JCIDS Process

Urgent Capability Acquisition

An Urgent Capability Acquisition is a pathway in the Adaptive Acquisition Framework reserved for capabilities required to be delivered As Soon As Possible due to their urgent need. These urgent needs are usually meant to save lives or ascertain mission accomplishment. This acquisition pathway uses a quicker acquisition method to produce capabilities in under two years that meet an urgent need.

Figure: Urgent Capability Acquisition

Purpose of Urgent Capability Acquisition

The purpose of Urgent Capability Acquisition is to fulfill urgent existing and/or emerging operational needs or quick reactions in less than 2 years.

Main Reference Urgent Capability Acquisition

The DoD instruction listed below is the main acquisition reference for implementing an Urgent Capability Acquisition in the Adaptive Acquisition Framework.

Instruction: DoD Instruction 5000.81 “Urgent Capability Acquisition” – 31 Dec 19

Types of Urgent Capability Needs

Three (3) types of Urgent Needs are defined in CJCS Instruction 5123.01.

(1) Joint Urgent Operational Need (JUON)

A Joint Urgent Operational Need (JUON) identifies and subsequently gains Joint Staff validation and resourcing of a solution desired within days or weeks to meet a specific high-priority need.  It’s identified by a combatant commander, and the scope is limited to addressing urgent operational needs that:

  • Fall outside of the established Service processes and
  • Will seriously endanger personnel or pose a major threat to ongoing operations.

The JUON doesn’t involve the development of new technology or capability; however, the acceleration of an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) or minor modification of an existing system to adapt to a new or similar mission is within the scope of the JUON validation and resourcing process.

(2) Joint Emergent Operational Need (JEON)

JEONs that are identified by a Combatant Command as inherently joint and impacting an anticipated or pending contingency operation.

(3) Urgent Operational Need (UON)

Capability requirements identified by a DoD Component as impacting an ongoing or anticipated contingency operation. If left unfulfilled, UONs result in capability gaps, potentially resulting in loss of life or critical mission failure. DoD Components, in their terminology, may use a different name for a UON.

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Updated: 2/24/2024

Rank: G4

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