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Committee Detail



Committee NameU.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory BoardAgency NameDepartment of Defense
Fiscal Year2019Committee Number439
Original Establishment Date2/19/1946Committee StatusChartered
Actual Termination Date Committee URL
New Committee This FYNoPresidential Appointments*No
Terminated This FYNoMax Number of Members*20
Current Charter Date5/21/2018Designated Fed Officer Position Title*DFO
Date Of Renewal Charter5/21/2020Designated Federal Officer PrefixMr.
Projected Termination Date Designated Federal Officer First Name*Evan
Exempt From Renewal*NoDesignated Federal Officer Middle NameG
Specific Termination AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Last Name*Buschmann
Establishment Authority*Agency AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Suffix
Specific Establishment Authority*AgencyDesignated Federal Officer Phone*240-612-5503
Effective Date Of Authority*2/19/1946Designated Federal Officer Fax*703-693-5643
Committee Type*ContinuingDesignated Federal Officer Email*
Committee Function*Scientific Technical Program Advisory Board


Agency Recommendation*Continue
Legislation to Terminate RequiredNo
Legislation StatusNot Applicable
How does cmte accomplish its purpose?*The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) fulfills several critical functions for the Air Force: 1) provides independent technical advice to Air Force (AF) leadership, 2) studies topics deemed critical by the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force, as well as Major Command - Commanders 3) recommends applications of technology to improve AF capabilities, 4) provides an independent review of the quality and relevance of AF Science and Technology programs. These are accomplished through study panels, advisory groups, and review panels.The SAB’s major FY 2018 study effort involved two (2) studies which were drafted during a two-week session in June 2018 following several months of fact finding. The study topics for FY18 SAB studies consisted of: (1) Maintaining Technology Superiority for the U.S. Air Force, and (2) Technologies for Enabling Resilient Command and Control. The Maintaining Technology Superiority for the U.S. Air Force study was composed of four subcommittees (Air, Space, Cyberspace, and Rapid Technology), and the breadth/depth of the study was at least four times larger than a standard SAB study. This resulted in higher actual travel costs than projected in last year's annual comprehensive report. In addition, the SAB reviews the entirety of the Air Force Research Laboratory on a four-year cycle. During FY2018, the SAB reviewed individual Air Force S&T programs across four laboratories.
How is membership balanced?*A major personnel challenge for the SAB is examining a wide variety of Science and Technology focus areas that aid the Air Fore in the pursuit of technological superiority. The technical expertise of the membership is tracked using 26 distinct technical categories. A strong effort is made to balance board membership in terms of technical expertise, sector (academia, industry, and major scientific institutions), previous government experience, and diversity.
How frequent & relevant are cmte mtgs?*Typically, the entire board meets quarterly to deliberate and vote on the findings and recommendations from both studies and S&T reviews. Full board meetings occur in the Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer timeframes. Major studies generally require several information gathering/fact-finding meetings and also hold administrative meetings for briefing preparation and report writing. Science and Technology reviews generally require fact-finding meetings with each technology directorate being reviewed and may be preceded by visits to geographically separate units. FY18 was impacted by a government shutdown at the beginning of the calendar year. As a result, the winter board meeting was cancelled. Our September 2018 session will be preparatory in nature and will not involve deliberations or voting, so it will not be formally acknowledged as a Board meeting.
Why advice can't be obtained elsewhere?*The Secretary of Defense has determined that no other DoD advisory committee can provide the independent advice provided by the board to the Secretary of the Air Force on scientific and technical issues facing the Department of the Air Force.
Why close or partially close meetings?Meetings are not closed to the public unless the Department of Defense determines that items on the planned agenda meet the closed meeting provisions of 5 U.S.C. § 552b(c-1). Pursuant to DoD policy closed meetings can only be authorized by the DoD Sponsor, who is the Secretary of the Air Force or designee, and only after consultation with the appropriate General Counsel.
Recommendation RemarksThe SAB completed two (2) studies in FY2018 along with five individual technical reviews of Air Force Science and Technology Programs. The report publication process is ongoing and should be completed by late spring of 2019. If a public release version of a report is published, it will be made available on this website.

The SAB provides independent advice on matters of science and technology relating to the Air Force mission, reporting directly to the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Since 1944, luminaries such as Dr. Theodore von Kármán, General James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle, Dr. Ivan Getting, Dr. Edward Teller, and Dr. Charles Stark Draper, and more recently Dr. Robert Lucky and Mrs. Natalie Crawford, have provided visionary and forward-looking advice on technologies such as: supersonic aircraft, weather forecasting, satellite communications, medical research, crewless airplanes, and defenses against aircraft and missiles. Today, the SAB continues to emphasize future technologies through its in-depth reviews of the Air Force Research Laboratory's science and technology developments, and its studies of topics tasked by the Secretary and Chief of Staff. Recent SAB studies have informed Air Force leadership and influenced science and technology pursued and adopted by the Air Force. The SAB continues to look into the future, helping enable continued affordable technological pre-eminence of the U.S. Air Force and the Nation.

The annual operating cost for parent committee members in FY18 is ~$680,000 annually, to include travel, meetings, and contract support. In the SAB charter is states that this number is approximately $2,000,000. Please note that the delta in FACA reported cost data and the charter results from the inclusion of sub-committee members that comprise roughly 70% of the membership.


Outcome Improvement To Health Or Safety*YesAction Reorganize Priorities*Yes
Outcome Trust In GovernmentYesAction Reallocate ResourcesYes
Outcome Major Policy ChangesYesAction Issued New RegulationsNo
Outcome Advance In Scientific ResearchYesAction Proposed LegislationNo
Outcome Effective Grant MakingNoAction Approved Grants Or Other PaymentsNo
Outcome Improved Service DeliveryNoAction OtherNo
Outcome Increased Customer SatisfactionNoAction CommentWhen Air Force leadership adopts a SAB recommendation, this adoption may involve reorganized research priorities within the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) or a reallocation of resources within AFRL or a MAJCOM to either engage in a certain technology endeavor or divestiture.
Outcome Implement Laws/Reg RequirementsNoGrants Review*No
Outcome OtherNoNumber Of Grants Reviewed0
Outcome CommentNANumber Of Grants Recommended0
Cost Savings*Unable to DetermineDollar Value Of Grants Recommended$0.00
Cost Savings CommentThe Air Force invests roughly $4.6B per year on science and technology. The SAB advises AF leadership on a wide range of technology related items, and while SAB activities have influence on the content of the S&T portfolio, in general the SAB does not directly address budgeting and investment issues.Grants Review CommentNA
Number Of Recommendations*877Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*Yes
Number Of Recommendations CommentThe SAB has been in existence for almost 75 years. The number of recommendations (877) shown above dates back to 2003. In FY17, the Comittee made 29 recommendations to the Air Force (12 Study related and 17 S&T Review related, although there were additional SAP-level recommendations). In FY18, the Committee has made 45 recommendations to date, all stemming from S&T reviews; the FY18 study recommendations have not yet been released to the SecAF, so they have not yet been captured here. Upon completion of the Studies outbrief to the SecAF, we will add these recommendations and assess their acceptance/partial acceptance.Access Agency WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented*52.00%Access Committee WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentDating back to 2003, there is sufficient evidence through Air Force feedback and subsequent activity that 454/877 SAB recommendations have been fully adopted.Access GSA FACA WebsiteYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented*14.00%Access PublicationsYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentDating back to 2003, there is sufficient evidence through Air Force feedback and subsequent activity that 120/877 SAB recommendations have been partially adopted.Access OtherYes
Agency Feedback*YesAccess CommentUnclassified reports are available via the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), via the public,, or the private side of DTIC.
Agency Feedback CommentThe Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition provides feedback at quarterly board meetings. Additionally, the Air Force Research Laboratory Commander provides feedback at outbriefs and other board venues. The Air Force Secretary (or her official designee) also provides feedback at the board's annual Summer Session.Narrative Description*The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) studies are undertaken on topics approved by the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Thus, these are topics the Air Force Senior Leadership sees as essential to carry out the Air Force Mission in the years ahead. SAB recommendations cover both operational concepts and technologies to support the warfighter - both essential elements of the ongoing USAF transformation. The SAB supports the maintenance of superior science and technology in the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) through quality reviews which assess the quality and relevance of the Air Force mission of research supported by AFRL.
Hide Section - COSTS


Payments to Non-Federal Members* Est Payments to Non-Fed Members Next FY* 
Payments to Federal Members* Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY* 
Payments to Federal Staff* Estimated Payments to Federal Staff* 
Payments to Consultants* Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY* 
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members* Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY* 
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members* Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members* 
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff* Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY* 
Travel Reimb. For Consultants* Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY* 
Other Costs Est. Other Costs Next FY* 
Total Costs$0.00Est. Total Next FY*$0.00
Federal Staff Support (FTE)* Est. Fed Staff Support Next FY* 


To View all the members, meetings and advisory reports for this committee please click here




ActionCommittee System IDSubcommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-031764Basic Sciences Subcommittee2019
 COM-032417Defense Operations and Systems Subcommittee2019
 COM-029154Information Systems Subcommittee2019
 COM-032299Vehicle Systems Subcommittee2019


No Documents Found



Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-033086U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2018
 COM-001384U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2017
 COM-002955U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2016
 COM-003536U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2015
 COM-005000U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2014
 COM-005623U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2013
 COM-007160U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2012
 COM-007757U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2011
 COM-009347U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2010
 COM-009842U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2009
 COM-011290U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2008
 COM-011686U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2007
 COM-013146U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2006
 COM-013510U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2005
 COM-015035U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2004
 COM-015416U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2003
 COM-017043U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2002
 COM-017445U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2001
 COM-018906U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2000
 COM-019363U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board1999
 COM-020940U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board1998
 COM-021097U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board1997