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October 22 , 2010

Science and Technology: The Making of the Air Force Research Laboratory - Laboratory Consolidation, Vision 21, Infrastructure, Laboratory Studies and Strategy


From the Foreword by General Fogleman, retired USAF Chief of Staff:

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This history documents a watershed event within the United States Air Force during my tenure as chief of staff—the creation of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). As the "high technology" service, the Air Force has always searched for ways to improve continuously 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. Bob Duffner's insightful and comprehensive account of the evolution of events leading to the genesis of a single Air Force laboratory 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 our laboratory system is organized is a critical factor in the Air Force's ability to assure that we are investing in and delivering the most relevant technologies possible.

Duffner is an accomplished historian who weaves an engaging and cogent story of how the Air Force moved from 13 separate labs to one consolidated lab. Thoroughly researched and documented, this balanced and highly readable 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.

People—collectively and individually—make history. The creation of the Air Force Research Laboratory represents one of the most sweeping reforms in the history of the Air Force and is testimony to the principle that change is inevitable. Understanding why and how a single lab happened is critically important in assessing where Air Force science and technology has been in the past and where it is going in the future. This book offers a unique perspective on how and why the Air Force altered its organizational approach to science and technology. I strongly recommend that it be added to every serious Air Force professional's reading list.

Contents: Chapter 1 - Introduction * Chapter 2 - Rumblings of Laboratory Consolidation * Chapter 3 - The Catalyst: National Defense Authorization Act and Vision 21 * Chapter 4 - Overhauling Infrastructure * Chapter 5 - Laboratory Studies and Strategy * Chapter 6 - Corona 1996: Leadership and Decisions * Chapter 7 - The Last Dance: Meeting in the Secretary's Office * Chapter 8 - Conclusion * Chapter 9 - Early Strategic Planning * Chapter 10 - Shaping the Technology Directorates * Chapter 11 - Getting the Message Out * Chapter 12 - Other Perspectives: Independent Review Teams * Chapter 13 - Headquarters: Two Staff Directorates * Chapter 14 - The Final Push * Chapter 15 - Conclusion

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Date release: April 10, 2012

Nonfiction, History, Science & Nature
Science, Technology:, Making, Force, Research, Laboratory, Laboratory, Consolidation,, Vision, Infrastructure,, Laboratory, Studies, Strategy, Progressive, Management, download, Adobe DRM, TXT

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