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Note: An Annual Comprehensive Review, as required by §7 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, is conducted each year on committee data entered for the previous fiscal year (referred to as the reporting year). The data for the reporting year is not considered verified until this review is complete and the data is moved to history for an agency/department. See the Data From Previous Years section at the bottom of this page for the committee’s historical, verified data.

DOD - 439 - U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board - Agency Authority


Committee NameU.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory BoardAgency NameDepartment of Defense
Fiscal Year2020Committee 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 Date5/21/2020Designated Fed Officer Position Title*DFO
Date Of Renewal Charter5/21/2022Designated Federal Officer PrefixLt Col
Projected Termination Date Designated Federal Officer First Name*Elizabeth
Exempt From Renewal*NoDesignated Federal Officer Middle NameD
Specific Termination AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Last Name*Sorrells
Establishment Authority*Agency AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Suffix
Specific Establishment Authority*AgencyDesignated Federal Officer Phone*(240) 470-4566
Effective Date Of Authority*2/19/1946Designated Federal Officer Fax*703-693-5643
Exempt From EO 13875 Discretionary CmteNot ApplicableDesignated Federal Officer Email*
Committee Type*Continuing
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 Air Force Senior Leaders 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.
How is membership balanced?*To account for the wide variety of Science and Technology focus areas that aid the Air Force 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.
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 focused on four (4) studies in FY20 along with five individual technical reviews of Air Force Science and Technology Programs. Due to travel restrictions related to the pandemic, only one study has completed. The remaining are scheduled to be completed by the end of CY20. The report publication process is 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.


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*941Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*Yes
Number Of Recommendations CommentThe SAB has been in existence for over 75 years. The number of recommendations (941) shown above dates back to 2003. Since last reporting, the Committee made 39 recommendations to Air Force Senior Leaders; 22 stemming from FY19 and FY20 Studies and 17 stemming from FY20 S&T Reviews of the Air Force Research Laboratory. The remaining FY20 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*56.50%Access Committee WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentDating back to 2003, there is sufficient evidence through Air Force feedback and subsequent activity that 532/941 SAB recommendations have been fully adopted.Access GSA FACA WebsiteYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented*13.90%Access PublicationsYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentDating back to 2003, there is sufficient evidence through Air Force feedback and subsequent activity that 131/941 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 Comment*The 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 scheduled outbriefings.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*$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*$171,524.00Estimated Payments to Federal Staff*$176,670.00
Payments to Consultants*$0.00Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members*$142,053.00Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY*$356,883.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff*$42,697.00Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY*$87,806.00
Travel Reimb. For Consultants*$0.00Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Other Costs$153,313.00Est. Other Costs Next FY*$207,648.00
Total Costs$509,587.00Est. Total Next FY*$829,007.00
Federal Staff Support (FTE)*1.60Est. Fed Staff Support Next FY*1.60
Cost RemarksCosts for FY20 were less than estimated in FY19 due to travel restrictions caused by the pandemic.Est Cost RemarksFY21 cost estimates currently assume travel will not be affected so significantly this FY from the pandemic.
Hide Section - Interest Areas

Interest Areas

Applied Science
Applied Sciences
Air Traffic
Airline Sciences
Basic Science
Basic Sciences
Materials Research
Computer Technology
Information Technology
Systems Engineering
Data Integrity
Data Quality
Environmental Issues
National Defense
National Security and Defense
Overseas Security Issues
Basic Research
Research and Development
Science and Technology
Science and Technology
Space and Aeronautics


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




ActionCommittee System IDSubcommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-031764Basic Sciences Subcommittee2020
 COM-032417Defense Operations and Systems Subcommittee2020
 COM-029154Information Systems Subcommittee2020
 COM-032299Vehicle Systems Subcommittee2020


No Documents Found



Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-035753U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board2019
 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