Weapon Systems Intelligence Integration (WSII) Handbook; June 1999

Chapter 1.


1.1. Intelligence support to Air Force and joint weapon systems has never been more important or challenging than it is in today’s environment. Yet, for much of our service and sister services, the term intelligence support has been narrowly defined as threat data. Without factoring intelligence infrastructure support throughout the life cycle of the weapon system, technological capability is sub-optimized. Lessons learned from past acquisition programs that entered the inventory without up-front intelligence infrastructure analysis and planning have highlighted the importance of this approach. The 21st century battlespace demands increasingly accurate and timely support. Our challenge is to assist the operating and implementing commands to thoroughly analyze their infrastructure needs to ensure support is available, sustainable, and affordable.

1.2. Over the past several years, the Acquisition Community has significantly changed their way of doing business. A review of weapon system acquisition in the 1970s and 1980s showed that, although remarkable systems were fielded, the time from initial design to "rubber on the ramp" increased dramatically. Often, this increased acquisition cycle time was compounded by cost overruns as well. The process was cumbersome, expensive, and not always responsive to the needs of the warfighting Commanders-in-Chief (CINCs). In an era of decreasing budgets for weapon system acquisition, the need to break old patterns was apparent. Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) was created from the merger of Air Force Systems Command and Air Force Logistics Command. The merger was accompanied by the creation of a fundamentally new process for weapon system acquisition and support -- the Integrated Weapon System Management (IWSM) process. Under IWSM, each weapon system remains under the jurisdiction of one organization and one program manager throughout its life cycle. This helps ensure clear lines of authority, and better responsiveness to weapon users’ needs. AFMC, through its Product Center (PC) Directors of Intelligence (DI), is involved in the application of intelligence assessments and products as part of the Integrated Product Teams (IPTs) and Technical Planning Integrated Product Teams (TPIPTs). As the pace of technological change has increased, so too has the need to streamline the acquisition process itself. The acquisition community responded to this challenge by implementing a multi-pronged "Lightening Bolt Initiatives" agenda. The net effect has been to slim down the System Program Offices (SPOs), rely more heavily on the IPTs and give control for the weapon system development to the government-contractor team. The decreased cycle offers both a challenge and an opportunity for the Intelligence Community (IC).

1.3. As a Weapon Systems Intelligence Integration Officer (WSIIO), you are entering a complex world -- complete with its own language and biases. As much as anything, you are the advocate to bring rationality to the process. The current environment demands more effective planning and problem-solving and more creative resource management than ever before. Intelligence support has been restructured to remedy past shortfalls and ensure proper alignment with ongoing resource management changes within the Air Force, Department of Defense (DoD), and the National Intelligence Community.

1.4. The Air Force Intelligence program to provide improved acquisition support rests on three fundamental principles:

Support to a weapon system throughout its life cycle requires active participation in the process. The earlier the involvement with the SPO and operating command, the more effective the result. Later involvement has cost implications when infrastructure disconnects are revealed.

The capabilities and limitations of intelligence systems, architectures, and products must be clearly articulated throughout the development process to ensure the optimum intelligence infrastructure is available when needed.

Support options have budget implications that must be clearly understood. In the past, the IC has absorbed major costs incurred with new weapon system requirements. In today’s constrained budget climate, that is no longer possible. Smart use of existing technology, and integrating weapon systems within planned and budgeted improvement cycles must be the order of the day. The WSIIO will play a pivotal role in ensuring the program gets the "best bang for the buck" and is aware of improvements being planned.

1.5.497 IG/INOX is the Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for intelligence infrastructure support and cross-program analysis. Intelligence staffs at the operational commands will be responsible for working continuously with their operations and requirements counterparts to help define the need for new weapons and to identify the necessary life cycle support requirements. Intelligence staffs at AFMC, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC) and other organizations will also have roles to play. WSIIOs at all levels are critical to the success of this process. As WSIIOs, you act as the bridge linking intelligence, operations, acquisition, support and contractor worlds—the "glue" that holds the intelligence effort together. This WSIIO Handbook has been designed to help you accomplish your job in the most effective manner possible.

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