Since its establishment in 1951, AFOSR has been responsible for investing in extramural basic research programs at leading universities and in-house (intramural) Air Force laboratories. During the first five years of AFOSR's existence, the annual budget was relatively lean (as was the staffbetween 20 to 27 personnel).
It was then that history intervened when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first earth satellite, in October 1957. Almost overnight, AFOSR's budget almost doubled, and with it, a gradual commensurate boost in personnel. Sputnik was a major wake-up call regarding the overwhelming importance of science and technology to the future security, as well as economic vitality, of the United States. It was a hard lesson.
For several decades thereafter, AFOSR held not only a Spring Review, but a Fall Review as well. By 1975 AFOSR was responsible for all Air Force basic research funding, and the bi-annual reviews continued to provide a formal review of the status and areas of emphasis in the overall basic research portfolio.
Although AFOSR reverted to an annual review in the 1990's, this management tool continues to provide an excellent opportunity for both an introspective self-examination of a wide-ranging research portfolio as well as welcoming the views of customers and stakeholders in the continuous pursuit of cutting edge research that forges the foundation of our future Air Force.
Provided by Air Force Office of Scientific Research
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