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The Intelligence Warfighting Function in the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System.


As a young Soldier, I recall driving around the various U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) installations and seeing the signs for the Combat Developments Directorate. I would say to myself: "That sounds pretty interesting. I wonder what they do there." I have since learned that the directorate, now called the Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate (CDID), is where many recommendations originate that later become U.S. Army capabilities. The CDID at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence is responsible for the functions that result in modernizing the intelligence warfighting function. These ongoing modernization efforts involve the Army's capability development process, the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS), and the overall acquisition process. This article will explore the intricasies of the JCIDS process, and the role JCIDS plays in development of the future force intelligence warfighting function.

Overview of the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System

JCIDS is a needs-driven, joint capabilities-based requirements generation process. The primary objective of JCIDS is to ensure that the Department of Defense receives the capabilities required to successfully execute its mission. The Army utilizes JCIDS to validate and prioritize warfighting requirements. It is the lynchpin for supporting the Defense Acquisition System and the planning, programming, budget, and execution processes.

A key output of JCIDS is to produce a development strategy across the doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities, and policy (DOTMLPF-P) domains, shown in Figure 1, which are the elements of a capability.

JCIDS operates as an integrated, collaborative process, applying strategic guidance for the development of new capabilities through changes in DOTMLPF-P. To optimize the Army's ability to operate, the Army submits the resulting recommendations to the appropriate domain leads. The JCIDS process consists of several standardized documents that become Army requirements. These include:

* Initial Capabilities Document.

* Capability Development Document.

* Capability Production Document.

* DOTMLPF-P Integrated Change Recommendation (at the joint level, this is called the DOTMLPF-P Change Recommendation).

JCIDS relies on a multi-phased methodology nested in joint and Army concepts, which includes an analysis phase embedded in the capabilities-based assessment (CBA).

The Capabilities-Based Assessment Components

The CBA is a deliberate process that identifies current or future capability requirements (needs) measured against the current or projected threat, senior leader guidance, and statutory or regulatory directives. The resulting product of a CBA shows redundant or outmoded capabilities, recommends the most effective approach or combination of solutions, and documents the attributes of effective solutions. The output of a CBA is a recommended DOTMLPF-P materiel or non-materiel solution to solve an Army capability shortfall. The components of a CBA are the functional area analysis (FAA), the functional needs analysis (FNA), and the functional solution analysis (FSA) of non-materiel and materiel approaches. Figure 2 depicts the basic CBA phases.

Functional Area Analysis. The FAA is a snapshot in time of the Army's existing ability to accomplish a mission in terms of operational tasks, conditions, and standards, and it identifies what the Army needs to accomplish a new mission area. The FAA's output is a list of required capabilities with their associated tasks, conditions, and standards. Often, the input to the source document from which the capabilities derive is an approved functional concept or a concept of operations that describes--

* How the force will operate.

* The operational environment and time frame.

* The needed capabilities to accomplish a mission.

* The force's defining physical and operational characteristics.

Functional Needs Analysis. The FNA is the second analytic phase in the CBA. The initial output of the FNA is a list of all gaps in the capabilities required to execute a concept to standard. Applying a risk analysis to these gaps allows capability developers to create a list of prioritized gaps (needs)--capabilities for which solutions must be found or developed. Not all capability gaps will become needs. The FNA assesses the ability of current and programmed Army capabilities to accomplish the tasks identified in the FAA. The FNA determines which tasks identified in the FAA cannot be performed, performed to standard, performed in some conditions, or performed in the manner that the concept requires in the current or future force. It also determines which of these capability gaps pose a sufficient operational risk to constitute needs that require a solution. By definition, capability needs are those capability gaps that may present unacceptable risk.

Functional Solution Analysis. The FSA is the third analytic phase in the CBA. The FSA describes the ability of specific ways to mitigate the gaps identified in the FNA. The FNA high-risk capability gaps are inputs to the FSA. The outputs of the FSA are the potential materiel and/or non-materiel solutions to resolve the capability needs of the Army. The FSA is a two-step process that looks at ideas for non-materiel solutions to capability gaps (DOTMLPF-P domains) and ideas for materiel solutions to capability gaps. Potential non-materiel recommendations include one or more of the following:

* Changing policy.

* Changing doctrine.

* Reorganizing the force.

* Training and educating in innovative ways.

* Acquiring materiel that improves existing acquisition programs (or acquiring more).

* Increasing personnel strength.

* Realigning, improving, or creating facilities to support new mission areas.

Materiel initiatives tend to fall into three broad categories:

* Information systems.

* Evolution of existing systems.

* New start systems that differ significantly in form, function, operation, and capabilities from existing systems.

Capabilities Documents and DOTMLPF-P Solutions

Materiel requirements documentation establishes the need for a materiel acquisition program, describes employment of the materiel, and specifies what the materiel must be capable of doing. As an acquisition program progresses, required performance and design specifications become more specific. The Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) initiates the Defense Acquisition Management System and establishes the enduring need for an acquisition program. The Capability Development Document (CDD) and the Capability Production Document (CPD) define the system capabilities required to satisfy an approved materiel need, and project managers must use them to progress through an acquisition program using Army-provided funding.

Initial Capabilities Document. The ICD is a broad statement of a required materiel capability that can possibly support more than one developmental system. For example, the counter-concealment ICD provides the basis for sensors designed to deny an enemy the ability to conceal activity. This ICD is the foundation for the creation of sensors such as hyperspectral imagery and the U.S. Air Force's challenging targets capabilities. The document describes capability gaps derived from the CBA in warfighting concepts and integrated architectures. The ICD describes why non-materiel solutions do not fully mitigate capability gaps and the need for a materiel solution. In essence, the ICD proposes a materiel solution based on analysis of the various solutions and describes how the recommended solution best meets the required capability.

Capability Development Document. The CDD serves as the "living" document to carry the program and its increments through the acquisition process. It is the primary means to define measurable capabilities for an acquisition program. It captures the information necessary to deliver an affordable and supportable capability using mature technology. In short, the CDD is the roadmap for planning, directing, and managing an acquisition program to satisfy a validated materiel requirement. The CDD describes a technically mature and affordable increment of a militarily useful capability demonstrated in a relevant environment. The capability described in a specific increment may provide only a partial solution of the ultimate desired capability; therefore, the first increment's CDD must provide information regarding the strategy to achieve the full capability. Subsequent increments, leading to the full capability, are also described to give an overall understanding of the program strategy. The components of a CDD are many:

* Operational capability.

* Threat.

* Integrated architectures.

* Required capabilities.

* Program support.

* Supportability.

* Force structure, DOTMLPF-P impact, and constraints.

* Schedule.

* Program affordability for the system.

Most importantly, the CDD identifies the operational performance attributes that are testable or measurable. It defines key performance parameters (KPPs) and key system attributes (KSAs) that guide the development, demonstration, and testing of the capability.

Capability Production Document. The CPD further refines the KPPs and KSAs, leading to the production of a specific materiel solution. The ICD, CDD, and results from developmental and operational testing guide development of the CPD. It provides the operational performance characteristics necessary for the project manager to produce and field a specific system. The CPD presents performance characteristics, including KPPs and KSAs, to guide the production and deployment of the system. The refinement of performance attributes and KPPs is the most significant difference between a CDD and a CPD.

DOTMLPF-P Integrated Change Recommendation. DOTMLPF-P solutions are the preferred method for mitigating gaps in required capabilities because they are often the quickest and most cost-effective means of implementation. A DOTMLPF-P Integrated Change Recommendation (DICR) is generated when a change is needed to mitigate a gap identified during capability analysis, experimentation, or lessons learned but the change cannot be implemented using a force modernization proponent's normal resourcing or a TRADOC reprogramming action. The Army uses the DICR to apply recommended changes to existing Army resources when the changes are not associated with a new defense acquisition program. It is a tool used to inform Army staff processes for integration and synchronization purposes. A DICR can often be tied to an ICD to complete a packaged approach to solving or mitigating critical gaps in required capabilities. There is no policy or guidance specifying which proposed DOTMLPF-P change requires a DICR; therefore, the proponent makes this decision in coordination with the Army Capabilities Integration Center and Combined Arms Command. The recommendation is staffed for Army approval, and provides TRADOC with a vehicle to articulate requirements for which TRADOC is the lead but DOTMLPF-P solutions are beyond programmed resources. Figure 3 (on page 15) shows where the capabilities documents and DICR fit within the acquisition schedule.


JCIDS is only one segment of the Army's capabilities planning approach. It implements a "70 percent solution" with the ability to adjust within the flexibilities provided. The upfront analysis is a key component of the process. The CBAs or other analyses are critical to success. JCIDS captures and prioritizes proposed capabilities through collaboration with other departments, agencies, and the field. Capability developers are highly dependent on concepts and plans that set the stage and inform the institutional Army of existing and emerging needs. Ultimately, the JCIDS process seeks to identify ways to improve Army capabilities through the identification of non-materiel alternatives. When the need arises, JCIDS provides the foundation to implement a strategy for materiel development; therefore, actively engaging the acquisition, test, and science and technology communities early minimizes long-term risk to the overall program. Likewise, engagement with the field by expanding its role in the process enhances the development of capabilities particularly to many in the institutional Army who must "live" vicariously through what is read or available online. In the end, TRADOC is the Army's integrator of capabilities and point of entry to the JCIDS process.


Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction 3170.01l, Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) (Washington DC: Government Publishing Office, 23 January 2015).

Manual for the Operation of the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS), 12 February 2015.

U.S. Army War College. How the Army Runs: A Senior Leader Reference Handbook, 2015-2016 (Carlisle, PA: 2015).

U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. "DOTMLPF-P Integrated Capabilities Recommendation (DICR) Guide, Version 1.5." 1 June 2016.

by Mr. Andrew J. Valdez

Mr. Andrew Valdez has been a capability developer since 2004 and is currently Chief of the Capabilities Development Division, Requirements Determination Directorate, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence. He is a retired CW3 352P, Voice Intercept Technician. His past assignments include 204th Military Intelligence Battalion (Colombia), 10th Mountain Division (Bosnia), and 3rd Armored Division (Desert Storm). He has a master of science in strategic intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College and a bachelor of arts in government/history from New Mexico State University.
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Author:Valdez, Andrew J.
Publication:Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin
Date:Jan 1, 2018
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