Changes coming at the JROC

An evolution is taking place at the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) as it prepares to change its focus from simply validation — "grading other people's homework" — to ensuring that the military services are developing joint capabilities to fill future needs, according to the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"Requirements can change, and they're more of a validation of good ideas," said Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking about JROC's current duties. "We're good right now at grading other people's homework," but not as proficient at making the services understand what is needed for the future.

Speaking Oct. 17 at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis-Fletcher national security conference in Washington, D.C., Pace said JROC must begin to look forward and try to understand the gaps that will keep the military services from performing their missions, and then ask them to fill those presumed gaps. The development of a joint concept of operations is how JROC plans on making that happen.

The Defense Department's current "deliberative planning process" must be streamlined to facilitate greater acquisition and deployment speeds in order to maintain the nation's military superiority, Pace said.

Gen. John Keane, Army vice chief of staff, said JROC was "on the cusp of fairly profound change" by having the joint concept of operations driven from the top down instead of the traditional bottom-up method.

Navy Adm. William Fallon, vice chief of naval operations, agreed and said, "The joint conops will truly shake the place and turn it upside down."

Pace said increasing the development and deployment speeds of acquisitions and systems will make the military's forces more agile and lethal, and information technology is critical to that effort.

"IT is the key to being able to get intelligence, disseminate it, analyze it, make a decision, and do something about it inside the enemy's own cycle," Pace told Federal Computer Week, adding that the process relies on having the bandwidth necessary to circulate the information to all the stakeholders.

In addition to the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, the International Security Studies program of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, the Marine Corps and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency sponsored the national security conference.

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