Full Spectrum Mission Assurance (FSMA)

The problem

The United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) needed an effective model and decision support tools to integrate their decision-making processes when evaluating risks and determining solutions regarding threats and hazards.

The model and tools were required to be particularly robust, considering they were intended to be used by several organizations, and users with various roles. The output of the model needed to be sufficiently complex to fully support a variety of decision-making contexts, but simple enough that all parties could provide standardized answers which could be easily shared with one another.

C5T’s approach

To accomplish these motives, C5T’s Research and Development team applied rigorous methodologies suited to each problem or opportunity area. Such procedures included ethnography, participatory action research, agile development, and model validation. After defining each problem or opportunity, we identified metrics to determine outcomes and analyzed existing processes against requirements. Our team then collaboratively designed and developed solutions with key stakeholders to accurately address the customers’ needs based on research and analysis.

C5T conducted a thorough review of Mission Assurance (MA) governance, relevant to USTRANSCOM, and observed and documented numerous battle rhythm events (BRE) over the course of the effort. Events included weekly MA Working Group (MAWG) meetings and commander’s update briefings, as well as less frequent events such as the Waterside Force Protection and Sealift Working Groups. Documentation was analyzed with particular attention to inputs and outputs, attendees, and objectives.

The solutions

From the review of MA governance, C5T identified all applicable USTRANSCOM program requirements and compiled them into a single document for the MA OPR to reference, as they manage and staff programs to ensure compliance. Because we knew any solutions necessitated being inclusive of multiple processes, we made recommendations to increase efficiency of TCJ3-4 led BREs by standardizing information exchanges, briefing templates, and tracking mechanisms. As part of our solutions, we created standardized templates to send and receive risk assessment information.

Extensive work was focused on the Vendor Threat Mitigation (VTM) and MAWG. C5T identified roles and responsibilities in line with governance, and collaborated with stakeholders to develop assessment tools and processes to produce repeatable results in support of those responsibilities. The detailed steps in each process encourage and enhance collaboration between MA-related offices as they gather information relevant to criticality, threats, hazards, and vulnerabilities. The enhanced collaboration enables USTRANSCOM to more consistently produce a thorough assessment of risk-to-mission essential capabilities. The results of these processes not only provide a synchronized assessment, but allow the output to be effectively shared for integration across USTRANSCOM and its component commands.

Additionally, we delivered process maps and corresponding handbooks, functional decision-support tools, and supplemental process support templates to enable immediate implementation. Furthermore, we developed output summaries for standardized briefings & recommendations to senior leaders. This assisted in communicating the information delivered from the tools in a digestible and shareable manner between departments. These benefits subsequently promoted the efficient development of quality plans.

Lastly, our team created a comprehensive software suite including three distinct decision-support applications that work in tandem to help USTRANSCOM assess and manage risks. This software will provide USTRANSCOM with more effective and efficient risk information integration, as well as proactive and agile risk management.


The FSMA project was considered a success by all key stakeholders. Its outputs are currently used as vital tools across multiple directorates within USTRANSCOM, ensuring crucial information can easily be shared and mission assurance decision-making processes are fully integrated.


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