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Science and Technology: The Making of the Air Force Research Laboratory

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This history documents a watershed event within the United States Air Force -- the creation of the Air Force Research Laboratory AFRL. As the high technology service, the Air Force has always searched for ways to continuously improve its science and technology enterprise. In that context, the making of AFRL was not a bureaucratic accident. Rather, it was the product of a complex mixture of historical forces and pressures at work that convinced people at all levels that the time was ripe to bring about fundamental reform in how the Air Force conducts its business of science and technology. In terms of significance, a wealth of past studies has focused on almost every aspect of the operational side of the Air Force. But there has been a scarcity of available scholarly studies that address the far-reaching implications of science and technology. This book is a major contribution that helps fill that gap. Organization and infrastructure are critically important components of the total science and technology picture. Thus, the manner in which its laboratory system is organized is a critical factor in the Air Forces ability to assure that it is investing in and delivering the most relevant technologies possible. This book documents how the Air Force moved from 13 separate labs to one consolidated lab. The narrative is divided into two parts. Part one addresses the reasons why the Air Force decided to consolidate its far-flung science and technology enterprise into one lab. How the new lab was implemented is the focus of part two. This study is especially revealing because the reader is given access to the inner workings and struggles of a major Air Force organizational restructuring through interviews with key individuals who participated directly in the decision-making process to establish a single lab. A chronology of the labs creation is included. 19 tables, 22 figures, 19 photographs

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  • Administration and Management
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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