Center for Naval Analyses

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CNA Corporation
Founded 1942
Focus Research and analysis services to DoD and other government agencies
Origins U.S. Navy Anti-submarine Warfare Operations Research Group
Key people

Robert Murray, President & CEO

Katherine McGrady, Ph.D., Executive Vice President & COO
Employees >750
Slogan "Analysis and Solutions"

CNA Corporation's Center for Naval Analyses is the federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for the United States Navy and Marine Corps. It also provides research and analysis services to other military and government agencies to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of U.S. national defense efforts. The CNA Corporation also operates the Institute for Public Research, a non-profit research and analysis organizations serving all levels of government. CNA is not an acronym and is correctly referenced as “CNA Corporation, a non-profit research and analysis organization located in Alexandria, VA.”

Solution Centers[edit]

Advanced Technology & Systems Analysis (ATSA)

Areas of focus: aviation systems and technology; science and technology; information technology and operations; force structure and employment; maritime search and undersea warfare; expeditionary systems and support
Research conducted by the Advanced Technology & Systems Analysis Division focuses on analyses of ways to improve future material readiness for the Navy, Marine Corps, and other components of the Department of Defense. Analysts conduct assessments of alternative technical and systems approaches designed to address emerging gaps in the capabilities of U.S. forces, and assess the cost, performance, and risks of various material solutions to address these gaps. ATSA analysts develop a thorough understanding of sponsors’ objectives and operating environments – including sea, land, air, space, and cyberspace – and of the performance characteristics of supporting technologies and systems. Analysts also serve as a link between scientists and engineers in the research and development communities and operators in the Fleet and Marine Forces.

China Studies

Areas of focus: defense and security affairs; foreign policy and transformational issues; leadership and domestic politics; institutional and organizational analyses; internal security; social change, and governance
China Studies is provides the American public, government officials, and business leaders with high-level analyses of important issues in U.S.-China relations, emerging trends within China, and its changing role in world affairs. Analyses are conducted by researchers who have lived, worked, or studied in China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan and for whom Chinese is a working research language, and publications and programs are designed to provide the insights and context need for leaders make informed judgments and develop sound plans.

Marine Corps Division

Areas of focus: logistics and infrastructure; manpower and training; operations and plans; aviation; combat development and integration; programs and resources
The Marine Corps Program conducts analyses on a wide range of issues critical to the Marine Corps leadership, using CNA Corp. headquarters-based analysts as well as analysts serving in the field at Marine Forces Command, Marine Forces Pacific, Marine Special Operations Command, the three Marine Expeditionary Forces, and Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1). Analysts are also assigned to support the Deputy Commandants and their staffs and other Marine Corps organizations including the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, Marine Corps Systems Command, and the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve.

Operations Evaluation Group (OEG)

Areas of focus: strategic analysis; tactical analysis; operational analysis; operational testing; readiness and training
The Operations Evaluation Group conducts ongoing, field-based research focused on a host of strategic, operational, and tactical challenges facing decision-makers at Navy, Marine Corps, and Joint commands. Through its Field Program, OEG sends analysts on two- to three-year deployments to provide real-time analytic support to operational commands around the world (including aircraft carrier strike groups, Marine expeditionary forces, the U.S. Central Command, and the U.S. Pacific Command).

Operations & Tactics Analysis (OTA)

Areas of focus: maritime domain awareness; combat system interoperability; fleet systems; command-and-control structures: precision strike warfare; consequence management; counter-IED and counter-mining; aircrew training; engagement and humanitarian assistance operations; and training for operators at the tactical and operational levels of war
Operations & Tactics Analysis focuses primarily on evaluating current military operations and capabilities – from major combat, to smaller-scale directed strikes, to peacetime engagement missions with partner nations to build capacity or provide humanitarian assistance. OTA also evaluates the effectiveness of new tactics and systems employed to counter such threats as mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), chemical/biological/radiation weapons, GPS jammers, and cruise/ballistic missiles.

Resource Analysis Division (RAD)

Areas of focus: infrastructure and readiness; manpower management; materials management; environment, climate change, and energy; facilities and real estate; acquisition and cost management; budget and execution management; metrics and competitive sourcing; cost and schedule analysis; workforce, education, and training
The Resource Analysis Division provides analytical services to help develop, evaluate, and implement policies, practices, and programs that make people, budgets, and assets more effective and efficient. All of the division’s analyses are aimed at resolving sponsors’ problems through empirical research, or through modeling and simulation.

Strategic Studies Division

Areas of focus: political-military issues; irregular warfare; in-theater analysis of Afghanistan and Iraq operations; strategic concepts and futures planning; leadership analysis; U.S. military engagement and shaping activities; Middle East and Latin America security issues; East Asia security strategies; the Afghanistan/Pakistan nexus; Project Iran; North Africa Piracy and the Gulf of Guinea
The Strategic Studies Division is CNA Corporation’s focal point for the research and analysis of regional political-military and policy issues, and U.S. strategy and force assessment planning. Its work is characterized by a heavy use of primary sources of information, the operational and policy expertise of its analysts—which includes foreign language skills and experience gained by living, working, or studying abroad—and by recommendations that focus on understanding the “why” behind today’s headlines and identifying and analyzing “the issue after next.”

CNA Corporation's History[edit]

CNA Corporation traces its roots to World War II. During the Battle of the Atlantic the Navy turned to a small group of MIT scientists for help in responding to the German U-boat threat. These scientists pioneered the concept of operations research by insisting on deploying with Navy forces in order to directly observe operational challenges and collect the data needed for meaningful analyses. Their groundbreaking work not only resulted in anti-submarine warfare barrier equations that set the standard for future operations research methods, it also helped establish operations research and analysis as a distinct field, and style, of study. Over its more than 60 year history, CNA Corporation’s work has been defined by multi-disciplinary, field-based "real world" operations research and analysis that combines observation of people, decisions, and processes by rigorously trained analysts to help decision makers understand the consequences of possible actions and to implement the best possible solutions.


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