Service contract will enable DoD to predict vehicle maintenance failures from billions of historical and real-time input points of on-board sensors directly from military assets to better understand the condition of its vehicles and predict mission-critical failures to enable intervention. By stopping failures before they happen, DoD will increase prioritisation of resources, efficiency, and provide key intelligence around logistics, asset service life product support, technical advice, assistance to soldiers, and provides asset visibility for timely and proactive decision-making when it comes to top priority – readiness.
Leaders can help us get to that point, they will be very, very interesting to meet…There’s a large opportunity space for folks to help in that, who have not traditionally been able to get into that market,” Companies who make AI tools, machine learning tools, unmanned tools. We must think more broadly than we have for some of the more traditional problems.
If the Navy and the Marine Corps can’t solve and fundamentally drive some of the risk out of weapons systems over the long term, both in construction and in repair, we’re not going to be able to achieve availability targets crucial for mission success.
Every military activity or exercise is an opportunity for assessing logistics performance, but it is rare that military exercises comprehensively test and assess operational sustainability and logistics readiness. Fewer still are those exercises that test logistics readiness through a major deployment performed at short-notice; a phase of an operation that demands all supporting agencies are ready.
There must be a high state of materiel readiness across the force. In addition to appropriately funding the sustainment of equipment, and the establishment of appropriate stocks in appropriate areas to enable operational contingencies, the means of sustaining equipment must be as appropriate for support operations as they are for efficiency in garrison.
Failures in materiel readiness are often replicated in major sustainability issues on operations, and necessitate consequential actions such as switching parts between aircraft to achieve desired operational readiness outcomes.
For example, information from H-60 Black Hawk helicopter airframe condition evaluations was provided to officials on a periodic basis to select appropriate helicopters for maintenance & modernisation. Officials did not compare H-60 fleet inventory list to the evaluation results to determine which helicopters were not evaluated. Officials could have prevented the helicopters from not being evaluated for multiple years if they had compared the fleet inventory list to the evaluation results
H-60 Black Hawk helicopters unit maintenance officials stated airframe condition evaluations benefits their units and identified structural defects that the unit might not have otherwise identified. For example, evaluators found a helicopter where the beam that holds the engine and transmission in place was cracked. As a result of not conducting helicopter evaluations, officials may select the wrong helicopters for maintenance & modernization
“It’s not intuitive that at a tech conference, we’d be talking about sustainment. But there are so many technologies that could fundamentally shift the affordability curves in weapons systems sustainment those that can make the connection first will have great market opportunities
Weapons system repair is traditionally capital-intensive endeavor that must become far more efficient if we to succeed. For example, right now, the Navy surface fleet alone requires an average of 100 major ship repairs each year — and that’s only going to increase as the fleet grows.
We have to drive out costs of weapons system repair; otherwise, we won’t be able to afford the fleet we have. The mission was delivering lethal combat capability depending on several elements that do so at different speeds and cost.
DoD Sustainment Centers are completely focused on delivering global logistics and sustainment effects for joint and coalition teams. This enormous enterprise delivers combat power through an organic industrial base, which serves as the nation’s war-sustaining insurance policy, setting and supporting theaters and weapons systems when others can’t or won’t.
DoD/industrial base is comprised of air logistics complexes, supply chain wings, and air base wings spread across operating locations around the globe. We provide logistics and sustainment support to our joint forces via a global interconnected system.
Depot maintenance accomplished at using constraints principles and guided processes, with the complexes themselves operating in a interdependent manner, forming a logistics and sustainment network that underpins readiness factors such as availability. These, along with the supply chain wings, form the logistics target chain needed for a modern military to deter our adversaries and reassure our allies.
strong sustainment programmes is challenging. Today’s changing war-fighting concepts demand a fundamental change to the logistics strategies to enable global logistics command-and-control capacity that ensures the effective employment of resources. In short: the ability to manage availability to meet multiple demand streams and repair streams in multinomial contested mission space.
Only recently, the focus of logistics command and control was directed at task-organising and logistics-mission assignments. Command and control was not automated and was functionally centric and nonintegrated. It also assumed that warfare was linear — that the complex notions of hybrid warfare were not in the forefront of emerging logistics doctrine.
Information was derived from after-the-fact reporting focused on transactional activity and outdated whiteboard displays of assets and resources. The predominant characteristic of logistics was achieved by maintaining large stockpiles to meet every possible availability requirement. Simply put, that world no longer exists.
As technology becomes increasingly pervasive throughout our weapon systems, test systems and support equipment, our ability to manage and sustain it organically will be critical. One of the tools to mitigate risk with inducing new manufacturing technologies in our processes is to employ and grow a technical, modern workforce. Many of the weapon systems sustained within the Logistics Center require a vast amount of technology to operate.
The Sustainment Center is leaning forward as a team to provide increased aircraft availability to support a surge in fighter pilot production. At the same time, DoD is working to extend the life of aging weapon systems through aircraft maintenance and modification.
That’s ‘how much stuff do you have. How do we most affordably and predictably build/sustain the ships the Navy needs? How do we get exponential capability growth on all the ships currently in the inventory? Networking can increase total capability faster than shipbuilding alone can grow the fleet.
The fastest way to grow capability is to increase operational availability so you can use all that you currently have. That’s where great opportunity space, because traditionally we haven’t applied the same level of technology to try to get at that.
Logistics may not win a war for you, but it can certainly cause you to lose one. In every instance of crises, the organic industrial base has responded by providing solutions to meet availability goals required for unanticipated demands. We must continue to invest now in the organic industrial base if we expect its performance in the future to meet the needs of an increasingly tested and lethal battlespace in the 21st century.
Pentagon wants to launch round of acquisition improvement initiatives focused on the sustainment phase of program life cycles--where the bulk of costs are realised and the sustainment enterprise in general.
Many initiatives have focused on sustainment, including in general a large number focused on more effective management of all contracting for services, and specifically items such as increased use of performance-based logistics contract incentives.
Emergent technologies include: automation, adaptive manufacturing, interconnected sensors and others. The maturity and the implications of the emerging technologies are becoming clearer quickly, although much remains to be discovered and the potential for new applications is endless.
We are just seeing the beginnings of the transition to autonomous vehicle delivery systems, but this is now obviously the route we will follow. “Just in time,“inventory management has been around for decades, but the big-data analytical tools and the explosion of connected information sources needed to take logistics and sustainment to a whole new level are ready for widespread use geared towards meeting availability targets.
None of this is invisible to the Department of Defense, and the current leadership is taking steps in the right direction, but there are obstacles to progress. They should be confronted and eliminated, or reduced.
The application of emerging technologies to sustainment and logistics will happen quickly in the commercial world where the forces of competition demand efficiency, where time to market is critical to establishing a winning position and where there are fewer structural obstacles to innovation.
The DoD, on the other hand, moves at the pace of budget appropriations, must comply with and implement an overwhelming set of statuary directions in its business procedures, has to live with unstable funding and within capital investment constraints, cannot cease operations for a transition period, and must overcome institutional resistance to change.
Unintended consequences lurk in many seemingly attractive areas of innovation — defense business practices included. One route to bringing commercial technology into defense logistics is analogous to the use of the other transaction authority for new product development. An exception from procurement rules that would make this easier to do is an attractive concept and should be pursued, but with some caution.
Commercial sustainment contract vehicles should be examined as a way to bring new sources for logistic support and new technology into the department; but the expectation is that commercial contract vehicles, to the extent they are standardised, will not meet all DoD requirements, including some critical needs.
Considering the department’s long-term, as well as short-term, needs should also be an important part of any business deal. All of this argues for traditional and nontraditional contractors to work together, as they often do today when a commercially based product or service is acquired by DoD.
Getting to some DoD-standardised, commercially based templates for business deals outside the normal constraints should be the first step. Once that is in hand, several pilot contracts should be implemented as a learning exercise. Recent events have demonstrated some of the pitfalls of rushing into commercial-like contracts.
Upfront investments are almost always required to achieve significant efficiency improvements in any business function. This is certainly true for defense sustainment and logistics. While the department has frequently been criticised, especially in the information technology area, for not being a faster adaptor of modernisation, the underlying problem has not been the knowledge of the opportunity or the willingness to change — it has been the lack of the necessary investment capital.
DoD keeps dated business systems and old weapons systems in configurations that could be upgraded because within all the competing priorities, these investments fall below the line after paying our troops, training them, deploying them as needed and buying more modern weapons at a minimum rate. Congress compounds this problem by taking cuts that assume or direct efficiencies, while providing no upfront resources to implement those efficiencies.
The key to reducing costs and improving productivity is the application of emerging technologies to DoD sustainment and logistics. We are at the early stage of revolutionary changes that will impact how goods and services are produced and delivered to meet availability and readiness targets..
congressional testimony, Air Boss summarised the issue: “That strike fighter inventory management, or shell game, leaves non-deployed squadrons well below the number of jets availability required to keep aviators proficient and progressing toward their career qualifications, milestones, and availability with detrimental impacts to both retention and future experience levels.
Program offices create plans, known as aircraft availability improvement plans, based on these projections to forecast improvements that can facilitate increased availability and reduction of costs, among other things. DoD provides guidance in the form of a template to ensure consistency of plans, typically including improvement initiatives with milestone goals. This information includes projected aircraft availability rates for mission capable, units possessed not reported, not mission capable for supply, not mission capable for maintenance, and depot possession.
Demands for Maintenance and Supply Support depend on intensity of system use. Operating hours per day, miles per day, flight hours per day, portion of operations conducted at high speed conditions, ratio of mission types, etc. are all important factors for estimating intensity of operational use scenarios.
Must specify plans for mission parameters in operational mode summaries. Determination of system use rates is used during operation tests is critical to constructing realistic operational suitability demos.
Degree to which a system, subsystem or equipment is in a specified operable and committable state at the start of a mission, when the mission is called for at an unknown, i.e. a random, time.
Capacity for systems to work together without having to be altered to do so--user should be able to open orders in either product-- products of the same or different types, or different versions of the same product.
Quality of equipment, devices systems permits ability to be moved from one location to another to interconnect with locally available complementary equipment, devices, systems or other complementary facilities.
Condition achieved among communications systems or items of communications-electronics equipment when information or services can be exchanged directly and satisfactorily between them and/or their users.
Measure quality, time and speed performance-- want to operate as long as possible without losses; and when you have losses, you want to fix them as quickly as possible.
6. Field Use
Service support embedded with field agents to ensure equipment readiness and mission success-- utilise expertise in supply/logistics support, assures parts availability & repair services.
Service of restoring failed equipment, machine, or system to its normal operable state within a given inspection timeframe, using established practices and procedures.
8. Logistics Support
Integrated and iterative process for developing materiel strategy to optimises functional support, leverage existing resources, guide the system engineering process to quantify ownership cost over service life and decrease the logistics footprint
Uses regular or existing workplace tools, machines, documents, equipment, knowledge, and skills necessary for an employee to learn to effectively perform job assignments
Mechanical devices enable trainees to use some actions, plans, measures, trials, movements, or decision processes prepare for use with must be designed to repeat, as closely as possible, the physical aspects of equipment and operational surroundings trainees will find at work place.