Against the back-drop of these stark realities, the Air Force requested the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies, under the auspices of the Air Force Studies Board to conduct and in-depth assessment of current and future Air Force weapon system sustainment initiatives and recommended future courses of action for consideration by the Air Force.
Examination of the U.S. Air Force's Aircraft Sustainment Needs in the Future and Its Strategy to Meet Those Needs addresses the following topics:
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.
To examine this issue, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition requested that the Air Force Studies Board of the National Research Council undertake a workshop to identify the essential elements of the technical baseline - data and information to establish, trade-off, verify, change, accept, and sustain functional capabilities, design characteristics, affordability, schedule, and quantified performance parameters at the chosen level of the system hierarchy - that would benefit from realignment under Air Force or government ownership, and the value to the Air Force of regaining ownership under its design capture process of the future. Over the course of three workshops from November 2014 through January 2015, presenters and participants identified the barriers that must be addressed for the Air Force to regain technical baseline control to include workforce, policy and process, funding, culture, contracts, and other factors and provided a terms of reference for a possible follow-on study to explore the issues and make recommendations required to implement and institutionalize the technical baseline concept. Owning the Technical Baseline for Acquisition Programs in the U.S. Air Force summarizes the presentations and discussion of the three workshops.