Joint Capabilities Integration Development System

Joint Capabilities Integration Development System

The Joint Capabilities Integration Development System, or JCIDS, isthe formal United States Department of Defense (DoD) procedure which definesacquisition requirements and evaluation criteria for future defenseprograms. JCIDS was created to replace the previous service-specificrequirements generation system, which allegedly created redundancies incapabilities and failed to meet the combined needs of all USmilitary services. In order to correct these problems, JCIDS isintended to guide the development of requirements for futureacquisition systems to reflect the needs of all four services (Army,
Navy, Marines, and Air Force) by focusing the requirements generation process on needed "capabilities" as requested or defined by one of the US combatant commanders. In the JCIDS process, regional and functional combatant commanders give feedback early in the development process to ensure that their requirements are met.


JCIDS was developed under the direction of US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to address shortfalls in the DoD requirements generationsystem identified by the US joint chiefs of staff. These shortfallswere identified as: not considering new programs in the context ofother programs, not sufficiently considering combined servicerequirements and effectively prioritizing joint service requirements,and not accomplishing sufficient analysis. The drive to create JCIDSwas born out of a memo in March 2002 from the Secretary of Defense tothe Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff requesting a study onalternative ways to evaluate requirements. The Chairman, Joint Chiefsof Staff (CJCS) approved the new JCIDS on 24 June 2003. CJCSInstruction (CJCSI) 3170.01 provides a top-level description andoutlines the organizational responsibilities. CJCS Manual (CJCSM)3170.01 defines performance attributes, key performance parameters,validation and approval processes, and associated document content.


The central focus of JCIDS is to address capability shortfalls, orgaps as defined by combatant commanders. Thus, JCIDS is said toprovide a capabilities-based approach to requirements generation.The previous requirements generation system focused on addressingfuture threat scenarios. While understanding the risks associated withfuture threat postures is necessary to develop effective weaponssystems, a sufficient methodology requires a joint perspective whichcan both prioritize the risk associated with future threats andconsider operational gaps in the context of all the services. Ifrequirements are developed in this joint context, there issimultaneously a smaller chance of developing superfluously overlappingsystems and a greater probability of that weapons systems would beoperational with one another (i.e. common communication systems,weapons interfaces, etc). The Joint capability areas were established in conjunction with JCIDS in order to provide for a common lexicon throughout the Department of Defense. Another major emphasis of JCIDS is to consider whether a solution to a potential operational gap requires thedevelopment of a physical system (a material solution) or aprocedural or training based solution (a non-material solution).In this sense, the JCIDS process provides a solution space thatconsiders solutions involving any combination of doctrine,organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personneland facilities (DOTMLPF). Since combatant commanders definerequirements in consultation with the office of the secretary ofdefense (OSD), they are able to consider gaps in the context ofstrategic direction for the total US military force and influence thedirection of requirements earlier in the acquisition process.

The JCIDS process starts with the development of joint integratingconcepts and the capability they imply from the US Secretary of Defense(SecDef) and combatant commanders. From the joint integrating concepts,the joint chiefs of staff refine requirements and develop an integratedpriority list via a joint quarterly readiness review. Militaryjudgement is further applied by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) (comprised of the vice-joint chief of staff and otherservice vice-commanders) which validates requirement attributesand determines how to produce the required capability. From the JROC, the JCIDS process maps current programs against thestandard as defined by JROC attributes to determine if gaps exist inproviding the concepts defined by the SecDef and combatant commanders.

JCIDS Analysis

In order to assess US capability to execute Joint Integrating Conceptsthere are three phases to capabilities-based assessment: a functionalarea analysis, a functional needs analysis, and a functional solutionsanalysis. The functional area analysis identifies operational tasks,conditions and standards needed to accomplish objectives. TheFunctional Needs Analysis assesses the ability of current andprogrammed capabilities to accomplish the tasks identified in thefunctional area analysis. The end product of these first two levels ofanalysis is a list of capability gaps. Functional solutions analysis(FSA) evaluates solutions from an operational perspective across theDOTMLPF spectrum. The FSA results in a list of potential need-basedsolutions and is further divided into three subcomponents: non-materialanalysis (DOT_LPF), material solutions (ideas for material approaches, or IMA, analysis) and the Analysis of Material Approaches to determine thebest materiel or combination of approaches to produce the bestcapability. The final analysis is the Post-Independent Analysis whichreviews the previous three functional analyses and selects an approachor approaches that best close the capability gaps. The originalproposal sponsor documents a recommended change or produces anInitial Capabilities Document for a system.

A proposal receives one of three designations based on the degree inwhich it applies to all three services: "JROC Interest", "JointIntegration" or "Independent". Independent proposals affect only asingle service component. Joint integration programs requireintelligence, munitions or interoperability certifications. "JROCInterest" programs apply to any program the JROC decides to review andall Acquisition Category(ACAT) 1/1A programs.

Output Documents

Three documents are the output of the JCIDS analysis which togetherdefine needed capabilities, guide materiel development and direct theproduction of capabilities. Each of these documents supports a majordesign approval decision each with gradual improving design maturity A,B or C. The sponsor is the single focal point for all three documents.The initial capabilities document (ICD) defines the capability need andwhere it fits in broader concepts, ultimately supporting the milestoneA decision. (The milestone A decision approves or denies a conceptdemonstration to show that a proposed concept is feasible). When thetechnology development phase is complete, a capability developmentdocument (CDD) is produced which provides more detail on the materielsolution of the desired capability and supports milestone B decisions.(The milestone B approval starts the System Development & Demonstration Phase.) Most important, the CDD also defines thethresholds and objectives against which the capability will bemeasured. After approval, the CDD guides the system development anddemonstration phase of the acquisition process. The capabilityproduction document (CPD) supports the milestone C decision necessaryto start low-rate initial production and operational tests. The CPDpotentially refines the thresholds from the CDD based on lessonslearned during the Systems Development and Demonstration phase.


The DoD component that oversees the JCIDS analyses acts as the "sponsor".The sponsor also evaluates the affordability of various proposals andapproaches determined in the study. Moreover, the sponsor coordinates withnon-DoD departments and agencies on interagency capability matters.

The Joint Staff, J8, Vice Director (VDJ-8), is the "gatekeeper" of the JCIDS process. Thegatekeeper assigns the JPD, and assigns lead and supporting functionalcapabilities boards FCBs, and performs an initial review. Thegatekeeper initially reviews all proposals and then designates theprogram's degree of joint potential and which Functional CapabilityBoard and Joint Warfighting Capability Assessment Teams will receivethe proposal. The gatekeeper determines the membership of the leadFunctional Capabilities Board, the lead Joint Warfighting CapabilityAssessment Team and the Joint Potential Designation. The JointPotential Designation is based on input from Joint Forces Command, eachof the Joint Warfighting Capability Assessment teams, and otherelements of the Joint Staff. The gatekeeper periodically reevaluatesthe Joint Potential designation throughout the process because changesin the proposed capability may require it to change as well.

When the gatekeeper has completed the initial review, they assign theanalysis to a "functional capabilities board" (FCB). This board replacesthe joint requirements panel (JRP) from the previous system, withexpanded responsibilities and membership. The FCB is responsible forensuring that new capabilities are developed with a joint warfightingcontext; ensuring that proposals are consistent with the Joint Force asdescribed in the Joint Operating Concepts; validating Joint Impactproposals; organizing, analyzing and prioritizing capabilitiesproposals; supervising development and updating of functional concepts;and ensuring that integrated architectures are reflective of theirfunctional area. The JROC now charters eight FCBs: (oversight authorityis in parentheses): (1) Command and Control (U.S. Joint ForcesCommand), (2) Battlespace Awareness (J2), (3) Force Application (J8),(4) Logistics (J4), (5) Protection (J8), (6) Force Support, (7) Net Centric (J6), (8) Building Partnerships (J5) . The head of theFCBs will probably be at least the O-7 or equivalent level. Membershipin an FCB goes beyond the traditional membership of the services underthe previous system in the JRP. The FCBs include O-6 or GS-15equivalent representatives of the combatant commanders, key OSD staff,and representatives from the space and intelligence communities. Thisexpanded membership gives the FCB Chairman the tools to make better andmore broadly informed recommendations on the capability proposals tothe JROC. It also involves the entire acquisition community early in theprocess. Other FCBs can be created by the JROC to oversee capabilitydevelopment and integration in the other functional areas.

"Joint warfighting capability assessment teams" (JWCAs) coordinatewith and aid the sponsor to prevent needless overlapping of proposalsacross components and to ensure that joint capability gaps are properlyaddressed. They support the gatekeeper in determining the JointPotential Designation and the lead and/or supporting JWCAs for eachJCIDS document in the process. They also work with other JWCAs to makesure that analyses do not overlook any joint aspects.


*CJCSI 3170.01C. “Joint Capabilities Integration Development System.” June 24, 2003.
*CJCSI 3170.01D. “Joint Capabilities Integration Development System.” March 12, 2004.
*CJCSI 3170.01E. “Joint Capabilities Integration Development System.” May 11, 2005.
*CJCSI 3170.01F. “Joint Capabilities Integration Development System.” May 1, 2007.

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