Cover: Assessment of Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) Training Activity

Assessment of Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) Training Activity

Published Dec 11, 2013

by Bradley Martin, Thomas Manacapilli, James C. Crowley, Joseph Adams, Michael G. Shanley, Paul S. Steinberg, David Stebbins

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Research Questions

  1. Are the training programs and functions carried out by the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization duplicative of or closely similar to the efforts of the U.S. military Services, U.S. Special Operations Command, and other agencies?
  2. If such duplication is observed, what value is provided by these programs and functions?

The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) carries out training activities both as part of its equipment and system development responsibilities and its more general responsibility to "train the force" in IED threats and countermeasures. It has unique authorities and capabilities intended to facilitate rapid fielding, but concern has developed that these programs and functions may be duplicative with the efforts of the military Services, U.S. Special Operations Command, and other agencies. The RAND team's assessment is that while some programs and functions are similar to other activities and initiatives, there is little evidence of duplication — in fact, the programs and functions appear to add value. This finding reflects a conscious effort by JIEDDO to develop processes that ensure review and oversight of capability development. This may be an important lesson learned if the Department of Defense again confronts an asymmetric challenge and requires an organizational structure to meet it.

Key Findings

There is little evidence of duplication among training programs or courses.

  • The Services identified a final list of 13 program initiatives and Joint Asymmetric Threat Awareness Center courses as potentially duplicative, out of a total of 248 programs reviewed.
  • U.S. Special Operations Command and the Navy found no duplication, while the Army found four duplicative programs, the Air Force found two, and the Marine Corps found seven.
  • RAND researchers then considered these potentially duplicative programs and concluded that while the programs did appear similar, they actually were not duplicative. This is because these programs are aimed at different training audiences and/or have different objectives.

Neither the Services nor the RAND team found evidence that training functions were duplicative.

While many Service organizations are developing and fielding Counter-IED training capabilities using functions and processes similar to JIEDDO, the processes in place provide effective coordination and integration and mitigate the risk of inefficiency.

  • JIEDDO's organizational capability and its processes are successful in minimizing the chances of program duplication and to ensure added value.
  • JIEDDO performs a number of broad functions that are related to capability development. To a degree, these are similar to processes performed by the Services. Like the Services, JIEDDO assesses, plans, develops requirements, submits proposals to budget processes, and develops and fields training solutions.

JIEDDO lacks a rigorous end-end assessment process for fielded capability and while assessments were performed, they could be improved by a more formal process.


  • DoD should use the JIEDDO model, or some variant of that model based on what has been learned, as a basis to respond to other asymmetric, contingency-based challenges that require a rapid response not covered by Service core programs.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted within the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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