Development and evaluation of an automated decision aid for rapid re-tasking of air strike assets in response to time sensitive targets
Weaver, Paul R.
Rosenthal, Richard E.
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The thesis addresses the problem of optimally re-assigning strike aircraft to targets in response to the emergence of "pop-ups" or time-sensitive targets. The first part of thesis develops an automated decision aid to rapidly revise the current air tasking order (ATO), so as to: maximize achievement of target destruction goals (weighted by target priorities), minimize attrition risk to employed assets, and disrupt the current ATO as little as possible. The second part of the thesis develops a detailed test and evaluation plan to conduct a comparison of two competing automated decision aids and the current manual reassignment methods. Critical operational issues, measures of effectiveness and measures of performance were developed to fully evaluate operational performance. The time-sensitive-targeting decision aid was tested and validated during major air strike live exercises at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One. Careful measurements comparing the re-taskings recommended by the decision aid against actual decisions demonstrated that in every case the model's solutions were of better or equal quality, maximized combat asset utilization, and were achieved significantly faster.
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