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    Generally ... how long of a timeline would it take to conduct an AoA of this complexity (using Air Force instruction and processes)? OSD CAPE's guidance said in Oct 17 that it should be accomplished by Jun 18. We are aggressively estimating a timeline to (a) complete the CCTD for all 10 gaps by Apr 18 and (b) complete the AoA by Apr 19. Based on historical AoA timelines ... is this a good estimate? Since we are under HQ Air Force tasking to come up with an answer/argument for a longer timeline than OSD CAPE directs ... if able, could we get a response as soon as possible? Thank you, Todd Brosz


    Answer

    Without knowing the complexity of the program, the ten capability gaps, the technology levels of the critical technologies needed to address these gaps, or the number of alternatives that need to be analyzed for each capability gap, there is no way to provide an assessment as to if you have an adequate amount of time.  Even, if this was all known and understood, we would not provide this type of assessment.
     
    However, based on the AoA Study Guidance, the AoA Study Plan establishes a roadmap of how the analysis must proceed, who is responsible for the different elements, and why they are doing them. The Study Plan is a "living document" and must be updated throughout the AoA effort to reflect new information and changing study perceptions and direction. By design, the AoA Study Plan is structured so it can evolve into the AoA Final Report. For Acquisition Category (ACAT) I and IA programs, the AoA Study Guidance and AoA Study Plan are approved by the Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (DCAPE) prior to the Materiel Development Decision (MDD). Following the MDD, the organization responsible conducts the AoA and submits a report to the DCAPE, the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA), and the Joint Staff prior to the Milestone A review. For ACAT II and ACAT III programs, Component AoA procedures apply.
     
    Each Service (i.e., Component) does it slightly different and each has service-specific regulations and procedures.  Here is a link to USAF Analysis of Alternatives Handbook (dated June 2013, version may have been updated since then).
     
    https://acc.dau.mil/adl/en-US/702046/file/76359/USAF%20-%20Handbook%20-%20OAS,%20AoA,%2010%20Jun%202013.pdf
     
    I would also suggest that you look across the USAF (or other Services) portfolio of programs of similar type, size, and complexity and review those AoAs for items that may suit your needs.  In any case, negotiate with the MDA the requirements for all acquisition documentation and make sure you record that agreement in an acquisition decision memorandum.

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