Technologies Drive Joint Warfighting Concept
To achieve its National Defense Strategy goals, defense officials have said the Defense Department must increase the pace by which critical technologies are integrated into the force. The deputy director for engineering in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering is working with stakeholders from the Joint Staff and military services to implement mission engineering methodologies to facilitate technology integration aligned with future joint force needs.
According to defense officials with the Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (Advanced Capabilities) and the Joint Staff's joint force integration cell, where systems engineering helps "build things right," ME ensures DOD is "building the right things."
Officials added that R&E is currently involved in various activities aligned to the National Defense Strategy modernization areas and in support of the Joint Staff. R&E's ME framework focuses on desired activities and effects rather than the current pipeline of programs and systems, using mission capability as the measuring stick to make it easier to decide on technology investments. It provides a systematic method to analyze, communicate, and compare joint warfighting concepts. It starts by defining and inputting the activities, assumptions, dependencies, threats and gaps within a concept's "mission area" future scenario. Then, using metrics and other indicators, it examines mission threads and effects-chains to quantify improvement and expose gaps between current and future technologies through tradeoff analysis.
The R&E is working with the Joint Staff and other stakeholders to apply this methodology to help guide the Joint Warfighting Concept (JWC), said the officials. The JWC's supporting concepts are emerging, threat-informed constructs to codify globally integrated operations encompassing all-domain maneuver warfare — supported by leading-edge concepts in command and control, joint fires, information assurance and contested logistics — enhanced by integrated capabilities in space, cyber, and electromagnetic spectrum dominance. By setting the JWC in a common analytical framework, it can validate (or invalidate) assumptions and untangle complex and intertwined dependencies. Mission blueprints and enterprise architectures are the products that capture these dependencies, future constructs, and performance needs.
ME products are already making a significant impact by providing data-driven "mission blueprints," as well as government reference architectures that help decision makers ensure research, technology and programs converge in the proper timeframes. The officials said that applied to JADC2, FNC3 and other technical focus areas, the R&E's principal directors for modernization can apply ME to guide the maturation of capabilities that deliver the highest mission efficacy and mission return on investment.