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As part of RAND’s work to define the elements of a combat support system to help achieve U.S. Air Force Aerospace Expeditionary Force goals, this report provides a critical analysis of the current command and control (C2) architecture for combat support (CS). Based on this analysis as well as interviews with Air Force personnel, lessons from the Air War Over Serbia, and doctrinal changes and evolving practices, the authors provide a series of structural concepts to help improve execution of the C2 for combat support and remedy identified shortfalls in the current structure. The proposed architecture would allow the combat support community to quickly estimate requirements for force package options and to assess the feasibility of operational and support plans. To transition to the new architecture, the authors recommend summarizing and clarifying Air Force CS doctrine and policy on C2, using feedback to monitor performance against plans, creating standing CS organizations to promote stability in turning from one contingency to the next, cross-training operations and combat support personnel on each other’s roles, and fielding improved information and decision support tools.

Table of Contents

  • Summary PDF

  • Preface

    All Prefatory Materials PDF

  • Chapter One

    Introduction PDF

  • Chapter Two

    Analysis Approach PDF

  • Chapter Three

    CSC2 As-Is Architecture: Description and Analysis PDF

  • Chapter Four

    CS Execution Planning and Control To-Be Concepts and Operational Architecture for the Future PDF

  • Chapter Five

    Shortcomings and Proposed Changes PDF

  • Chapter Six

    Summary and Conclusions PDF

  • Appendix A

    Interview List PDF

  • Appendix B

    As-Is CSC2 Detailed Process Flow Model PDF

  • Appendix C

    To-Be CS Execution Planning and Combat Detailed Process Flow Model PDF

  • References PDF

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's Project AIR FORCE.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.