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The Myth of Jointness in Department of Defense Requirements and Major Acquisition Programs

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Master's thesis

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This thesis begins with an overview of joint requirements development since World War II. This section includes a review of the National Security Act of 1947 and the efforts of the Hoover Commission and the Rockefeller Committee to streamline government operations and increase efficiencies. The thesis then examines four programs that were designed, developed, resourced, and procured by the Navy and Army, respectively, and later procured by one or more other services. The first two programs address the Navys procurement of the F-4 Phantom II and A-7 Corsair II aircraft. The second two programs address the Armys procurement of the M1 Abrams main battle tank and the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The thesis then presents two case studies of joint programs intended to meet the requirements of two or more services and save funds. The first case study is a review of the Tactical Fighter, Experimental TFX, later designated the F-111 Aardvark advanced fighter-bomber. The development of the TFX began in the late 1950s and was labeled by many as one of the first truly joint acquisition programs. The Navy and the Air Force, guided by the heavy hand of the Secretary of Defense, had to compromise their individual service requirements to reach an agreement on the joint requirements of the new aircraft. The results were borderline disastrous. The second case study discusses the recent Joint Cargo Aircraft JCA program. This program, which began in 2004 as the Armys Future Cargo Aircraft FCA, was a directed joint program, merging the JCA with the Air Forces Light Cargo Aircraft program. Unlike the TFX, the JCA was on sure footing with both services coming to terms on the capabilities of the aircraft until the Secretary of Defense intervened. Discussions of the 1985 Presidents Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management, the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, and current defense requirements processes are included.

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  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Helicopters
  • Attack and Fighter Aircraft
  • Combat Vehicles

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