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In 1946, the Navy Bureau of Ordnance stressed "the need for a rocket intelligence agency with one main responsibility - that of promoting rapid circulation of technical information to all activities concerned." The Navy partnered with Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) to establish this agency, named the Rocket Propellant Intelligence Agency (RPIA) and the Air Force participated by funding rocket research and development. In May of 1948, RPIA became the Solid Propellant Information Agency (SPIA). The Army endorsed the establishment of a solid propellant working group within the agency and SPIA became the first formal joint agency information exchange organization.
SPIA was the mechanism for fast exchange of technical information deemed to be of inestimable value to the Department of Defense (DoD) and the solid rocket community. APL was instrumental in improving and fostering the cooperative exchange of information between the Services. In 1962, DoD and NASA approved a charter to establish the Interagency Chemical Rocket Propulsion Group (ICRPG) to improve the effectiveness of information exchange activities. The ICRPG consolidated both solid and liquid propellant information centers into the Chemical Propulsion Information Agency (CPIA).
CPIA Tri-Service working groups promoted the exchange of technical information in specialized areas of solid, liquid, and related rocket propulsion where technical problems existed or standardized procedures were lacking. In 1964, CPIA became a DoD Information Analysis Center, still operated by APL, but now under contract with the Naval Sea Systems Command. The name of the ICRPG was changed to the Joint Army-Navy-NASA-Air Force (JANNAF) Interagency Propulsion Committee (IPC) in November 1969. In 1973, the JANNAF scope was expanded to include gun propulsion. Electric propulsion was subsequently added. Today, JANNAF continues to be the defining and unifying force behind rocket propulsion developments in the United States.
In 1990, JHU transitioned CPIAC from APL to the WSE. Entering its 26th year of operation under WSE, CPIAC, the Energetics Research Group (ERG), continues to provide technical and administrative support to JANNAF. The ERG remains the U.S. national resource for worldwide research; data; information; and analysis of energetics, explosives and chemical, electrical and nuclear propulsion for missile, space, and gun propulsion systems.