What is the doctrinal definition of Early Operational Capability? I see several articles on line referring to this. One is titled "MQ-4C Triton UAV Deploys, Reaching Early Operational Capability"
To truly understand EOC it is first important to understand the term Initial Operational Capability (IOC). IOC is very important to both the operator and acquisition communities as each has responsibilities in achieving IOC. In short, IOC is an agreement between operators and acquirers that certain actions will be accomplished by a certain date. Operators, for example, are required to conduct initial weapons system and logistical training to crews and accomplish all actions associated with bringing a weapon system on-board. The acquisition community is responsible for delivering a certain number of assets to the user by the agreed to IOC date. These assets must meet all Key Performance Parameters, most key system attributes, and have an established logistical chain. So, in short, IOC requires operator preparation training, a certain number of delivered assets, and a viable logistics support chain. EOC, therefore is some capability short of the required IOC capability. In the MQ-4C Triton UAV case, EOC was reached when a number of UAV's were delivered to help develop operational procedures. Unlike IOC, the user solely determines and plans for what capabilities are needed for EOC. So in short, EOC means IOC requirements have not been fully met but the user is deriving some benefits from EOC.