well as decision aids to take advantage of the new ARCI-enabled capabilities. In this regard, littoral conditions in terms of both acoustic conditions and contact density (number of objects acoustically detected per unit area) have been emphasized. The ARCI Program has been executed through a close partnership among NAVSEA, OPNAV, the Program Executive Offices, the Operational Test and Evaluation Force, and the fleet. Experimentation That Changed Operational Capabilities A review of successes in naval aviation and the example of the ARCI Program provide some lessons with respect to successful experimentation. If experimentation is to enable changes in fielded capabilities, the following five factors need to be present: Problem to be solved. First, a significant problem must exist. In the case of naval aviation, the problem was the development of a naval air capability by other countries and adversaries. In the case of the ARCI Program, the problem was U.S. submarines’ loss of acoustic advantage—a compelling need. Availability of technology. In the cases of naval aviation and ARCI, technologies appeared that made it possible to experiment with TTPs to improve warfighting capability. Leadership buy-in. In the cases discussed, top officers in the Navy—the Fleet Commander and the Submarine Type Commanders, respectively—were committed to change. Organizational structure conducive to change. In both of these cases, organizations were created under which the testing of new concepts with new technologies could flourish. Also, these organizations reported directly to senior 6 The Defense Operational Test and Evaluation’s Annual Report for 2002 states that ARCI systems, while being deployed in increasing numbers, have not been adequately tested owing to lack of availability of resources: test platforms (submarines) and time (p. 133). The Secretary of the Navy, George England, has been quoted as having assured DOT&E that deployment “…risks were … considered acceptable … to support our emerging plans in the war on terrorism.” (Maline Brown. 2003. “Young Wants Navy to Trim Time, Money Spent on Operational Testing,” Inside the Navy, Vol. 16, No. 4, January 27, p. 1.)
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces leadership. In the more recent example of ARCI, the Submarine Development Squadron (SUBDEVRON 12) had the responsibility for testing new concepts and new technologies. The DEVRON reported results directly to COMSUBLANT (relevant information was provided to COMSUBPAC) and to the N77 and N88 senior submarine officers. Owing to this process, important results were transitioned. Funding. In both cases, stable funding was provided to move the experimentation process along, and funding was provided to transition capabilities to the field. Funds were established at the specific direction of senior leadership. The President established funding for the first “carrier” experiment, and the Submarine Type Commanders with N76 and N86 support secured funding for sonar improvements. The committee found that these five factors for success were and are applicable to successful experimentation programs in the other military departments. The experience is reinforced later in this chapter through details on past and present programs of experimentation by the Services. As seen below, the absence of one of these five factors significantly increases the likelihood of a failure to transition the results of experimentation to a future, fielded military capability. This is true regardless of the identity of the sponsoring entity—whether it is a Type Command in the Navy, the Navy or the Marine Corps, the Department of the Navy or any other military department, or the joint community through the U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM). Organizational Roles and Major Participants in Navy Experimentation The Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) was established at Newport, Rhode Island, in 1998 to address the coevolution of Navy concepts and doctrine through experimentation. Its mission as briefed to the committee in July 2002 is this: To develop Navy warfighting concepts, To conduct concept-based experiments, To represent the Navy with joint and Service laboratories and tactical development commands, and To be the primary point of contact for naval and joint/combined doctrine and experimentation.9 7 N7 is responsible for setting requirements in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; N76 is responsible for undersea warfare requirements in the N7 office. 8 N8 is responsible for allocating resources in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; N86 is responsible for allocating resources to undersea warfare in the N8 office. 9 RADM Robert Sprigg, USN, Commander, Navy Warfare Development Command, “Navy Experimentation Overview and Progress Summary,” presentation to the committee on April 5, 2002.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces When NWDC was first established, it reported to the president of the Naval War College. As a result of a reorganization by the Navy in 2002, NWDC now reports to the Commander of the Fleet Forces Command (CFFC). The recent change in reporting relationships is intended to strengthen NWDC’s ties to the fleets, facilitating the introduction of new concepts, the harvesting of fleet ideas, and a continuous dialogue with fleet customers to explore the merits of various concepts and the evaluation of operational capabilities. New concepts can come from any source. For example, the focal point for the Navy Global Hawk concept is at the Navy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Office (designated as PMA 263) in the Naval Air System Command, Patuxent River, Maryland. In principle, concepts proposed for NWDC’s consideration may come from the fleet, from the Senior Steering Group, from ONR (or its contractors), from Navy laboratories and warfare centers, from the results of an ACTD, or even from a commercial contractor. In practice, concepts that have some degree of technical maturity and associated funding are given more attention than those that lack technical maturity and funding. Those concepts endorsed by major commands and/or senior officers are most likely to drive NWDC’s efforts. NWDC works with the fleet commands in developing experiments and with MCCDC on naval force efforts involving both the Navy and the Marine Corps. One of NWDC’s principal responsibilities is to plan and coordinate fleet battle experiments. The CNO established the Maritime Battle Center (MBC) in 1998 at NWDC to serve as the single point of contact for FBEs. In this capacity, MBC plans, prepares, conducts, and evaluates FBEs in coordination with many participating organizations. NWDC has the decision authority to run limited-objective experiments (LOEs) that do not need large fleet participation. LOEs cost less than FBEs, but their funding sources are different and the visibility of FBE results is greater. These distinctions can create organizational incentives that may not be in the best interests of the Navy as a whole. Although MBC has been assigned the role of FBE coordinator, many components of the Navy carry out experimentation on a more or less continuous basis. As noted in the sonar improvements case study, the submarine community has established a dedicated squadron whose entire mission is to undertake experimentation with new tactics, doctrine, and technology, so that new capabilities can achieve rapid introduction into the submarine force. The Navy and Marine Corps have a substantial R&D community to produce new capabilities (platforms, weapons, sensors, communications systems, and so on) that are designed to enhance the warfighting capabilities of naval forces. These new capabilities are “experimented with” by computer simulations, by trial on test and training ranges, through war games, and by employment during fleet deployments. Some naval organizations such as the Third Fleet regard the participation in FBEs to be among their most important missions. In addition to hosting FBEs, the Third Fleet provides support on a continuous basis to Systems Commands (SYSCOMs)
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces to experiment with or observe the value of specific developments that the SYSCOMs are sponsoring. While ONR’s primary mission is to manage and foster R&D efforts within the Department of the Navy, in recent years these efforts have included support of “experimentation.” ONR has both provided financial support for NWDC and acquired various platforms (SLICE, high-speed vessel (HSV),10 and so on) that have been used “experimentally” by fleet forces. Recently organized entities such as the Navy Network Warfare Command (NETWARCOM) have proposed extensive use of computer simulations and experimentation to drive transformation. Finally, the Navy has long supported the OPTEVFOR organization, which practices experimentation in the true academic sense of the word. OPTEVFOR examines the hypothesis that some new platform, item of equipment, or software product will improve naval capabilities and consequently should be procured. Although the results of its efforts are frequently negative, OPTEVFOR routinely supports such operability assessments. Navy organizations involved in planning for and executing Navy experiments in conjunction with NWDC include the following: Warfare centers of excellence—for concept development, provision of equipment for experimentation, and evaluation of results; Numbered fleets and the Type Commands—working either directly with NWDC or through Fleet Forces Command on experimental needs and the provision of platforms and other fleet assets for experiments. For instance, the new Navy Network Warfare Command has a special responsibility to coordinate experimental aspects of information systems and information networks. The other Type Commands also coordinate with NWDC on large experiments and for LOEs not requiring large force elements. They may plan and execute their own, smaller experiments (e.g., the submarine sonar experiments described earlier in this chapter); ONR—for funding some aspects of NWDC’s experimental activities and for providing equipment for FBEs. It was noted at NWDC that, if ONR did not provide equipment for experimentation, the FBEs could become science fairs, with industry sponsors providing the equipment for the Navy experiments; The OPNAV staff, and N7 and N7011 in particular—for identifying needs and for using the results of experiments in developing and approving Navy requirements; and 10 SLICE is a new, patented ship technology that enables SWATH (small waterplane area twin hull) ships to operate at higher speeds while retaining their characteristic low motions in a seaway. SLICE is not an acronym. High-speed vessels (HSV) are commercially available, leased by the Navy and the Army, for experimentation purposes. 11 N70 is responsible for requirements analysis in the N7 office.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces The Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition (ASN(RDA)), including the program executive offices and program managers for acquisition programs—as possible identifiers of experimental needs and as recipients of the results of experiments. In working with the other Navy organizations, NWDC must use its coordinating skills and abilities to direct and leverage all of the participation it can obtain from organizations and parties that it does not control. For example, NWDC has neither the line item funding to control equipment to be used for experimentation (it relies on ONR) nor the authority to require the N7 staff to listen and act on the results of experiments when dealing with Navy “requirements.” FLEET BATTLE EXPERIMENTS The Navy uses various types of field events in experimentation. Among the most prominent are FBEs, ACTDs, and LOEs. Fleet battle experiments are the most visible and resource-intensive activities in the spectrum of events comprised by experimentation in the Navy today. This section focuses on FBEs and the processes associated with them and reviews results to date. LOEs are also addressed, particularly in association with specific FBEs. FBEs are field experiments used to address a variety of objectives. When NWDC formulates a concept and evaluates it through various studies and analyses, war games, and simulations, it employs FBEs to explore the concept and supporting technologies in the fleet to determine whether the concept has merit. As an example, several years ago during a global war game, the Navy explored the use of smaller, high-speed surface craft in the littoral to counter enemy antiaccess strategies. Subsequently, NWDC leased a high-speed vessel for FBE-I and FBE-J,12 to experiment with the HSV in conjunction with various payloads to determine its merit. FBEs are used not only to investigate whether new concepts and technologies have utility, but also to find out whether a concept makes sense in its formulation. The focus of an experiment may be doctrine and TTPs coevolved in association with a new technology. The results of FBEs can be used to accelerate the delivery of new DOTMLPF to the fleet. Alternatively, results can be used to shape more experimentation, to drive additional research, or to terminate efforts that do not warrant future investigation or investment. FBEs and LOEs have different schedules, complexity, and resource requirements. LOEs are used to examine a single (or at most a few) well-defined projects or concepts in situations in which a broad range of operational parameters can be 12 Fleet battle experiments are named by the Navy’s phonetic alphabet. A = Alpha, B = Bravo, C = Charlie, D = Delta, E = Echo, F = Foxtrot, G = Golf, H = Hotel, I = India, and J = Juliet.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces examined without the constraints of time and resources that are inherent in large-scale FBEs. In recent years, FBEs have become progressively more complex and have incorporated progressively more tests and experiments within limited periods of platform and asset availability. As a consequence, it can be argued that the experiments undertaken during FBEs are inherently more incomplete than those carried out during LOEs. For example, a complete examination of the operational parameters and attributes of the HSV could not possibly have been carried out during the few-week period associated with an FBE. An LOE dedicated to an examination of the attributes of the HSV was used in addition to the vessel’s participation in FBEs. As a result, the Navy has a much broader understanding of HSVs than it would have had if the HSV had been examined only during the course of an FBE. FBEs typically require 12 to 18 months. Platform and equipment availability must be planned in conjunction with personnel training cycles and operator availability. Surrogates, computer simulations, or models must be used when needed equipment is not available to support the experiment. These must be tested and verified as faithful representations of the system or capability being simulated or explored. The FBE process involves many steps. They include the determination of objectives, concept definition, venue identification, selection of initiatives, technology selection, detailed planning, supporting events such as war games, simulations, and then the refinement of experiment planning, detailed preparation, execution, and evaluation. For FBE-A through FBE-J, the process began with the solicitation of inputs from regional combatant commanders (then referred to as Commanders in Chief (CINCs)) for a numbered fleet sponsoring. The choice of sponsorship is synchronized with scheduled exercises owing to the need for live forces. Once selected, a sponsoring numbered fleet commander advises NWDC of warfare priorities and geopolitical and operational issues for the experiment. In response, NWDC recommends additional areas for consideration. Suggestions are also collected from the fleet, OPNAV, SYSCOMS, combatant commanders, ONR, the Navy laboratories, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and industry. Each FBE has a budget determined by its scope. Typically, FBE costs are between $3 million and $5 million13 (these are costs beyond those of fleet operations and prototype system development for the FBE). In contrast, the Navy component for large joint experiments is typically about $16 million. Funding for an FBE only pays for personnel support, supporting communications architectures, and technology. 13 CAPT Patrick Denny, USN, Director, Maritime Battle Center, “Navy Experimentation,” presentation to the committee on July 9, 2002.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces laboratories, various events such as its Blue/Red/Green Flag battle management and flying training warfighting exercises and JEFXs, and from various individuals such as the senior USAF warfighters, such as Global Strike Task Force (GSTF), Multi-Mission Command and Control Constellation/Aircraft, and others. Concepts originate from any of the six Air Force staff task forces, from those involved in working the main elements of the Air force vision, and from various related sources. Experimentation campaigns are documented in an Air Force experimentation campaign plan that is tied directly to the Joint Vision, to the Service Vision, and to the Air Force Transformation Flight Plan.40 There is also a management structure and a well-established process within the USAF to oversee, plan, and execute USAF experimentation and to make the resulting changes in doctrine and procedures.41 This process is well supported by the senior Air Force leadership. Results of experiments are reviewed first by a Council of Colonels, and then by a General Officer Steering Group for review and appropriate action. Recommendations may be briefed to the Air Force corporate structure, including the Chief of Staff. These briefings are usually provided after every major experiment. Organizational Roles and Major Participants The responsibility for executing USAF experimentation generally rests with the MAJCOMs and their associated battle laboratories, but there are many important participants, such as the Air Force Doctrine Center42 and the Air Force Research Laboratory, to mention just two. The organization and conduct of USAF experimentation is somewhat decentralized, in order to accommodate not only distributed responsibilities but also initiatives that arise from many sources. The appropriate MAJCOM oversees its assigned battle laboratories, while another part of the MAJCOM looks after Blue/Red/Green Flag battle management and flying training warfighting exercises. Yet another organization handles major command and control experiments, such as JEFX, under what is called the Air Force Experimentation Office43 (AFEO). And finally, ACTDs and other experiments directed by senior USAF officers are assigned to appropriate MAJCOMs 40 Gen John P. Jumper, USAF, Chief of Staff, and James G. Roche, Secretary of the Air Force. 2003. Air Force Transformation Flight Plan FY03-07, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. 41 Lt Gen Robert H. Fogelsong, USAF, Deputy Chief of Staff, Air and Space Operations. 2000. Air Force Experimentation Campaign Plan FY00-05, Department of the Air Force, Langley Air Force Base, Va. 42 The Air Force Doctrine Command has the responsibility of maturing experimentation results into Air Force doctrine after an extensive approval process. 43 This is something of a misnomer as it does not handle all USAF experimentation but rather major command and control experiments only.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces for execution. The development and execution of USAF experiments are organized under the operating side of the USAF. The USAF acquisition community, represented by the Air Force Materiel Command and its operating centers, is closely associated with all USAF experimentation activity so as to facilitate transitioning into acquisition those capabilities that may come from the experimentation process. The function within the Air Force that brings all USAF experimentation output into focus and coordinates its transition into acquisition as appropriate is the USAF requirements/capability acquisition process. As various experiments from their sponsoring organizations are designed and executed, they are reviewed by the appropriate MAJCOM and Headquarters USAF Requirements Oversight Council. The Service equivalent of the JROC, it is called the Air Force Requirements Council (AFROC); it is analogous to the MROC, discussed earlier in the chapter. The outputs of the USAF experimentation process that are found worthy of becoming USAF capabilities are entered by the sponsoring MAJCOM or senior officer into the USAF requirements process to compete for the funding necessary for the acquisition process to proceed. Many organizations foster and participate in individual experimentation activities. For instance, a JEFX has the Air Combat Command (ACC) as the executive agent, with the AFEO as the planning lead, Electronic Systems Command as a technical lead, and another ACC component as the operational lead. In addition, many other organizations may participate, depending on the nature and subject of the experiment. The Air Force experimentation campaign plan is a means of coordinating their activities. Examples of other participants are the exercise and training facilities, such as those at Hurlburt Field, Florida, and Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada; the Air Force Test Agency; and program offices, which sponsor initiatives such as UAVS and unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs) as subjects for experiments. Collectively, these participants may bring a full family of advanced engineering, engagement, mission, and campaign models and simulations as well as provide facilities, unique infrastructure, and specialized tools that make up the essential support for experimentation activities. Specific organizational participants in USAF experimentation are as follows: Air Force Experimentation Office. The AFEO manages experimentation within the USAF having to do with command and control and with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Its most notable experiments are those associated with the Joint Expeditionary Experiments in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2002 (discussed below). The AFEO, which is part of the USAF C2 and ISR Center, was established in 1998 under the Air Combat Command. In recognition of its importance to the USAF as a whole, the C2 and ISR Center, along with the AFEO, was recently realigned under the Chief of Staff of the USAF. USAF battle laboratories. Today the USAF has seven Air Force battle laboratories, each having fewer than 25 personnel, commanded by an O-6 (rank
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces of colonel), and sharing equally in the funding available for experimentation.44 The command and control battle laboratory reports to the Air Force C2 ISR Center, the Space Battle Laboratory is under Air Force Space, and all the others report to the ACC. The battle laboratories receive and/or generate ideas that are screened and selected to be initiatives for experimentation. With some exceptions, it takes from 3 to 6 months for an idea to be approved as an initiative; each initiative has an 18-month execution phase. Consequently, the lifetime of an initiative is on the order of 2 years and, if successful, the initiative should transition into an operational capability. Major initiatives are labeled “Mitchell” and more modest ones, “Kenney.” Mitchell initiatives have turned out to be beyond reach, so that all 90 initiatives45 were of Kenney status. As of the summer of 2000, of 90 initiatives, 40 were still being worked on, and 50 had been completed (all 50 are listed in Table 3.2). The seven USAF battle laboratories are these: The Air Expeditionary Battle Laboratory at Mt. Home Air Force Base, Idaho; The Command and Control Battle Laboratory at Hurlburt Field, Florida; The Unmanned Air Vehicle Battle Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; The Space Battle Laboratory at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado; The Force Protection Battle Laboratory at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas; The Information Warfare Battle Laboratory at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas; and The Air Mobility Battle Laboratory at Scott Air Force Base, Missouri. Certain facilities for exercises, training, and testing offer specialized capabilities to support experimentation. For example: The Hurlburt Field, Florida Blue Flag Training Facility, Florida. The centerpiece of the laboratory is its modeling and simulation capability—it can provide a dynamic and realistic backdrop for both training and experimentation for USAF Senior Leader Operational Battle Command and Control. The Nellis/Edwards Air Force Base/Fort Erwin Western Test and Training Complex, California. This range complex is used to train aircrews at the tactical level while they interface with operational command and control in red/ green flag exercises and large-scale joint exercises and experiments, the most recent being Millennium Challenge ’02. 44 Typically about $5 million per battle laboratory. 45 As of the summer of 2000.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces TABLE 3.2 Battle Laboratory Initiatives Completed as of Summer 2002 Battle Laboratory Initiative Status C2B Hill ATO Defragger F (Kosovo, USAFE, 7 Wings at ACC) AEFB Integrated Planning and Execution Capability F (Kosovo), R (Crisis Action System) C2B Collaborative Tools F (Kosovo), R (AC2ISRC) FPB Ground Based Radar F (3 sites, South America) SB Site Protection (Operation Geese) F (55th SWS) FPB Space Environment F (820th SFG) IWB Network Display Sensor Guard F (AFCERT) C2B Network Attack Visualization F (AFSOC, F117, 8th AF, 1st MEF) FPB Reduced Hardware Footprint F (CENTAF, CENTCOM) IWB Food and Water Antiterrorism F (Cheyenne Mountain, FBI) IWB Enhanced SA Tool F (classified customer) IWB Diagnostic Emulator F (classified customer) C2B Voice Optimal Interrogation F (GCCS, TBMCS 1.0.2) IWB Enhanced Linked Virtual Information System F (GPS JPO NAVWAR Tool) C2B Miniaturized GPS Jammer F (Master Air Operations Planner) SB ATO Visualization and Assessment F (Operation Northern Watch) AEFB Commercial Applications for Combat Effectiveness F (Residual Cap: 2 KC-135Rs M) IWB EOC Enroute F (SWC Red Team) IWB Software Agent System for OPSEC Information Warfare (SCI) Reachback F (USAF, USA) FPB Vehicle Entry Explosives Search Strategy T (guide published) C2B Tactical Sensor Integration T (ASOC and BCC) SB Hyper-spectral Imagery Collection Upon Pike’s Peak T (training changed) IWB Signal Analysis Mapping P (ACC current purchase) AEFB Combined AGE P (IOC Nov. ’01) AEFB Compact Air Transportable Hospital P (AF/SG-buying~100 per year) SB Space Surveillance Network Optical Augmentation A (’02 POM candidate) UAVB JSTARS Battlespace Imaging A (’05 implementation) FPB Remote Visual Assessment A (’02 POM vandidate) FPB Pathogen Indent Device A (’02 POM) AEFB Next Generation Munitions Trailer A (ACC/DRW writing ORD) IWB Pulse Doppler Identification A (ECM Pods) AEFB Deployment Personnel Accountability Readiness Tool A (Joint ORD) C2B Speech Recognition A (AC2ISRC) IWB Network Early Warning A IWB Cyber Warrior A IWB Re-configurable EW Avionic Parts A SB Space Object Indent in Living Color A
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces Battle Laboratory Initiative Status UAVB FAA Airspace UAV TCS A IWB Panther Den A/Masked C2B TBMCS and ABCS Data Sync Further research SB Satellite Track Using Ambient RF Further research UAVB SEAD Enhancement Further research UAVB Communication Relay Further research UAVB Spotter UAV Further research AEFB Common Bore Sight Not recommended AEFB Harvest Phoenix Cancelled (redundant) FPB Virtual Tower Cancelled SB Space Doctrine Cancelled (not meeting objectives) C2B JFACC Project Phase 2 Technology not mature FPB Hazard Assessment and Mission Enhancement of Resources Technology not mature NOTE: F = fielded; T = changed; A = awaiting acquisition process; P = in Program Objectives Memorandum (POM). SOURCE: Lt Gen Robert H. Fogelsong, USAF, Deputy Chief of Staff, Air and Space Operations. 2000. Air Force Experimentation Campaign Plan FY00-05, Department of the Air Force, Langley Air Force Base, Va., p. 20. The Eglin Air Force Base Land and Water Range Complex, Florida. This range complex is used to test, train, and experiment with the full spectrum of live air-to-air and air-to-ground precision-guided weapons. The Combined Air Operations Center-Experimental (CAOC-X), Virginia. This center was established about 3 years ago to support experimentation with processes, procedures, and systems associated with the USAF Air and Space Operations Center.46 It was intended to facilitate the acquisition of fielded capabilities through a rapid spiral process, resulting in “leave behinds” for operations.47 However, owing to resource constraints and the operational urgency of establishing an updated CAOC at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, the objectives for CAOC-X appeared in flux at the time of this study. Nonetheless, CAOC experimentation has proceeded under the supervision of the AFEO using the facilities and infrastructure at Hurlburt Field and Nellis Air Force Base. Many other facilities provide extensive modeling and simulation capabilities, and/or offer testbeds. For example: 46 Analogous to the U.S. Army’s Central Technical Support Facility at Fort Hood, Texas. 47 Naval Studies Board, National Research Council. 2000. Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., Section 184.108.40.206.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces The Paul Revere Boeing 707/767 flying experimental testbeds for the Multi-Mission Command and Control Aircraft (MC2A). The THUNDER, BRAWLER, SUPPRESSOR, Joint Simulation System (JSIMS), Joint Warfare System (JWARS) family of campaign, engagement, and mission simulations, with their numerous supporting engineering models, are key capabilities for experimentation. The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC) is responsible for the operational testing of new systems being developed for the Air Force and for multi-Service uses. It is a directorate, reporting directly to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. It has become involved in development evaluation and is now involved at the beginning of experimentation. For instance, for an ACTD, AFOTEC will do an operational assessment, but it is not the usual test before the acquisition of a production capability. It is instead an assessment that goes to the developer for review. If the experimental capability is successful, AFOTEC evaluates the initiative later, after it has evolved through further experimentation. At the appropriate time, AFOTEC conducts the usual test and evaluations that support the formal acquisition process. AFOTEC’s earlier development assessment is “nonthreatening,” serving to point out issues that need resolution through experimentation and identifying key problems such as critical safety issues, and it familiarizes the test community with how operators use a promising new capability. As an example, AFOTEC was involved along with the Defense Evaluation Support Activity (DESA), at the request of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense/Anti-Terrorism (DUSD/AT), in analysis and assessment of the Predator UAV when it was the subject of an ACTD and used in Bosnia. Examples of Air Force Experimentation The predominant thrust of the Air Force Experimentation Program has centered on concepts and initiatives to achieve an effective expeditionary Air Force. Under the management of the AFEO, a series of experiments (the JEFX-1998/1999/ 2000/2002) examined command and control and information sharing (including coalition and alliance partners) over global networks and the relationships between sensors and weapons as they apply to the time critical target (TCT) problem. These activities were coordinated with the USJFCOM Rapid Decisive Operations concept development to ensure that joint aspects were fully appreciated and accommodated. This work has resulted in significant improvements in TCT operations in Afghanistan, as compared with those of Desert Storm. Significant reductions were achieved in the time required for executing the “kill chain.”48 48 See Anthony H. Cordesman, 2002, The Lessons of Afghanistan: War Fighting, Intelligence and Force Transformation (Significant Issues Series, Vol. 24, No. 4), Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C., November, p. 110.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces Examples of results that are planned to transition into USAF CAOC Combat Capability as a result of JEFX-200249 include the Mapping Tool Kit, the Blue Force Tracker, the Combat Search and Rescue Module, the Space Tasking component in the Air Tasking Order, and three other, classified capabilities. The top initiatives were screened by the Air Force and successfully competed for set-aside funding for transitioning the results of experimentation to the field. However, some portions of all of the initiatives are being transitioned to the warfighter. These are small items, including a mix of new software and materiel, improvements to existing systems, TTPs, and training improvements. All of these items resulted from spiral processes, specifically from seven spirals. Several of these, including materiel and TTPs, have resulted in “leave behinds” for the field. For example, the Nellis CAOC benefited from the command and control systems left as residual assets. All of these initiatives were in the DOTMLPF approval process at the time this report was being prepared. A second set of examples of results is provided by the USAF experiments with the Predator, Global Hawk, and UCAVs. While the Air Force was not much involved in the Predator ACTD (which was managed for DARPA by the U.S. Atlantic Command, which is now the U.S. Joint Forces Command, and the Navy program executive office), the Air Force was designated lead Service for this ACTD by the Vice Chief/Joint Chiefs of Staff in late 1995. As a result of its strong interest in the possibility of a replacement for the U2, the Air Force was heavily involved in the ACTD for Global Hawk and became the lead Service at the beginning. Both Predator and Global Hawk were participants in JEFX-1999 and also JEFX-2002, although Global Hawk was simulated for cost reasons. It is interesting to note that the firing of the Hellfire missile from Predator was demonstrated in 2001. Notional UCAVs have been simulated in experiments, such as JEFX-1999, but UCAVs are still in the development testing phase. All of these experimentation activities are managed by the AFEO and appear in campaign plans. Data obtained from these as well as other types of events are analyzed and archived by the AFEO. The use of UAVs as combat vehicles is on the threshold of major transformation in joint warfighting. Both the Predator and the Global Hawk are in the Air Force procurement program and include programs of record. UCAVs are still in testing stages under a joint DARPA and Air Force development program but are not in the Air Force Program Objectives Memorandum. Another example of Air force experimentation is that of a series of air command and control experiments under way with the USAF “Paul Revere” Boeing 707. These experiments are also managed by the AFEO under the Air Combat Command/C2 ISR Center (ACC/C2ISRC). The results of these experiments are 49 JEFX-2002 included the Air Force segment of USJFCOM’s Millennium Challenge ’02 experiment.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces relevant for mission crew positions and equipment, associated processes and procedures, and the requirements for communications/bandwidth. Favorable results will be spiraled into a Boeing 767, which will be equipped with an improved electronically scanned synthetic aperture radar sensor. This Boeing 767 will become the prototype/experimentation platform for the future USAF MC2A. The concept of operations places the MC2A in control of on-board and off-board sensors with a fleet of UCAVs complementing an expeditionary CAOC. The Air Force has already proposed funding for the expedited development of an MC2A. Finally, the USAF battle laboratories continue to produce combat capability improvements. Many of these constitute initiatives that provide hardware and software with TTPs. Battle laboratory initiatives have all been the subject of at least laboratory-level tests before becoming part of AFEO-managed experiments. Data resulting from experiments are regularly entered into DOTMLPF formats. A list of each activity and its status is provided in a 2000 USAF report.50 Table 3.2 provides insight into the nature of the initiatives that are generated by battle laboratories. Some of these initiatives were selected as subjects for various experimentation events managed by AFEO. As such, these activities account for only one part of the Air Force Experimentation Program. Many of these initiatives are similar to the limited technical assessments (LTAs) of the Marine Corps, discussed earlier in this chapter. From Experiments to the Field A summary discussion of the processes used by the USAF to resource and transition experimentation results follows. Large, expensive systems and programs. Large systems such as Predator and Global Hawk have their experimental genesis in DARPA and the Service R&D communities. As Service experiments and ACTDs with these two air vehicles proceeded, their military utility eventually became so compelling that they gained senior officer support (from the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Secretary of the Air Force), and secured funding in the USAF POM.51 Moreover, the UCAV and the MC2A (both supported by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Secretary of the Air Force) yielded experimental results that formed 50 Lt Gen Robert H. Fogelsong, USAF, Deputy Chief of Staff, Air and Space Operations. 2000. Air Force Experimentation Campaign Plan FY00-05, Department of the Air Force, Langley Air Force Base, Va. 51 In 1995, the Predator secured Air Force POM funding as a consequence of VC/JCS designation of the Air Force as the lead agency. In 1996, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force stated that UAVs would play a significant role in the future battlespace environment; this was a turnaround from Air Force policy of the previous 20 years. Conceivably it was this four-star endorsement that removed opposition and enabled POM funding.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces the basis for their competing in the normal USAF POM process. Nonetheless, it is senior advocacy that provides the entrée into the competition.52 Those efforts associated with programs that require significant funding have, as a general rule, little chance of being funded and transitioned into the force. Exceptions may occur if the efforts are pushed very hard by a very senior leader proponent (influential four star). Less-expensive programs and systems ($50 million to about $70 million). The Air Force battle laboratories and AFEO activity produce this class of candidates for transition almost without exception. To convert experimental systems to combat capability becomes a matter of obtaining the necessary resources through the POM process. The battle laboratories and the AFEO initiatives each have a slightly different transition process for obtaining their place in the POM for funding (discussed below). Battle laboratory initiatives. For the past 3 years, the USAF has established a source of funds called the Warfighter Rapid Acquisition Program (WRAP). The purpose of the fund is to bridge the gap in the POM and to sustain initiatives until they can compete in the POM process; at that point, if they are successful, POM funding takes over. Originally $30 million to $40 million was allocated in this fund, but it is common for this fund to support other priorities, and it is often reduced to about the $10 million level. In addition, unless sponsored by a very senior officer (four star), which seldom occurs, the worthy battle laboratory system initiatives are seldom successful in obtaining POM funding; this makes the decrease in WRAP funding a moot issue. AFEO initiatives. For the past 2 years, and instantiated with JEFX-’02, the AFEO has modified processes to transition its experimental results into improved C2 and ISR combat capability. Since it is meeting with success, the process is worth elaborating on here. Using JEFX-’02 as a case study and beginning 2 years in advance (FY 2000), the process starts by soliciting initiatives for experimentation. For the next 3 to 5 months, the initiatives are vetted first through the warfighting communities of the USAF and then to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, who provides final approval for those initiatives selected for the JEFX experiment. This vetting process is very extensive, and by the time a system initiative is approved by the USAF, all of the underlying analysis and study have been accomplished and used to justify its selection. Because of the rigor of the vetting process, by approval time there is little doubt that if the experimentation for testing the initiative is successful (using criteria established in the selection process), the initiative will be transitioned into 52 There is significant support from the Chief of Staff of the Air Force for the MC2A. Gen John Jumper, as the Air Combat Commander, emphasized the experimentation that is providing critical data for the MC2A suite. He is now sponsoring MC2A as a major item in the R&D budget.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces the force. During this period, and as part of the process, a corresponding transition plan is developed and approved (by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force) simultaneously with the selection of the initiative itself. A part of this transition plan is to identify the program element in the POM that will subsume a particular initiative if it is found worthy. In this case, the program element was the Air Operations Center Improvement, which has a considerable amount of funding. The goal would be, to the extent possible, to allocate or earmark funds for an initiative under consideration. Alternatively, if necessary, funds can be reprioritized and reprogrammed within the program element in the future, if and when the initiative meets experiment exit criteria. In addition, transition or bridge funding is allocated from the JEFX funding to sustain the initiative as needed until the POM funding stream becomes available. About $10 million of JEFX-2002 money was so earmarked and employed.53 As noted earlier, seven major initiatives successfully met the predetermined exit criteria in JEFX-2002. The $10 million bridge funding was used for each. The results of the experiments were briefed to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force in late September 2002 with a recommendation that they be accommodated in the Air Operations Improvement program element in the FY 2004 POM. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force approved the recommendation, and the seven initiatives were made part of the FY 2004 POM, with bridge money to sustain them until FY 2004. Initial results suggest that this is a successful process for moving small(er) programs to the field. Future Air Force Plans and Programs for Experimentation The Air Force Experimentation Campaign is a rolling 6-year plan that is updated each year with designated thrust areas. Most assuredly the overall thrust toward expeditionary capabilities will remain, and for the AFEO experiments, the C4ISR emphasis. In addition to the ongoing experimentation work in the USAF battle laboratories, the Air Force will concentrate heavily on the many-faceted aspects of the future USAF Command and Control Constellation. This includes sensors, UAVs, processes, procedures, and its centerpiece aircraft, the MC2A, and includes coordination with the Global Strike Task Force using specific Service experiments or as part of joint experimentation. More effort will be spent on time factors and tracking in time-critical targets. The battle laboratories and the Air Force Experimentation Office, using the GSTF facility, plus infrastructure at Hurlburt Field, Nellis and Eglin Air Force Bases, and other places, will continue to work on the associated tactical innovations and experiments and their interfaces to strategic and operational work. Direct influence for innovations 53 Per committee discussion with AFEO staff on September 9, 2002.
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The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces in strategies is anticipated from the experiences of expeditionary air forces now deployed. Some methods and tools for experimentation will be enhanced in the future. The adequacy of simulation and data analyses will be assessed, since the AFEO believes that improvements are needed to raise confidence and increase depth. Also, a Joint Synthetic Battlespace will be explored. The Air Force has been applying spiral processes for some years, and a macrospiral process will be investigated—involving spirals that include changes in concepts of operation as well as in TTPs.
Representative terms from entire chapter: