An ALC commander should be considered a “supported commander,” but many organizations fail to grasp the relationship of “supporting and supported” commander, and therefore operate independently and are driven by their own policies.15 As a result, the ALC receives fragmented sustainment support, which impacts the support it provides to its own. 11 A conscious decision was made to not visit United States Army sustainment activities. “Track Four Efficiency Initiatives Decisions.” A Memorandum for USAF Key Personnel. ), simulators, maintenance and diagnostic software, logistics tracking, etc. As the criticality and complexity of the items to be supplied increases, the options for the procurer become more limited, and the options for the supplier become more customer-focused than commodity-focused. 12 AFMC Historian Office. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman … Although process maturity is extremely important, technical expertise in real-time systems, concurrency, new programming languages and operating systems, system of systems, networks, communications, and large-scale integration will be equally important to maintain future aircraft systems. The occurrence of such actions was surprising, but not as surprising as the long-term outcome. 51 OO-ALC was assessed CMMI v1.1 level 5 in CMMI V1.3 in 2006. The Air Force has developed a very strong weapon system software capability, which can be used to improve future weapon system sustainment. Third, doing software “right” requires persistence, discipline, and relentless attention to detail. As an example, when the workload for a product line increases, the workforce will eventually increase to meet the workload, but the engineering support that provides technical direction and instructions for the craftsmen comes from a different pool of authorizations and resources. From the mid 1970s until approximately 1990, the ALCs had three primary functions, which, in today’s terms, were material management, maintenance, and distribution. Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center Factsheet. 2 United States Air Force (USAF). During tours at one repair facility, the committee witnessed a locally developed “online” report that used legacy systems to draw information and allowed the maintenance personnel to see worldwide demands for the products, to track month-to-date production against a month-to-date requirement, and track current critical product needs. “Better Buying Power: Guidance for Obtaining Greater Efficiency and Productivity in Defense Spending.” A Memorandum for Acquisition Professionals. Nevertheless, the organizational structure of the ALCs is not resourced adequately in that executive leadership does not have full command or control of the ALC enterprise. The DLA colonel serves as a point of contact with whom ALC personnel can work. 2010. Accessed May 3, 2011. Despite a known greater than 10 percent growth in maintenance workload, an ALC was restricted by higher levels from hiring maintenance personnel to meet the growing workload. As the following section shows, the broad subject of resourcing impacts the ability of the ALCs to accomplish their missions now and in the future. The Air Force should also ensure that supporting organizations are staffed to support the industrial workloads and that flexible work rules are established to permit more workforce versatility. 44 Delvyn Deschamps.Air Force Materiel Command. provided a valuable perspective on an alternative business model.8,9,10 These latter Navy sources provided valuable insights and benchmarks on how the Navy operates its sustainment enterprise. HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- The Ogden Air Logistics Center was re-designated a complex and became part of the Air Force Sustainment Center during a ceremony here July 12. The ALC workforce is professional and continues to work within the Air Force system to provide strong weapon system sustainment. A presentation at a recent symposium outlined the complexities of the marketplace for any entity that deals with external suppliers.27Figure 4-8 outlines a strategic framework that challenges supply chain managers. All of these processes must come together for an ALC to fulfill its mission to provide support to the commanders who rely on the ALC products and services to fulfill their missions. This is a much larger issue for the Air Force today, having effectively been at war for 20 years, with its aircraft becoming increasingly more expensive to operate and maintain and with military budgets certain to further decrease. The net result of the delay was a significant growth in work-in-process, unfavorable year-end carryover, and the attendant budget impacts. Personal communication to the committee, May 11, 2011. bDelvyn D. Deschamps, Air Force Materiel Command. However, it is noteworthy that the widespread conviction of government maintenance personnel is that the contractor-operated supply chains provide far better support than government-operated supply chains. The Air Force would benefit from reviewing its corporate oversight of embedded systems software development and sustainment with an eye toward greater risk identification and mitigation, and from enabling corporate (versus command specific) decision making. Actually, the committee found this refreshing, even though there are delicate issues requiring higher-level Air Force involvement, albeit not at an excessive level that might stifle local execution. 18 This is not to say that the process should be free from executive reviews. Thus, the production workforce and engineering support do not uniformly grow to meet the increased demand. 53 Tom Labrie, 76th Software Maintenance Group (76 SMXG), OO-ALC. Their staffs have the technical skill sets required to maintain current inventory aircraft. Although technology insertion is covered in depth in Chapters 5 and 6, the committee notes here that it observed a limited amount of technology insertion into weapon system and commodity parts and into supporting maintenance equipment at the ALCs. Personal communications with committee, January 31, 2011. Brian Bastow, Nineteenth Air Force logistics requirements branch chief, cuts a ribbon held by Chris Padeni, Nineteenth Air Force maintenance training superintendent (right), and Dean Jeavons, Nineteenth Air Force maintenance requirements section chief (left), during the Nineteenth Air Force Maintenance Training Center activation ceremony Oct. 29 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. Although continuous improvement is important, when resources are finite and demands great, metrics without standards to be achieved are confusing to the responsible parties, especially. However, the issue actually centers around proper sizing of the support workforce—a challenge that extends into the working level and impacts support to the production lines. Maintenance depots production metrics were discussed during the visit to the FRCSW where the committee observed excellent quality, cost, and schedule measures. 6 Major General Andrew E. Busch, Commander, Ogden Air Logistics Center (OO-ALC). Organizational structure and process flow is an important part of the resourcing equation. Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, officiated the ceremony. Accessed May 13, 2011. lSafety-critical: A term applied to a condition, event, operation, process, or item whose proper recognition, control, performance or tolerance is essential to safe system operation or use, e.g., safety-critical function, safety-critical path, safety-critical component. Second, software tends to be invisible in the acquisition process. As discussed in more detail in Chapter 2, the FRCSW, has a highly qualified engineering cadre immediately available to support depot production lines.55. First, the purchasing function for reparable parts at each of the ALCs was realigned to the DLA in place at the ALC base. Improving the levels of the manufacturing technology (ManTech) program and Component Improvement Program (CIP) appears to be a problem within the broader AFMC organizational structure rather than at the ALC level. Available at http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/11/15/349732/f-35b-flies-with-block-1.0-software.html. Log In. In the end, data are key to the ALC business of sustaining systems. Over the course of the study, the committee reached the conclusion that one of the single greatest impediments to a successful sustainment enterprise is the lack of standardized processes and a functioning enterprise-level data system that forces standardized actions and delivers timely, actionable data to all levels of work/management. Another policy issue with broad ramifications as well as a direct impact on the workforce, which was discussed in depth in Chapter 2, is the requirement to have at least 50 percent of the depot maintenance performed in government facilities. The term “manpower” is used in the TOR. © 2020 National Academy of Sciences. “309th Software Maintenance Group.” Presentation to the committee, February 1, 2011. laboratories (SILs). Last, few key decision makers or mid-level managers outside the immediate software community have in-depth software understanding; therefore, software management and engineering competency tend to be weak. Safety practices and a keen awareness for environmentally “green” operations were observed at each ALC. The genesis and purpose of the rule are understood; however, its constraints impact product support, depot maintenance planning, and warfighter asset availability. As discussed in this chapter and in Chapter 2, the committee was unable to identify succinct sustainment goals that the Air Force can use to measure the ALCs’ success. There was enough evidence to suggest that the many pieces of the metric result in no one fully taking accountability and responsibility for the performance. In addition, there were no strong plans for recovery when AA or delivery fell below target levels. Accessed March 1, 2011. Without clearly defined responsibilities and prudent metrics to determine results, system breakdowns are commonplace. That is, how do they know when they have achieved the desired performance level? Although the internal alignment of all of these functions varied during the 1970s to the early 1990s, the ALCs were consistently functionally aligned. Each ALC visit consisted of a combination of briefings, facility tours, and in-depth discussions with the participants. These involve cost targets, reallocation of priorities for spare parts, and stockage effectiveness targets that fail to realize that parts delays often cause inefficiencies that impact workforce and facility use in a far greater way than the savings created by constraining supplies investment, to say nothing of the direct impacts on material readiness in warfighter operations. Sept 20. Although on initial examination the implications of any transfer of expendables seem rather routine, the fact is that these types of parts range in price from a few cents to tens of thousands of dollars per assembly (see Table 4-2). SOURCE. Create New Account. “Acquiring What the Warfighter Needs.” Presentation to the Aviation Week MRO Conference, April 12-14, 2011, Miami, Florida. The Air Force Global Logistics Support Center (AFGLSC) served as the hub for supply chain management for the U.S. Air Force. However, the ALC workforce appears to be constrained in product support sustainment activities in much the same way that other similar Air Force-wide organizations are suffering workforce shortages. Likewise the committee saw evidence of lean practices and critical chain project management tools that will improve the overall maintenance processes. Because the Air Force believes software to be a core maintenance capability, it must be managed and supported accordingly. In one form or another, the committee repeatedly heard similar stories about the condition of management systems to support parts requirements generation or production support. Some aircraft sustainment support is provided by the Product Centers, namely, the Aeronautical Systems Center and the Electronic Systems Center. Such a change would improve utilization of available resources, allow adaptation of improved processes, and gain efficiencies and productivity. 24 Kathy Cutler, Deputy Commander, Defense Logistics Agency Aviation. As discussed in Chapter 3, the Air Force has invested in plant and equipment extensively over the past 8 years. As shown in Figures 4-3 and 4-4, the third and last ALC, Ogden Air Logistics Center (OO-ALC), founded in 1940 and located on Hill Air Force Base, Utah, provides weapon system management and sustainment for numerous platforms, including the A-10, F/QF-4, F-16, T-38, A-37, F-4, F-5, F-16, T-37, F-22A, QF-16. Sustainment activities should be focused to maintain a system in the status for which it was designed. Recommendation 4-5. SOURCE: Karl Rogers, Director, 309th Software Maintenance Group, OO-ALC. Problem reports and deficiencies corrections are incorporated into releases that support such capability unless they are urgent enough to ground the aircraft for immediate fixes. Production characteristics. The center provides globally integrated, agile logistics and sustainment to the warfighter through world-class depot maintenance, supply chain management and installation support. The concept of supply chain metrics should be continued; however, the nine metrics in the PBA do not adequately reflect the conditions of the supply chain. “309th Software Maintenance Group.” Presentation to the committee, February 1, 2011. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Force_Global_Logistics_Support_Center Software sustainment planning must begin prior to Milestone A and must have ongoing involvement by the designated sustainment organization throughout the development process. Stable workforce planning will continue to be important because the scope of software update manning varies with the amount of modernization in each platform as well as with the scheduling of blocks between platforms. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense. The Centralized Asset Management services provided for the Air Force by Headquarters AFMC is a noteworthy improvement. “Weapon Systems Sustainment.” Presentation to the committee, December 8, 2010. plans? Although it is recognized that some attempts have been made to change what is or is not in the 50/50 equation, these attempts have not been successful to date. This workload reflects the increasing trend of electronics, avionics, computers, and ultimately software in weapon systems. The AFGLSC assumed responsibility for the Air Force reparable parts supply chain in March 200814 and is tasked with assuring the availability of reparable parts to both base-level maintenance activities and depot maintenance production activities. Finally, the committee did not see a metric that related the cost of the production to the planned cost or the planned outcome. Until recently, HVM was in prototype stage. That is, customers are surveyed and the results graphically displayed. SOURCE: Major General Bruce A. Litchfield, Commander, 76 MXW, OC-ALC. A Headquarters AFMC briefing to the committee noted, “Current State Maintenance: AFMC has capacity, personnel and facilities and equipment to sustain legacy systems.”56 The committee disagrees and could not find supporting evidence that legacy systems can be effectively and efficiently supported with current policies and resources. Following the 2005 BRAC, the Air Force established the Air Force Global Logistics Support Center (AFGLSC) to manage all reparable parts. In addition, the reviews of the activities of Headquarters AFMC and the ALCs focused on the adequacy of the ALCs’ resources in terms of organizational structure, responsibilities, funding, workforce, skill sets, and technologies and their current and planned equipment to sustain legacy and future systems. With this brief history in mind, it would be a mistake to view the ALCs in a monolithic fashion. In addition, it would generally ensure that the SIL equipment and development tools, which are generally commercial products, are current, as opposed to what sometimes occurs in maintenance organizations; namely, the support equipment is baselined at older versions that are no longer supported by the vendor. The ALCs have strategic plans, and in those the committee observed limited metrics for AA and aircraft on-time delivery from production lines. Access to software development data is vital to proper software sustainment. tenance managers and technicians, the committee learned that a contractor, when responsible for a part, can typically supply the part within 24 hours, while organic sources routinely take 17 days.
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