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Congress has dictated that cost estimates for major defense acquisition programs be performed by properly qualified members of the armed forces or full-time employees of the Department of Defense. To aid in fulfilling this requirement, RAND Project AIR FORCE was asked to identify the acquisition cost-estimating workforce, describe its background and competencies, and assess its operational needs. The researchers conducted a comprehensive census of the military, government civilian, and contractor cost-estimating staff in the Air Force's four product centers and three logistics centers and held focus groups with a sample of cost estimators. Focus group respondents reported that they needed additional cost estimators, especially at the mid level. They were also concerned about the lack of career advancement opportunities for cost estimators.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    The Current Cost-Estimating Workforce

  • Chapter Three

    Cost-Estimating Workforce Adequacy, Composition, and Competencies

  • Chapter Four


  • Appendix A

    Census of Cost Estimators: Questionnaire

  • Appendix B

    Wing, Group, and Squadron Interviews

  • Appendix C

    Protocol for Interviews with Group Commanders and Wing Commanders

  • Appendix D

    Supplementary Tables

Research conducted by

The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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