A New Look at Requirements: The Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System

October 20, 2004

The United States Army plans to spend $9.3 billion on Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation in Fiscal Year 2005; as a whole, the services plan to spend $40.9 billion on research and development (R&D). Results from this R&D go toward future systems for tomorrowís military, but until recently each service pursued this path separately. Often, the end products were stovepiped systems that could not interact with one another, resulting in capabilities that failed to reach their full potential. However, recent military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have shown the importance of integrated and interoperable capabilities that work across the services. A little more than a year ago the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff approved a new way to develop programs and evaluate them jointly. The Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) replaces the Requirements Generation System as a new tool to jointly identify needed future concepts for the armed services.

The JCIDS approach aims to foster efficiency, flexibility, creativity and innovation in the acquisition process. The drive to create JCIDS was born out of a memo in March 2002 from the Secretary of Defense to the Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff requesting a study on alternative ways to evaluate requirements. The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) approved the new JCIDS on 24 June 2003. CJCS Instruction (CJCSI) 3170.01C provides a top-level description and outlines the organizational responsibilities. CJCS Manual (CJCSM) 3170.01 defines performance attributes, key performance parameters, validation and approval processes, and associated document content.

JCIDS puts an integrated, joint process to work to develop new capabilities for the Army and other services by employing expertise from the government, the defense industry and academia in addition to military contributions.

JCIDS increases the power of the Joint Staff and the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) to decide which new weapons and technology capabilities will reach the hands of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. The JROC will provide influential guidance on materiel needs to ensure their jointness from inception, instead of acting as a reviewing body for servicesubmitted requirements. From the service perspective, there could be concerns that reversing the system from bottomñup to topñdown means losing control of what systems their Soldiers have at their disposal. However, the dedication of the new process to joint experimentation, repeated and periodic proposal evaluations and the diverse membership of the boards involved in bringing future capabilities to the total force should ensure that Soldiers and their service counterparts receive the right systems to allow them to work and fight jointly.

The National Security Strategy (NSS), National Military and Defense Strategies, Joint Operations Concepts and Joint Operating Concepts influence requirements for joint capabilities.5 2 2 This process aims to ensure that future capabilities are "born joint," meaning that systems will enable and enhance joint operations from their inception, whereas the old requirements generation system was service-centric with joint interoperability as an afterthought. JCIDS operates topñdown with functionally-focused teams centered on future capabilities and effects for the Joint Force. The process was designed to better identify gaps in capabilities and achieve joint solutions to fill those gaps. Regional and functional combatant commanders give feedback early in the development process to see that their requirements are met. Integration with the acquisition process and improved information sharing with departments and agencies outside the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Science and Technology (S&T) community will increase under the new system