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The Need for Development Operations Squadrons


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Since its formation in 1947, the United States Air Force has evolved into the premier standard when it comes to air combat and capabilities development. However, in our 73 years of controlling air supremacy, we as a service have grown accustomed to a sluggish, outdated acquisitions cycle that has led our operators to the state of complacency when it comes to receiving technology that is already years behind the state-of-today; this has tied our Air Force to the will of our partners in the defense industrial base (DIB). Additionally, there is a massive disconnect between our operators and engineers, and their ability to apply the latest capabilities to the problems that are being faced in the field. Organizations are popping up within the Air Force and the United States Government (USG) that are breaking the status quo of acquisitions and research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT and E). Within the Air Force we have organizations that are tasked to exploit the current and future potential of existing systems1and to address needs that involve mission applications and operational concepts requiring specialized expertise [for] projects on accelerated timelines2 including groups such as the Air Force Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (AF TENCAP) and the Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO).



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