Since 2017 the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska has supported several efforts to increase capability and reduce operational and planning risk across U.S. Strategic Command’s (USSTRATCOM) Mission Planning and Analysis System (MPAS).
A new $4 million contract from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) continues and elevates NSRI’s contributions to MPAS and brings total all-time contract awards to $13 million.
"This award demonstrates the quality of our work to this point and the desire for an ongoing partnership with AFLCMC," said Maj. Gen., USAF (Ret.) Rick Evans, NSRI executive director. "As the DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) of USSTRATCOM, this work cuts to the heart of our mission — helping to ensure the backbone of our nation’s defense through strategic deterrence."
NSRI has supported AFLCMC since the inception of the Increment 5 (Inc 5) program, which focuses on several initiatives for USSTRATCOM, including cyber security improvements and Enhanced Consequence Analysis (ECA). NSRI’s experience with end-user needs, technical understanding of nuclear weapons effects and program management expertise have helped bridge gaps to meet USSTRATCOM’s needs.
NSRI subject matter experts have provided operational understanding of ECA to explain how various nuclear weapons effects occur as well as how they are related to aspects of planning and operational activities. NSRI analysts have also supported working group activities related to cyber security requirements and provided conceptual models of capability integration pathways and prototype layouts of system workflows.
"NSRI has provided high-quality personnel with the required skillsets in this unique mission area," said Patrick Donovan, lead MPAS Inc 5 program manager. "Without the contribution and dedication of the top-notch personnel provided by NSRI, the ability to meet this key requirement would have been extremely difficult, and quite probably impossible, in the required timeline."
NSRI supported a programmatic milestone for the MPAS Inc 5 program in summer 2023 with a successful initial operational test and evaluation of the integrated nuclear weapons effect tools and capabilities developed by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency with MPAS applications. These tools allow USSTRATCOM to use nuclear weapons effects information in new and more in-depth ways during planning and operations to support ECA activities. The enhancement is critical for understanding the impacts of nuclear weapons use in the battle space.
"When I was still in uniform, I helped finalize the document that spelled out the long-term vision for ECA," said NSRI Senior Analyst Joshua Miller who retired in 2020 after 20 years of service in the U.S. Army. "To have the opportunity to continue the work on this effort is extremely exciting to me."
Throughout the next few years, NSRI will continually evaluate ECA and visualization prototypes.
"These systems will streamline essential workflows and, with these sophisticated integrations, leaders can ask even more complex questions regarding both intended and unintended weapons deployment,” Miller said. “Ultimately, this allows our nation’s defense leaders and operational planners to make better decisions."
About the National Strategic Research Institute
Through the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska leading scientists deliver innovative national security research, technology, product and strategy development, training and exercises, and subject matter expertise to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. One of only 15 DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Centers in the country, NSRI is sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command and works to ensure the United States’ safety and preparedness against increasingly sophisticated threats. Read about our mission.