Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

David R. Jacques, PhD.


The use of Systems Engineering (SE) is mandated by the Department of Defense and United States Air Force (USAF) policy and is to be considered under the purview of the Program Manager. A normal SE program can consist of multiple processes from user requirement generation to the verification and validation of the system under design. The SE process encompasses the entire acquisition program and can take multiple years to conduct with completion only being achieved when the program is disposed of at the end of its life. Rapid acquisition programs such as a Joint Urgent Operational Need can have timelines that are compressed to less than 24 months. This compressed timeline often necessitates the truncation or removal of tasks. This research examines the literature on how the USAF completes rapid acquisitions and compares it to the responses of twelve members of the acquisition community with experience in rapid acquisition. The data is categorized to allow for the main points to be collected explaining how the USAF tailors the acquisition and SE processes. The results showed that while some programs do follow prescribed instructions most use an ad-hoc execution process and the Systems Engineering Technical Management Processes were underutilized.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number