Weapon Systems Intelligence Integration (WSII) Handbook; June 1999


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Chapter 6.

Operational Requirements

The Air Force modernization planning process is the framework for determining Air Force needs for new or improved capabilities. This process is structured to contribute to the larger, national-level process that support the national security objectives and defense strategy of the United States.

6.1. Operational Requirements Development and National Security Goals. The President provides the foundation for the Air Force Modernization Planning Process through a document entitled National Security Strategy of the United States. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) then produce the National Military Strategy and the Defense Planning Guidance (DPG), providing specific guidance to theater commanders-in-chief (CINCs) and the military Services. Based on National Command Authority (NCA) and Joint Staff guidance in these documents, the CINCs produce regional and global plans and strategies tasking the Services with specific missions and objectives. Additionally, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, USD (A&T), specifies mission areas that require development of new technologies and capabilities to meet mission deficiencies identified by the Services.

6.1.1. Airpower Force Planning. The Air Forceís role in the national planning process begins with a strategy review to ensure various joint strategy documents incorporate the capabilities and attributes of airpower. The strategy review also addresses key HQ USAF and CINC issues in developing Air Force planning guidance on the strategic environment, national security objectives, defense policy, and planning priorities. The Secretary of the Air Force (SAF) and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF) use the planning guidance as they participate in shaping the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP) and for inputs to other Joint Strategic Planning System documents. Ultimately, the planning process enables the Air Force to ensure that its needs have been taken into consideration when OSD issues the DPG. It also provides the means to clearly communicate with the major commands (MAJCOM) and field operating agencies (FOA) in terms of fiscal constraints on force structure levels and objective assessments of force capabilities. This guidance provides the organizations responsible for identifying mission needs and operational requirements with information that is critical to an accurate understanding of the complex linkages between planning priorities, fiscal reality, and potential Air Force programs. On the basis of this planning process, the Air Force uses Mission Area Assessment (MAA) and Mission Needs Analysis (MNA) processes to identify mission needs and develop operational requirements. The MAA and MNA processes described below provide users the tools to continuously evaluate current and programmed capabilities in the context of changing threats, policy or guidance, military strategy, and assigned missions to identify deficiencies. These processes are described in greater detail in AFPD 10-14, Modernization Planning, and AFPD 10-6, Mission Needs and Operational Requirements.

6.1.1.1. Mission Area Assessment (MAA). The Air Staff, MAJCOMs, and FOAs conduct MAAs to identify mission needs using a "strategy-to-task" process linking the need for certain military capabilities to the military strategy provided by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. MAA includes:

- Reviewing taskings and assigned missions under various regional concepts of operations (CONOPS).

- Listing the tasks required to accomplish assigned missions.

- Evaluating plans and Joint Staff guidance for changes in assigned missions and objectives that may change tasks.

- Evaluating the ability to accomplish the tasks.

6.1.1.2. Mission Needs Analysis (MNA). The MNA begins when tasks are identified during the MAA. The MNA objective is to evaluate the Air Forceís ability to accomplish identified tasks and missions using current and programmed future systems. This process is called "task-to-need." MAJCOMs may use a wide variety of analytical methods to complete the evaluation. The Air Force Studies and Analysis Agency (AFSAA), Directorate of Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis (HQ USAF/XOCA) accomplish applicable analyses. Other participating organizations may include the product centers or logistics centers at the implementing and supporting commands, wargamers at service schools, or the commandís own tacticians and computer modelers. Regardless of the source of the analysis, the focus remains on the capability to accomplish the task. If a MAJCOM identifies a shortfall in its ability to accomplish a task or mission, its first obligation is to determine if a change in tactics, doctrine, or training (nonmateriel solutions) may solve the deficiency. If a materiel solution (new hardware or software) is required, the mission need is documented in a Mission Needs Statement (MNS).

6.1.1.3. Mission Area Plans (MAP). MAPs cover periods of 25 years from present capability to future systems and uses the products of the MAA and MNA to document the most cost effective means of correcting task deficiencies from nonmateriel solutions, changes in force structure, systems modifications or upgrades, science and technology applications, and new acquisitions. Integrated product teams representing Air Force operating commands, Air Force Materiel Command, Air Force Research Laboratories, and the independent research and development efforts of academic institutions and private industry assist in developing the MAP. AFPD 10-14, Modernization Planning, establishes the policy, functional responsibilities, and procedures for the MAP process.

6.2. Operational Requirements Documentation

6.2.1. The Mission Needs Statement (MNS). The MNS is a brief statement prepared by the CINCs, HQ USAF, operating MAJCOMs, or other DoD Components that documents a mission deficiency requiring a materiel solution. The Air Force will, where practical and cost effective, consolidate similar deficiencies of multiple MAJCOMs and/or other Services because integrated programs that share one common solution contribute to lower unit cost, prevent duplication of effort during program development, and result in improved commonality, standardization, and interoperability of weapon systems. AFI 10-601 explains how to write a MNS. It describes the review, staffing, validation, and approval procedures for MNS. It also provides the MNS format in accordance with DoD Instruction 5000.2 and DoD 5000.2-M, which outlines the MNS, approval process through the Joint Requirements Oversight Committee (JROC).

6.2.1.1 The JROC Approval Process. The JROC is composed of the Vice Chiefs of Staff of the Services in addition to the Assistant Commandant of the USMC. The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff heads it. Since this body reviews all warfighting deficiencies through the Joint Warfighting Capabilities Assessment (JWCA) process it is in the perfect position to review the militaryís needs for all potential major defense acquisition programs. The JROC oversees the requirements generation process and mission need determination prior to the start of the acquisition process. Through its review the JROC ensures that if military requirements are met through a materiel solution, it is linked to the national military strategy. If the MNS meets the requirement it is forwarded to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, USD (A&T), to become an acquisition program.

6.2.2. Operational Requirements Document (ORD). The using MAJCOM prepares the initial ORD during Phase 0, Concept Exploration and Definition, following a successful MS 0 decision. The ORD is solution oriented and will be based on the most promising alternative determined during the Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) or other studies accomplished during Phase 0. The ORD documents how the system will be operated, deployed, employed, and supported by describing system-specific characteristics, capabilities, and other related operational variables. It includes threshold values (minimum acceptable performance levels) and objective values (desired performance levels). The ORD is updated as program development matures to reflect current user requirements. Although the ORD must be updated for Milestones II and III, changes are minimized beyond Milestone II. The ORD helps ensure all participating MAJCOMs, SAF, and HQ USAF agencies articulate, develop, produce, and field military systems that meet the usersí needs -- in terms of intended mission and normal peacetime training requirements. As such, the CSAF-approved ORD is the basis for all follow-on program documentation, providing linkage between the approved MNS, the Acquisition Program Baseline, and the Test and Evaluation Master Plan. The overwhelming measure of merit is to provide the users with systems that work, are reliable and maintainable, and cost-effective over time. The CSAF approves all Air Force and Air Force-lead ORDs.

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