Sharpening the Vision: The Process
Naval Aviation encompasses a broad array of communities and capabilities,
all working toward a common end. With the approach of the next century,
it is important that we also have a specific, common vision, an understanding
of where we are going and how we will get there. To accomplish this, we
developed a process that integrates the concerns and views of Fleet commands
throughout Naval Aviation.
Developing a Consensus
The process began in earnest with the first of three Fleet off-site conferences
in July 1996, followed by sessions in October 1996 and January 1997. The
participants in these conferences represented a true cross-section of Naval
Aviation - strike-fighter as well as resupply and logistics support, Marine
and Navy, fixed- and rotary-wing, and
shore- and sea-based senior Fleet operators. In these sessions, the participants
reviewed the direction provided by our National Military Strategy, analyzed
requirements with respect to Joint Vision 2010, integrated
the vision of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine
Corps, and assessed the geopolitical, economic, and technological future.
The attendees also evaluated the scenarios that Naval Aviation will face
which reflect the changing missions identified in Joint Vision 2010
and Forward... From the Sea. These scenarios include peacetime
engagement, deterrence and conflict prevention, and winning in a range
From the beginning, the process has been emphasized just as much as
the final product. The involvement of Fleet representatives in the three
off-site sessions has been particularly critical. The plan they developed
will underpin the Naval Aviation resource and procurement decisions for
the foreseeable future. A broad focus was maintained throughout this effort
to ensure that every aspect of Naval Aviation, from people to weapons systems
to logistics, was addressed appropriately and in sufficient detail. From
these and other inputs, we have structured a Naval Aviation Vision, identified
goals, and developed plans to accomplish these goals. We have communicated
these to all Naval Aviation communities and the Air Board (the senior members
of Naval Aviation). This process developed an effective, integrated strategy
for the future, and a vision for all of Naval Aviation. The Vision articulates
where Naval Aviation is today, where we need to go to maintain our operational
excellence, and how we will get there.
As we began this process, we faced several key tasks. The first was to
ensure that the Naval Aviation Vision and its strategic plans were aligned
with higher-level strategy and policy. Our second key task has been the
development of a shared vision, probably one of the most
difficult elements in this process due to the operational and geographic
diversity of Naval Aviation. Hence, we began with the commander's guidance,
developed it at the Fleet conferences, solicited and incorporated Fleet
feedback, and achieved Air Board concurrence.
Following the development of our Strategic Vision, we identified its
specific elements and goals which must be met to uphold the Vision. For
long-term, or strategic goals,
we selected only those whose accomplishment benefits Naval Aviation. "Gap"
analyses were performed on all possible goals to assess where Naval Aviation
is now, and to determine where it would be if the goal were achieved. This
technique allowed us to screen out those goals that would result in only
marginal advances. The Vision has incorporated a system of concrete objectives
and metrics to measure our progress.
The next stage involves reconciling the Vision with the fiscal, political,
and technological constraints that Naval Aviation faces in the coming years.
This is done in the programming phase of the annual planning, programming,
and budgeting cycle. Although the process may appear complicated, it is
actually straightforward and incorporates the active participation of Fleet
The last and most crucial factor has been, and will continue to be,
the feedback process. At the close of each of our off-sites, each issue
was reviewed by teams of subject matter experts. The revised material was
sent to the off-site participants and to all Naval Aviation communities
for review and comment ‹ the results of those reviews are incorporated
into this document. Future changes will be accomplished in a similar manner.
From Concept to Reality
Requirements officers and program managers introduce outstanding issues
in Naval Aviation during biannual Naval Aviation Liaison Group (NALG) conferences.
The NALG is an open forum in which leaders within and outside of Naval
Aviation (including type commander representatives) meet to develop consensus
on issues. From the NALG an issue moves on, subject to continuing debate
at many levels, taking on more definition. The Aviation Flag Board - consisting
of the senior officers in the Air Warfare Division in the office of the
Chief of Naval Operations - is the final arbiter within Naval Aviation.
It is here that the issues are prioritized and phased to fit within fiscal
and technological constraints. The Air Warfare Division then incorporates
the issues into a sponsor program proposal which is presented to the Department
of the Navy's leadership for approval. In this manner the Naval Aviation
Vision is transformed into budget priorities and ultimately, hardware in
Naval Aviation Vision Statement
Chief of Naval Operations Foreword
Commandant of the Marine Corps Foreword
New Challenges...Enduring Realities
Naval Aviation: Capabilities for Today...
Sharpening the Vision: The Process
Section 1: Element Definitions and Goals
Section 2: Program Plans, Descriptions and Roadmaps
Director Air Warfare Closing Remarks