Operational Requirements



1.1. Military technical superiority is a powerful deterrent to war and, if deterrence fails, provides the means to offset a numerical disadvantage in forces and minimize loss of life. Technical superiority may be measured in terms of cost, performance, reliability, and ease of maintenance. To maintain the winning edge in technology, Air Force organizations use a formal, coherent process to identify, evaluate, and prioritize the mission needs and operational requirements that compete for limited resources through the Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition system (attachment 1).

1.2. Air Force mission deficiencies will be identified by assessing the capability to accomplish assigned missions and tasks.

1.3. All Air Force activities will first assess all nonmateriel solutions to satisfy a mission deficiency. Solutions may include changes in organization, training, tactics, doctrine, etc. Materiel solutions will be considered and a Mission Need Statement (MNS) developed only after nonmateriel options are found unsatisfactory.

1.4. A MNS identifies the need (deficiency) and is a prerequisite for entry into the acquisition process, as portrayed in attachment 2.

1.5. A Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF) approved MNS is mandatory for all potential programs (attachment 3). Therefore, unless an unfunded need has an approved MNS, the Air Force will not consider it for funding.

1.6. The Cost and Operational Effectiveness Analysis (COEA) Report summarizes the results of cost and performance analyses of the various alternatives that may meet the identified need. The originator of the need chooses the preferred alternative, and develops requirements in the Operational Requirements Document (ORD) (paragraph 1.7). COEAs are required for DoD Acquisition Category (ACAT) I programs, or as directed by the applicable Acquisition Executive for ACAT II-IV programs (attachment 3).

1.7. The ORD identifies the operational requirements necessary to meet the identified need. The Requirements Correlation Matrix (RCM) is a matrix spreadsheet outlining the user's operational requirements from the ORD in terms of capabilities and characteristics, and is a mandatory attachment to all Air Force, or Air Force lead, ORDs. All Air Force, or Air Force lead, ORDs require CSAF approval (attachment 3).

1.7.1. Any changes to an approved ORD and RCM must be annotated and resubmitted for HQ US Air Force review and may require CSAF approval (dependent on the level or impact of the change).

1.8. HQ USAF/XO is responsible for Air Force requirements. HQ USAF/XOR provides oversight of the requirements process and documentation procedures. HQ USAF/XOR serves as the Air Force Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) Secretariat providing the requirements interface with the JROC.


Supersedes AFR 57-1, 7 October 1988.
OPR: HQ USAF/XORJ (Lt Col Frederick W. Chapman) Editor: SAF/AAIP (Mrs Joyce D. Void)
Approved by: HQ USAF/XOR (Maj Gen Larry L. Henry) Pages: 8/Distribution: F
1.9. Address requests for waivers to AFPD 10-6 and AFI 10-601, Mission Needs and Operational Requirements Guidance and Procedures, to HQ USAF/XOR.

1.10. Major commands (MAJCOM) and Field Operating Agencies (FOA) will provide a semiannual certification list of requirement documents to HQ USAF/XORJ no later than 1 January and 1 July of each year (attachment 1, figure A1.1).

1.11. This policy directive implements DoD Directive 5000.1, Defense Acquisition, February 23, 1991; DoD Instruction 5000.2, Defense Acquisition Management Policies and Procedures, February 23, 1991; and, DoD Manual 5000.2, Defense Acquisition Management Documentation and Reports, February 23, 1991.

1.12. Specific Air Force responsibilities, procedures, formats, and processing guidelines are published in AFI 10-601, Mission Needs and Operational Requirements Guidance and Procedures, which is the companion to this policy directive. Related policies are included in AFPD 33-1, C4 Systems; and AFPD 63-1, Acquisition System.

DCS, Plans and Operations

3 Attachments
1. Measuring and Displaying Compliance With Policy
2. Program Life Cycle and Test Phases
3. DoD Acquisition Categories (ACAT) and Document Approval Levels


A1.1. HQ USAF/XORJ will use the certification list (figure A1.1) to ensure documents provided by Air Force activities sponsoring mission needs and operational requirements are on file in the Air Force Requirements Library, and that a current Program Management Directive (PMD) is on file.

A1.1.1. HQ USAF/XORJ will compile the number of mission needs submitted by MAJCOM (figure A1.2) and begin tracking the MNS as it progresses to acquisition program initiation at Milestone I (figure A1.3). The tracking process will measure the number of MNSs received, the number of MNSs received that are approved, the number of MNSs approved to enter the acquisition process at Milestone 0, and the number of MNSs selected for program status at Milestone I. These data elements will be portrayed on a current year-to-date basis and updated monthly. MNS processing time (figure A1.4) will also be tracked on a year-to-date basis to assess timeliness of the staffing and approval process. This will provide a baseline analysis identifying potential problems with the requirements process properly interfacing with the acquisition process by portrayal of the trends at the major decision points of the process. The report will be submitted to the Global Reach - Global Power resource teams and the CSAF for review.

A1.2. The RCS: HAF-XOR(SA) 9215, MNS and ORD Certification List, format will be used for the semiannual report. This report replaces RCS: SAF-AQQ(A) 7502, RD&A Prioritized PDP List.

A1.2.1. This report is designated emergency status Code D. Discontinue during emergency conditions and do not transmit during MINIMIZE.

Figure A1.1. Format for MNS and ORD Certification List.

Figure A1.2. Sample Metric of Current Year MNS Analysis.

Figure A1.3. Sample Metric of Air Force-Wide Requirements.

Figure A1.4. Sample Metric of MNS Processing Time.

Figure A2.1. Chart of Program Life Cycle and Test Phases.

Figure A3.1. DoD Acquisition Categories (ACAT) and Document Approval Levels.