Aligning Needs, Technologies, and Resources for Special Operations

USSOCOM equips its warfighters with cutting-edge technology to ensure they have a tactical edge over their adversaries. Special Forces encompasses a wide array of military operations; as such, they have numerous areas of interest (AoI) for technology investment. Companies submit proposals aligned with these AoIs following a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). Currently, USSOCOM decides which projects get funded based on the perceived military value. However, this process is arbitrary and does not account for the state of technology. This paper analyzes the BAA from 2019 to identify critical technologies (CT) that will solve USSOCOM’s needs. These CTs are analyzed through Technology Readiness Level (TRL) to capture the state of the given technology. A trade space analysis tool plots the TRL against the importance of the technology, which can be leveraged to aid decision making in prioritization. This process provides numerous benefits over traditional approaches; additionally, there is an opportunity to automate this process.
Technology Readiness Level (TRL), USSOCOM, Critical Technology
Harrison, Kennedy, Josh White, Tyler Giovinco, Jaritzel Jurado, and Vikram Mittal. 2019. “Aligning Needs, Technologies, and Resources for Special Operations.” Proceedings of the Annual General Donald R. Keith Memorial Conference, January, 1.