STATEMENT OF: LT GEN GEORGE K. MUELLNER
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition)
AIR FORCE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, and Staff, I welcome the opportunity to
discuss the Air Force's Science and Technology (S&T) Program. We believe this program is
the foundation of our future military capabilities. Our strategy is to invest in a wide variety of
militarily-relevant technologies that will give us the edge against potential enemies in the
twenty-first century and to leverage commercial and other government technologies where
appropriate. We know that investment in S&T is crucial to transforming ourselves into the
21st century aerospace force this nation requires. The objective of the Air Force S&T
Program, therefore, is to provide the technical foundation for the Air Force vision of Global
THE AIR FORCE S&T PROGRAM
The Air Force S&T Program has well-established, effective links to Air Force warfighters' current and future needs through the Technology Master Process (TMP). The TMP provides for strong involvement of system developers and warfighters and ensures the warfighters are planning to include new capabilities in their mission area plans and that the S&T Program focuses on the warfighters' most urgent needs. The quality of our technology program, and DoD and national coordination, is ensured by review/critique by the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and other S&T peer review groups, such as the Reliance Technology Area Review and Assessment (TARA) teams and the Defense Science Board.
The Air Force S&T planning process is based on guidance provided in the national security objectives, Defense Planning Guidance, Joint Staff Guidance, and the Director, Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) S&T Strategy. The Air Force planning process recognizes the importance of the Future Joint Warfighting capabilities identified by the Joint Staff as being a benchmark for technological superiority. We work as a team member in the development of the strategic documentation underlying Defense S&T Reliance: The Basic Research Plan; the Defense Technology Area Plan; and the Joint Warfighting S&T Plan. Together, these plans ensure we properly balance and support the near-, mid-, and far-term needs of the joint warfighter in the S&T planning, programming, budgeting, and assessment activities of the Department of Defense.
The Air Force is committed to maintaining a strong S&T Program, but we recognize that sustaining S&T funding must be balanced with the downsizing of the defense budget. We have focused on a careful and balanced rightsizing of Air Force S&T investments, retaining the Air Force approach to rely heavily on US industry and academia who receive the major share of our S&T funds. Our S&T Program budget request for FY 1999 provides a balanced S&T Program that addresses both near-term and far-term Air Force warfighting needs. The FY 1999 Air Force RDT&E budget request of $13.6 billion includes $9.3 billion dedicated to the Air Force modernization program; $1.17 of the $9.3 billion is for S&T. This $1.17 billion reflects a breakout between 6.1 - Basic Research, 6.2 - Applied Research, and 6.3 - Advanced Technology Development of $210 million, $582 million, and $379 million, respectively. Although total dollars have gone down, this year's request for S&T represents a slight increase to 12.6% of the modernization RDT&E budget, compared to the FY 1998 S&T percentage of 12.2%.
While the planned funding level for FY 1999 forces us to continue tightening our belt
and be more selective than ever about investing in the "best" technological opportunities, it
still enables the Air Force to provide a responsive program by concentrating on core military
requirements. The key to this approach is carefully integrated planning by the Air Force
Research Laboratory (AFRL); newly constituted six months ago. AFRL aggressively
leverages our S&T dollars by cooperating with other Services, Agencies, the private sector,
and international partners. The result is that the AF S&T program is now a highly-leveraged,
highly-interdependent "lean and mean" focused effort that the Air Force considers critical to
ensure technological superiority over future adversaries.
STRETCHING LIMITED S&T DOLLARS
Congress has consistently recognized the importance of the Air Force S&T program and has provided strong support. Yet over the years, specific Congressional redirection for S&T funds has grown significantly. Almost 16% of Air Force S&T funds for FY 1998 (up from 10% in FY 1997) are Congressionally-directed. Because our program plan is highly interdependent we ask that Congress carefully consider the impact very specific budget redirections may have on the Air Force S&T program as a whole, especially if the redirection takes funds away from highly interdependent efforts. Directed expenditure of funds alter S&T priorities without regard to warfighter needs and often creates inefficiencies.
We are also concerned about the increasing amount as of Congressional General Reductions impacting S&T. In FY 1997, Congressional General Reductions totaled $52.7 million, or 3.9% of the appropriation. In FY 1998, these figures climbed to $76.8 million, or 6.2% of the appropriation. This is a significant increase, especially when considered in combination with Congressional redirection of funds and the downward trend in the AF S&T budget in general.
Reductions such as these force us to postpone or cancel multiple small but important efforts. For example, the 1998 General Reductions forced us to cut a 6.2 effort aimed at improving IFF (identify friend or foe) capability in tactical aircraft by fusing information from multiple sensors. We had to delay a 6.2 program aimed at developing on-board oxygen generators for large aircraft; such generators will have a significant impact on logistics, flightline turnaround times, and safety as they will obviate the need to carry large canisters of oxygen on-board. The General Reductions also translated directly into fewer grants to universities under the 6.1 program. The cancelled grants had supported basic research efforts in warfighter training, aging aircraft, hypersonics, and unmanned aerial vehicles all important issues to the warfighter.
In order to ensure that we get the most out of our limited program dollars, the Air Force's long established strategy for S&T is to focus efforts on enhancing performance, reliability, maintainability, and affordability of weapon systems. Emphasizing affordability from the very beginning through training of our management and engineering staff, as well as through careful review of technology transition pilot projects, allows us to reduce the costs of technology early in the process. Excessive future costs in the acquisition phase and throughout a product's lifecycle are, thus, avoided.
One of these projects is aimed at making internetted simulations real enough to allow warfighters to train together as they intend to fight without having to fire up actual aircraft for expensive, multi-user flight training exercises. This new capability for "distributed" mission training links current aircrew simulators as well as new types of simulators with high resolution visual capabilities into a common environment. As part of this effort, the Air Force S&T Program is developing technologies to facilitate the complex networking of multiple, geographically-separated aircrew simulators coupled with C4I assets and to exploit the significant improvements of the entertainment industry. In the space arena, our Advanced Technology Insertion Module (ATIM) program has developed technologies that significantly extend the useful operating lives of satellites. For example, in cooperation with private industry, we recently developed low-cost, reliable, 32-bit, space-qualified computer and microelectronic components "hardened" against the radiation-intensive environment of space. ATIM technologies operate on over 90 percent of all satellites launched today. For affordable upgrade of our aircraft, we are continuing to emphasize the development of common sensor modules and components that can be upgraded with simple software changes or are cheap enough to throw away instead of repair.
The Air Force seeks to maximize its S&T investments by concentrating on core military technologies and leveraging the state-of-the-art in the commercial world wherever we can. The 1995 New World Vistas study by the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board had several recommendations on areas in which the Air Force S&T Program should divest itself. We have incorporated these recommendations into our long-term strategy. For example, the Air Force no longer mandates the use of Ada, is phasing out investment in environmental protection research, and is currently reviewing ways to increase our reliance on commercial systems for access to space. We are committed to increasing our leverage of technology developments by other government agencies in order to fully exploit the benefits of interdependent program planning. For example, we currently have Air Force laboratory liaisons and joint program managers working alongside personnel from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, DDR&E, the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the National Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellite System program office run jointly by the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, and the National Air and Space Administration (NASA). In the future, we plan to add additional personnel to other agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
We are in the midst of a "revolution in military affairs" that requires that we invest in
an array of science and technology programs to prepare ourselves for the future. But as the
Report on the Quadrennial Defense Review also noted, in order to afford both adequate
investment in preparations for the future, we must have a parallel "revolution in business
affairs" including reducing overhead, streamlining infrastructure, outsourcing, and leveraging
commercial, dual-use, and open-system technologies. The strategy underlying the execution
of the Air Force S&T program exemplifies this approach.
DUAL USE TECHNOLOGIES
The U.S. Air Force promotes the development of dual-use technologies and continually leverages commercial technology for military needs wherever possible. This commercial leverage strategy is essential in today's economic environment. Historically, the Air Force has played a significant role in the development of technologies that benefited not only the military, but also the private sector. Technologies such as turbine engines, composite materials, rocket propulsion, and information processing are excellent examples. We know that if we can work with the commercial sector to adapt critical military technologies to also be commercially potent, we can save costs in technology development as well as later in production by taking advantage of the larger economies of scale which drive commercial markets.
The Dual Use Applications Program (DUAP) sponsored by Congress serves these objectives. DUAP is managed as a joint program between the Services and DARPA and is divided into two initiatives. The DUAP Science and Technology Initiative (DUAP S&T) and the Commercial Operations and Support Savings Initiative (COSSI). DUAP S&T focuses on developing technologies that have both commercial potential and military benefits. The cornerstone of the S&T program is the concept of shared risk in which both the Air Force and the non-federal participant share in the cost of the project. This is the second year for this initiative. In Fiscal Year 1997, a total of 17 Air Force projects were approved for $21.4 million of Air Force funds or a total investment of $85.6 million after DUAP funds and industry cost share were included.
An example of a DUAP S&T project that is aimed at developing a technology with both military and commercial benefits is the Next Generation Transparency Program. This program will develop and test low pressure injection molding of aircraft transparencies. Preliminary estimates predict an 80% reduction in the production cost of aircraft transparencies for low pressure injection molding over current technologies. Although reduced life-cycle cost is a significant benefit of this program, it also provides opportunities for improvements in aircraft performance, reliability, sustainability, and mission readiness. Benefits of low pressure injection molding technologies are also expected to impact the commercial aircraft and automotive industries.
COSSI is aimed at reducing Department of Defense (DoD) Operations and Support (O&S) costs by routinely inserting commercial technology into fielded military systems. The insertion of commercial technology is expected to reduce DoDÕs O&S costs by reducing the costs of parts and maintenance, reducing the need for specialized equipment, increasing reliability, and increasing the efficiency of subsystems.
In Fiscal Year 1997, we chose six projects under COSSI. The selections were funded by the Air Force share of approximately $25.2 million in DUAP funding for the COSSI projects. Overall these funds covered 49% of the cost of the non-recurring engineering and qualification testing needed to prepare the commercial technology for military insertion. Industry picked up the remaining 51% of the cost share.
For example, under a commercially-based processing project for the F-15E, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace teamed with Computing Devices International and Honeywell Inc. to use commercial technologies, tools, and processes to build hardware and software modules that significantly improve reliability. This team proposed a 78% cost share to support needed engineering and testing. Their approach includes the use of commercial programming language and operating systems plus the replacement of two avionics modules with a single module. The Air Force expects to realize significant O&S cost avoidance as a result of this project. Other COSSI projects modified an engine exhaust nozzle to reduce wear and enhanced a manufacturing process to improve the affordability of composite sheeting for aircraft.
The U.S. Air Force is committed to increasing our reliance on dual use cooperative research projects with industry. We believe DUAP will allow the Air Force to take greater advantage of the competitive pressures and market-driven efficiencies that have led to accelerated development and savings in the commercial sector. Congress has been particularly helpful in assisting us in this goal. The Air Force is concerned, however, by two specific requirements under DUAP. First, Congress has set objectives for the Services to obligate 5% (FY 1998), 7% (FY 1999), 10% (FY 2000), and 15% (FY 2001) of their total 6.2 budgets to dual-use projects. The goal for FY 2001 is about twice as high as what we believe can be achieved. The Air Force S&T Program funds not only contracts with industry, but also grants to universities as well as the bulk of its intramural laboratory research program out of its 6.2 budget lines. Moreover, not all technology areas (such as munitions) are good candidates for dual use.
Secondly, the Air Force would like to change the requirement that 50% of the cost of a dual-use project be borne by a non-Federal participant. A range of 25% to 75% would permit more flexibility and expand the number of potential partners. For example, a small but cash-strapped business may be reluctant to participate at the 50% level, but would participate if the requirement were lowered to 25%.
We know, however, that if the United States is able to take advantage of technological
advances in the commercial sector, potential adversaries will be able to do so as well.
Therefore, while we must maximize the exploitation of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)
technology in order save costs, we must still stay ahead in critical areas such as information-related sciences and space-related technologies. That is why we must continue to invest in the
development of specific technologies which integrate and leverage COTS technology for
military superiority. These include advanced air- and space-borne sensors, information fusion
techniques, automated targeting and detection, warfighter training, combat identification,
affordable launch-on-demand, and jam-resistant battle management and communications.
Specific technologies such as these are key to making sure our warfighters dominate future
battlefields even though our force structure will be smaller and we will be facing adversaries
with easy access to state-of-the-art equipment.
IMPACT OF AIR FORCE S&T
The U.S. Air Force must prepare for worldwide availability of advanced weapons, wide-ranging terrorist activities, increasing regional instabilities, and other emerging and less predictable threats. We must develop technologies that permit flexible, yet lethal forces that are capable of operating far from home on short notice. We must also be able to afford to use these new capabilities once we develop them. To meet these challenges, we want the most promising technologies in order to project our forces, minimize collateral damage, and win decisively.
We continue to invest in militarily critical areas where there is no commercial market. For example, for a small anti-materiel weapon called the Low-Cost Autonomous Attack Submunition (LOCAAS), we recently completed successful engine integration and demonstrated powered flight using GPS/INS guidance. LOCAAS is a new kind of small munition that will be able to seek out and identify its own target, determine the best blast/fragmentation pattern necessary to take it out, and, finally, form just the right warhead needed to do the job. We also recently completed live fire demonstrations of a new laser radar technology that measures wind profiles for gunships. This will dramatically improve survivability by enabling platforms such as the AC-130H to take out a target on a first pass instead of having to circle around to calibrate weapons first. Development, demonstration, and maturation of high-power laser technology is another significant technology accomplishment. The Air Force has also invested in high-power laser technology for over twenty years. Our long-term commitment is now paying dividends. High-power laser technology has transitioned to the Airborne Laser (ABL) system development program, a system which will provide a revolutionary capability to defeat theater ballistic missile threats.
Our investment in S&T has been good for America. We are able to explore the widest range of technology options, cull those with lower potential payoffs, and select the best candidates for further development. We continue to be a crucial element in training future generations of America's scientists, engineers, and technical leaders. For example, approximately two-thirds of Air Force basic research is performed by universities with the involvement of thousands of engineering and science students. We also serve as a national reference source to assist non-military agencies with solving technical problems that have a significant military component. For example, in cooperation with the FAA, we recently developed an aircraft luggage vulnerability tool which can predict the outcome of explosions inside aircraft.
Our long-term outlook results in payoffs for both warfighters and for the American people. The Air Force laboratory system played an integral role in the development of stealth technology for the B-2 bomber. As a result of our investment in stealth and our recognition of the importance of lightweight, high-strength materials, our technology programs paved the way for the now widespread use of composites in the commercial sector. Recently, we successfully demonstrated the first "power-by-wire" subsystem for flight controls. This technology will eventually lead to the elimination of environmentally-hazardous and maintenance-intensive hydraulic flight control systems for both military and commercial aircraft. The commercial turbine engine industry has benefited significantly from long-term investment in turbine engine technologies. Even basic research in militarily-unique areas can have a significant commercial payoff. For example, fundamental research into adaptive processing techniques aimed at reducing the effect of radar jamming has led to the ability to squeeze more cellular phone channels into narrow frequency bands.
Thus, while we are dedicated to developing militarily-relevant technologies, we also
feel a responsibility to make applicable technologies available for commercial use with the
result being enhancement of the economic vitality of the nation.
TRANSITIONING RESEARCH RESULTS TO APPLICATIONS
In general, the three parts of S&T investment serve different, yet interconnected functions in technology development: Basic Research (6.1) seeks an expansion of the engineering and scientific knowledge base in militarily-relevant disciplines. Applied Research (6.2) focuses on laboratory development of new (and often multidisciplinary) technologies based on these principles. Advanced Technology Development (ATD) programs (6.3) take maturing technologies to demonstrate their utility in military environments. For example, 6.1 research resulted in the ability to grow high-density nickel alloys into a single, strong crystal; 6.2 research yielded the ability to grow these crystals to the size and shape of a turbine engine blade; and 6.3 research proved the military utility of single crystal blades by using them in core engine demonstrators.
Some of the more mature technologies developed under the ATD program provide the basis for Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations (ACTDs). ACTDs are closely tied to immediate (usually joint) user needs, prove operational utility, and effect in situ technology transition by leaving a residual capacity once the demonstration is completed. The Air Force currently participates in 19 ACTDs and has proposed several new concepts for the FY 1999 ACTD candidate list. The ACTD process gives us the opportunity to move fast and involve the warfighter early; it also couples us to other Services and Agencies of DoD.
Another way in which the Air Force speeds transition of technology is by contracting out nearly 80% of the S&T budget to industry and academia, while the remainder goes to in-house laboratory research programs. This strategy allows the Air Force to be a "smart" buyer of technology, provides the capability for technical support to operational users, maximizes taxpayer return on investment, facilitates rapid technology transitions from academia or our AFRL to industry, and thus, is a necessary and integral part of modernization.
In addition, the Air Force actively pursues opportunities to cooperate with other governmental and private sector organizations. We have strong inter-Agency efforts such as our program in aging aircraft, which is focused on detection and ameliorization of corrosion and fatigue in aging structures. It is closely coordinated with civilian aging aircraft research programs at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Air Force is involved in international technology cooperative efforts for S&T such
as the Four Powers cooperative technology development programs in tactical missile
propellants, insensitive high explosives, and aircraft battle damage repair. This last effort led
to the adoption of simple and effective method for doing field repairs on bullet-scarred aircraft
windshields. Another type of international cooperation is the work we are doing in evaluating
Russian K-36D ejection seat technology. Lessons learned from this effort will enable higher
speed, adverse attitude ejections in current aircraft, and will have possible application to the
Joint Strike Fighter as well. It is a natural complement to ongoing Air Force crew escape
research efforts that are aimed at finding design solutions for a wider range of occupant sizes
and weights and improving aircrew safety overall. All in all, international cooperative efforts
help us increase the number of sources for innovative ideas and to transition new capabilities
to the warfighter.
LINKS TO MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY (ManTech)
ManTech is a keystone Air Force affordability program that is a natural companion to the Air Force S&T program. ManTech focuses on process improvements, cycle time reduction, and commercial/military integration. A pervasive program, ManTech works with industry, academia, and government organizations. Program benefits are found in both new acquisitions and in fielded systems.
The Air Force ManTech program has had two primary customer areas: aircraft and missiles/munitions. Beginning in FY 1999, the program will increase its emphasis in sustainment and space. Improvements in sustainment not only offer a tremendous opportunity based on the extended service lives of many of our systems, but also are a necessity to contain operations and support costs. Further, as the Air Force increases its activity in space, it is imperative that spacecraft and launch operations remain affordable and maximize adaptation to and adoption of commercial practices.
The ManTech Program has three thrust areas; advanced industrial practices, processing and fabrication, and manufacturing and engineering systems. The industrial practices thrust leverages business, engineering, and manufacturing best practices. For example, the Military Products from Commercial Lines (MPCL) program applies lean principles to demonstrate manufacture of military electronics modules, by adopting commercial processes. In the program, Air Force F-22 and Army Comanche Communication, Navigation, Identification avionics boards were redesigned for commercial production in an automotive electronics plant. MPCL is providing data and lessons learned to assist program offices in applying commercial processes to defense acquisition.
A processing and fabrication project benefited the Mars Lander. The Lander mission was powered by gallium arsenide on germanium solar panels. These cells were produced for NASA by the Applied Solar Energy Division of TechStar Corporation. The technology base for these high efficiency cells came from basic and exploratory research by the Air Force Research Laboratory Propulsion Directorate, and the manufacturing processes were developed under several Air Force ManTech efforts with this company.
Finally, the manufacturing and engineering systems investments made through Air Force
ManTech and the DARPA in virtual manufacturing are providing Integrated Product/ Process
Development (IPPD) teams with the tools to understand and communicate key manufacturing
concerns in the design process.
THE NEW AIR FORCE RESEARCH LABORATORY
The Air Force continues to focus on ways to reduce its laboratory infrastructure. We are investigating cross-Service restructuring opportunities through discussions between senior leadership from all the military Services. These meetings began during the Vision 21 study on defense laboratories and test centers. The Services have recommended they continue to jointly lead this effort as part of the Department's Defense Reform Initiative.
The Air Force has completed the organizational consolidation of its four laboratories (Armstrong, Phillips, Rome, and Wright) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research into a single organization: the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). AFRL stood up formally on 31 October 1997. The establishment of AFRL permits AF S&T program execution under a single commander; it facilitates our ability to maintain S&T capability despite budget constraints by reducing management overhead. Despite the consolidation, AFRL is still a geographically dispersed entity with ten sites in as many states.
AFRL also now has only nine technology directorates plus AFOSR, reduced from more than 20 under the original, four-laboratory structure. The Air Vehicles, Human Effectiveness, Materials and Manufacturing, Propulsion, and Sensors Directorates are headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. Kirtland AFB in New Mexico is headquarters for the Space Vehicles Directorate and the Directed Energy Directorate. The Munitions Directorate is located at Eglin AFB in Florida. Headquarters for the Information Directorate are in Rome, New York. The Air Force Office of Scientific Research continues to operate from Bolling AFB in the District of Columbia.
At Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, the Air Vehicle Directorate focuses on developing aeromechanical, structural, subsystem, and flight control technologies for airplanes and unmanned aerial vehicles as well as air vehicle integration and technology demonstration work. At its Tyndall, AFB site in Florida, it develops air base operations technologies.
The Human Effectiveness Directorate works on technologies for aircrew performance and protection, logistics, aerospace physiology, radiation bioeffects, occupational health and toxicology, and manpower, personnel, and training technologies. It has facilities at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, Brooks AFB in Texas, and in Mesa, Arizona.
The Materials and Manufacturing Directorate combines both an S&T function (materials research) and management of the ManTech program. The materials research conducted by this directorate at Wright-Patterson AFB focuses mainly on materials for structures, systems support, and electro-optics. It also focuses on environmental technologies at its facilities at Tyndall AFB, Florida.
The Propulsion Directorate works on propulsion technologies for both air and space applications. Main focus areas include propulsion sciences, turbopropulsion, rocket propulsion, aircraft power subsystems, and advanced propulsion concepts. In addition to its aeropropulsion facilities at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio, the directorate has a major complex at Edwards AFB in California dedicated to rocket propulsion.
The Sensors Directorate has facilities at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts, and Rome, New York. It focuses on developing aerospace sensor technologies for electronic warfare, surveillance radars, targeting radars, electro-optical subsystems, and radio frequency components.
The Space Vehicles Directorate concentrates on developing technologies for spacecraft subsystems, understanding and mitigating space environments, and performing space-related integration and technology demonstrations. In addition to facilities at Kirtland, it has assets at Hanscom AFB in Massachusetts.
The Directed Energy Directorate, whose facilities are all at Kirtland, focuses mainly on high power microwave and laser technologies, with related work on optics, beam control, and directed energy weapon system assessment.
The Munitions Directorate at Eglin AFB focuses on developing conventional munition technologies. These technologies include ordnance, advanced guidance, weapon integration, and assessment.
The Information Directorate's primary activities are located in Rome, New York, but they also have some facilities at Hanscom AFB in Massachusetts. The Information Directorate focuses on developing technology for information grids, intelligence, global information, combat information, and command and control.
The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) provides the basic research base
for the technology development work of the nine directorates by focusing on a wide variety of
technical disciplines. Its primary investment areas include physics, solid mechanics and
structures, structural materials, chemistry, biological sciences, mathematical and computer
sciences, electronics, fluid mechanics, propulsion, space sciences, atmospheric sciences, and
human performance. AFOSR is currently located at Bolling AFB in the District of Columbia.
In a few months, it will move to the "science city" of Ballston, Virginia, where it will be near
DARPA, ONR, and the National Science Foundation.
TEST & EVALUATION INFRASTRUCTURE
Today's Air Force T&E infrastructure has been reduced to a minimum number of locations (3 centers and 1 specialty site) to support aircraft, munitions, electronic combat, C4I, and space systems development. The Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards AFB, CA primarily supports aircraft and avionics testing. Air Force Development Test Center (AFDTC) at Eglin AFB, FL and its 46th Test Group at Holloman AFB, NM primarily support munitions systems testing and some C4I testing. Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) at Arnold AFB, TN and its ground based flight simulation capabilities supports airframe development, air-breathing and rocket propulsion, and hypervelocity and space systems testing. These locations, having evolved over the past fifty years or so, represent a significant investment and contribute to the effective development of many DoD weapons systems.
In the last decade, T&E infrastructure reductions from FY90 to FY99 include a 50% reduction in the test aircraft fleet; 25% reduction in civilian and military manpower; and a 33% reduction in investment and operations funding. These reductions can be attributed primarily to BRAC and gained efficiencies.
BRAC 95 impacted our T&E infrastructure by consolidating EC testing to one location: the Electromagnetic Test Environment (EMTE) threat simulator systems were realigned from AFDTC to AFFTC's management and control, and the REDCAP facility, Buffalo, NY, was closed with the required test activities and necessary support equipment relocating to the AFFTC. The more efficient operation of the T&E business includes increased reliance on measurement, modeling and simulation facilities early in the developmental phase which will result in cost avoidance for customers who otherwise would require extensive open-air testing. We have also closed or mothballed some test-unique, low-use facilities or capabilities.
We remain sensitive to the T&E community's requirement to support the acquisition
community, and to provide decision makers with the ability to make the right decisions at
milestones and review points.
The U.S. Air Force is committed to providing the advanced technologies needed to ensure the U.S. Air Force remains on the cutting edge of technology, performance, military flexibility, and affordability. By investing in a broad range of technology developments, we are able to extract those technologies with the highest payoff and manage their transition into warfighting capabilities. The close cooperation of AFRL with industry, academia, and other agencies has forged a partnership that is the bedrock of future modernization.
The superior weapon systems of today's Air Force and our sister Services exist because of ideas and technologies that were developed by teams in our laboratories, universities, and defense contractors. Future weapon systems capabilities are dependent upon the continuation of this successful legacy of innovative technology development, demonstration, and transition into weapon systems. As an integral part of the Defense S&T team, we look forward to working with Congress to ensure a strong Air Force S&T Program in order to help us achieve our vision of an integrated air and space force capable of rapid and decisive global engagement.