Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Alan R. Heminger, PhD.


The purpose of this research was twofold. First, it developed a forecast of future mobile information and communications technologies (ICT) suitable for use by military forces in austere environments in 5-10, 10-20, and beyond 20 years. Secondly, it explored whether or not current acquisitions practices will be adequate to meet the needs of warfighters who depend on mobile ICT. These questions were explored by conducting utilization of the Delphi technique. Eight panelists from within the private sector conducted three rounds of iterative feedback. This research resulted in a technology forecast for the three timeframes aforementioned, and the potential impacts to the defense acquisitions community. First, current acquisitions practices are unlikely to meet the needs of warfighters dependent upon mobile ICT and streamlining efforts are not likely to result in sufficient lessening of development timelines to maintain technological currency. Secondly, it is foreseeable that military forces will become increasingly dependent upon technologies developed by the private sector. An acquisitions model which exploits technological advances in the form of smart phones and tablets and a secure repository for approved applications and data services is feasible and may help defense acquisitions to maintain technological currency as they replace dedicated, single-purpose equipment. Finally, it suggested that developing the organizational flexibility to adapt to emerging technological trends will become more important than detailed planning and budgeting beyond 10 years.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number