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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 2019 study effort involved three studies which were completed during a two-week session in June 2019 following several months of fact finding. The Secretary of the Air Force directed study topics for FY19 SAB were (1) 21st Century Training and Education Technologies, (2) Fidelity of Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis to Support Air Force Decision Making, and (3) Multi-Source Data Fusion for Target Location and Identification. In addition, the SAB reviews the entirety of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) on a four-year cycle. During FY19, the SAB reviewed the following AFRL technical directorates: (1) Aerospace Systems, (2) Sensors, (3) Classified Programs, (4) Directed Energy, and (5) Space Vehicles.
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 three times annually to deliberate and vote on the findings and recommendations from both studies and S&T reviews. Full board meetings occur in the Winter, Spring, and Summer timeframes. Fall gatherings are typically administrative in nature. 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. Our September 2019 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 three (3) studies in FY19 along with five individual technical reviews of Air Force Science and Technology Programs. The report publication process is ongoing and should be completed by January of 2020. 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 Dr. 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 FY19 is ~$735,000, to include travel, meetings, and contract support. In the SAB charter is states that this number is approximately $2,600,000. 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*902Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*Yes
Number Of Recommendations CommentThe SAB has been in existence for almost 75 years. The number of recommendations (902) shown above dates back to 2003. Since last reporting, the Committee made 25 recommendations to Air Force Senior Leaders; 11 stemming from FY18 Studies and 14 stemming from FY19 S&T Reviews of the Air Force Research Laboratory (NOTE: there were additional SAP-level recommendations). The FY19 study recommendations have not yet been presented to the SecAF, so they have not yet been captured here. Upon presentation to the SecAF, we will add these recommendations and assess their acceptance/partial acceptance.Access Agency WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented*52.55%Access Committee WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentDating back to 2003, there is sufficient evidence through Air Force feedback and subsequent activity that 474/877 SAB recommendations have been fully adopted.Access GSA FACA WebsiteYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented*13.85%Access PublicationsYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentDating back to 2003, there is sufficient evidence through Air Force feedback and subsequent activity that 125/877 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 anofficial designee) also provides feedback at the board's annual Summer Session or outbriefing, thereafter.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.
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Payments to Non-Federal Members*$0.00Est Payments to Non-Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Members*$0.00Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Staff*$175,414.00Estimated Payments to Federal Staff*$180,676.00
Payments to Consultants*$0.00Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members*$284,825.00Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY*$293,370.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff*$82,765.00Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY*$85,248.00
Travel Reimb. For Consultants*$0.00Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Other Costs$191,805.00Est. Other Costs Next FY*$197,559.00
Total Costs$734,809.00Est. Total Next FY*$756,853.00
Federal Staff Support (FTE)*1.60Est. Fed Staff Support Next FY*1.60
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     Committee Level Reports               


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


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Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 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
 COM-033086U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2018