Available at http://www.sourcingchina.org/PictureLoad/2009829103938430.pdf. Personal communication to committee, January 6, 2011. work package that allows for it. Despite significant investments, if the ALCs are expected to meet new workloads imported from outside the Air Force repair facilities or to support new technology, additional investment will be required. SOURCE: Karl Rogers, Director, 309th Software Maintenance Group, OO-ALC. MyNAP members SAVE 10% off online. The report that the committee observed, while very good, is one of a kind and stands alone in this particular repair group. The ALCs have strategic plans, and in those the committee observed limited metrics for AA and aircraft on-time delivery from production lines. SOURCE: Steve Geary, Center for Executive Education, University of Tennessee. Certainly the intent of the AFMC Software Maintenance Group is to provide one virtual software maintenance function, instead of three geographically separated, competing organizations, and a unified message/face to the customer and Headquarters. Typically, software development and sustainment have nearly identical processes.40. Although not a funding issue in the traditional sense, the ALCs need an enterprise management solution. For systems of this age and in these general conditions, a deck of work could be optimized for both cost and turn time. Figure 4-5 depicts the “tip of the iceberg” of what training programs can provide. Available at http://www.tinker.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=8552. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman … This effort appears to be progressive for the longer term, but in the immediate and near term the ALCs are impacted by lack of strong data packages. The Trade Commissioner Service in Atlanta is organizing a Trade Mission to the United States Air Force Logistics Center (Warner Robins Air Force Base, Georgia) on the margins of the 10th Annual Requirements Symposium on November 6-8, 2012. Accessed May 3, 2011. Finding 4-5. The lack of effective measures, an effective planning and forecasting system, true condition monitoring of the equipment, and enterprise capture of work accomplished are major impediments to the ALCs’ success. “309th Software Maintenance Group.” Presentation to the committee, February 1, 2011. First, continued increases in the Air Force’s dependence on software-intensive systems, and the associated growth in size, complexity, and cost of these systems, have been further compounded by multi-contractor teams using different processes and different tool sets in dispersed engineering, development, and operational locations. and spare support.31,32 At the Aviation Week MRO conference, the Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Maintenance succinctly summarized the bottom line for any maintenance effort: “If you don’t have parts, you can’t do maintenance.”33. Recommendation 4-7. As a result of Defense Management Review Decision (DMRD) 902, the Air Force began to transfer to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) a sizeable portion of the ALC distribution functions, which essentially involved wholesale Class IX parts storage and the movement of parts around the ALC bases. The committee assessed the ALCs’ activities and resourcing using a variety of inputs, including: (1) briefings at Headquarters Air Force; (2) briefings at Headquarters AFMC; and (3) visits to the three ALCs with presentations and tours by the respective ALC management chains. As shown in Figure 4-1, the Warner-Robins Air Logistics Center (WR-ALC), founded in 1943 and located on Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, serves as the primary modernization, sustainment, and depot maintenance center for a variety of aircraft, including the U-2, C-5, C-17, all models of the C-130, E-8, and F-15, and other important aircraft.1,2 WR-ALC also has the Air Force’s primary. Peter Kraljic. “OO-ALC Overview—Core Competencies & Priorities.” Presentation to the committee, January 31, 2011. The DLA and the Air Force have established metrics on the performance of the DLA enterprise to the Air Force.24 Likewise, the senior DLA official at OO-ALC provided metrics on parts support to that site. Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, officiated the ceremony. Available at http://www.robins.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-070226-039.pdf. SOURCE: Steve Geary, Center for Executive Education, University of Tennessee. Software presents numerous advantages and challenges to sustainment. 27 Steve Geary, Center for Executive Education, University of Tennessee. The committee did not detect any reluctance or inability by ALC program office personnel to accomplish technology insertion, including the associated master planning and the execution, when opportunities arose. 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. Air Force Air Logistics Center listed as AFALC Looking for abbreviations of AFALC? The ALCs have established notable industrial-type training for new employees. It is essential to have a clear understanding of all the resources that impact the ALCs’ operations to better evaluate the ALCs’ capabilities. Funding requirements are generally driven by modernization activities. The mission of the Air Force Sustainment Center is to Sustain Weapon System Readiness to generate Airpower for America. There is no set Air Force policy for when software development, upgrade, or modification or when software maintenance begins or ends. 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. 4,630 people follow this. Thus freezing of legacy system improvements requires considerable faith in those responsible for current mission execution that a very large and complex system will in fact be implemented in a timely fashion. 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. The metrics that would determine the success of an ALC, such as cost, schedule, and performance, are not widely used and consistently applied across the three ALCs. The Air Force should review its corporate oversight, management, and support of embedded systems software development and sustainment with foci on (1) greater risk identification and mitigation and (2) enabling Air Force corporate, as opposed to command-specific, decision making. Second, software technology is advancing at a breathtaking pace. As shown in Figure 4-13, the net result is that these factors drive an expected significant increase in dollars consumed to support software. The lines of authority for multiple programs become so convoluted that personalities prevail rather than defined processes achieving optimal results. The use of the “0” or planned line as the baseline allows most people to immediately see where the successes have been and what shortfalls have occurred. Under a March 2011 memorandum, the Secretary of Defense proposed a pilot program to move additional spare parts support to the DLA.13. “ASC/WW (Fighter/Bomber PEO).” Presentation to the committee, December 8, 2011. ure 4-6 illustrates the lines of authority and communication among the various Air Force sustainment stakeholders. The 448th Supply Chain Management Wing, a wing of the Air Force Sustainment Center of Air Force Material Command serves as the Air Force's supply chain manager headquartered at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. In pursuing an ERP system, whether it is ECSS or others, the Air Force must understand that implementation of major systems requires extensive buy-in from top to bottom, stable management, and process and work habit changes that are very disruptive. 23 In fact, in the Air Force, complex parts are routinely not available within 2 days 20 percent of the time. Recommendation 4-6. These SILs are major facilities, requiring $100 million or more to stand up and fundamental to system testing. This consolidation placed ALCs, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Product Centers within the same major command. FIGURE 4-7 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. Effective and efficient sustainment programs are directly tied to the coordination of these multiple players. This is particularly important with respect to system or software integration. SOURCE: Karl Rogers, Director, 309th Software Maintenance Group, OO-ALC. Furthermore, these charts are a key part of a bi-weekly Friday standup session with the FRCSW commander that highlights the production results since the last meeting. 54 Karl Rogers, Director, 309th Software Maintenance Group, OO-ALC. It is estimated that this percentage is quickly approaching 100.43. This situation can only be understood in the sense that funding accounts do not allow technical engineering support to grow or that policy limits hiring engineering personnel and placing them in the production environment with inherent authority to make decisions. Maintaining currency between test laboratories and actual weapon systems is fundamental for dealing with timing, details of hardware interface behavior, and concurrency. There is a willingness to change to improve processes, but pockets of insular thinking remain, which is not unusual in organizations the size of the ALCs. “76 MXW Production Machine.” Presentation to the committee, January 11, 2011. In a briefing to the full committee, the DLA representative explained that because the Air Force is responsible for significant portions of the approval flow, DLA Richmond must be involved. The enormously complex Air Force weapon system sustainment enterprise is currently constrained on many sides by laws, policies, regulations and procedures, relationships, and organizational issues emanating from Congress, the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Air Force itself. Assessment of Air Force Maintenance must be supported by all the factors of program management and provided with what it needs, when it needs it, by the entire supply chain. A closer partnership between government and contractor throughout the entire development life cycle must be a fundamental part of acquisition planning. The committee notes the new programs and use of enhanced productivity efforts; however, appropriate man loading would complement all of these efforts, more quickly improve flow through the depot, reduce the work-in-process at the installation at any one time, and still produce the same output per year. 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. 53 Tom Labrie, 76th Software Maintenance Group (76 SMXG), OO-ALC. Although it is expected that a contractor will take more time as the C-17 production activity draws down, it still will not take as much time as the government currently takes. 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. This notion was beyond the activities these sites pursued in the past, as the ALCs were challenged to see their enterprises as a system that needed to be optimized. There is no charge for this Trade Mission however you must be a registered participant of the Requirements Symposium (please refer to website … “Better Buying Power: Guidance for Obtaining Greater Efficiency and Productivity in Defense Spending.” A Memorandum for Acquisition Professionals. 1983. “Acquiring What the Warfighter Needs.” Presentation to the Aviation Week MRO Conference, April 12-14, 2011, Miami, Florida. Learn about great opportunities for enlisted airmen, officers and health care professionals. The committee was consistently and independently told that the maintenance leadership teams must turn to four to six supply chain managers/organizations to find a responsible person who might be able to resolve the spare parts problem. An analysis of the Air Force industrial workload personnel policies indicates that greater freedom to adjust staffing levels without higher Headquarters interference is needed. They provide support to the Air Force and other components of the Department of Defense (DoD) on numerous product lines. Finally, the only defined measure of effectiveness and efficiency relates to aircraft availability, but far more organizations than ALCs impact aircraft availability. FIGURE 4-13 The machine allows for a two-member team to get 60 M4s inspection-ready on one typical workday shift. March 11, 2011. Following the 2005 BRAC, the Air Force established the Air Force Global Logistics Support Center (AFGLSC) to manage all reparable parts. Although it was referenced by Headquarters staff, the committee did not see a concerted effort on the part of the AFMC to implement and measure productivity measures systemwide. To build on the earlier discussion of supply chain fragmentation, the following discussions offer a few specific examples of organizations external to the ALCs’ executing decisions that affect the ALCs’ efforts. FIGURE 4-8 FIGURE 4-3 A subject matter expert would also point out that the supply characteristics in the upper right quadrant (few participants, high barriers to entry, high switching costs) cannot be left to market forces but must be cultivated with long- term partnerships. 38 Doug Keene, High Velocity Maintenance, WR-ALC. Further, these systems are by their nature expensive, have an element of risk, and take time. The following sections address the resourcing (i.e., funding, workforce, skill sets, and technologies), equipping, and organizing of the three ALCs to sustain legacy weapon systems and equipment. In other words, the private-sector pay scale for engineers, for example, could be matched. 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. Attendant with an integrated approach, software maintenance became a part of the ALCs and specifically the maintenance organization in the ALCs.39. Weapon system software sustainment is well supported at the three ALCs, but the Air Force has no central governance body to sustain software, and the various Headquarters staffs are technically ill equipped to deal with software issues. FIGURE 4-11 Finding 4-3. The primary focus of the following discussion pertains to the process for software development, through transition and on to sustainment. “A Brief History of WR-ALC and Robins AFB.” September 1. What appears to be a budget-driven decision on workforce management may have netted short-term benefits, but its long-term impacts on the Air Force and ALC work management were very disruptive. It is important to note that material management involved managing commodities and parts as well as weapon systems (i.e., system program offices for aircraft). Finding 4-2. The AFLCMC mission: "Acquire and Support War-Winning Capabilities" 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). 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. Recommendation 4-1. For future system acquisitions, however, as part of initial program planning, strong consideration must be given to a single government en-. To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter. As systems age, the situation becomes increasingly difficult to manage because the workload and the demand for engineering support usually increase commensurately. There remain significant issues related to providing a skilled product engineering and DLA supply support workforce to ALC maintenance activities to assure that the support is properly sized to match the workload. Foremost, the key metrics measure degrees of improvement that are modest at best. The center provides war-winning expeditionary capabilities to the warfighter through world-class depot maintenance, supply chain management and installation support. SOURCE: Major General Andrew E. Busch, Commander, OO-ALC. Without clearly defined responsibilities and prudent metrics to determine results, system breakdowns are commonplace. 28 Peter Kraljic. lenge to meeting the 50/50 rule. Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features? The rationale for. The center consists of professional Airmen delivering globally integrated, agile logistics and sustainment. An example of such an effort would be strong data capture and archiving. aDelvyn D. Deschamps, Air Force Materiel Command. Figure 4-14 depicts cost and schedule metrics for two Navy vertical lift platforms. evaluation reaches beyond the mere allocation of monies to support sustainment operations at the ALCs. At the ALCs, a viable organizational structure and good support exist to institutionalize the process of developing and transitioning repair and durability. “Air Force Studies Board Committee on U.S. Air Force Sustainment.” Presentation to the committee, February 17, 2011. customers. 30 In general, Major General Busch stated that the issues affecting performance are not so much about organizational structure as they are about defining and following processes. The mission of the Air Force Sustainment Center is to provide sustainment and logistics readiness to deliver combat power for America. “COMNAVAIR. The most critical resource for the ALCs is a workforce that is remarkably talented and goes to extremes to make a complicated organizational environment work. The majority of the metrics have no upper or lower threshold limits, and the others identify only degrees of improvement instead of a standard to be achieved. “Enterprise Behavior: Fundamental Changes in the Government Business Model.” Presentation to the committee, January 18, 2011. Recommendation 4-4. The mission of the Air Force Sustainment Center is to provide sustainment and logistics readiness to deliver combat power for America. From the mid 1970s until approximately 1990, the ALCs had three primary functions, which, in today’s terms, were material management, maintenance, and distribution. 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 charts are constantly on display in a public area. Although enterprise management extends far beyond the ALCs, it certainly is a substantial part of the ALC environment and is a key part of the ALC resourcing. When this information is reviewed and considered in the context of the major operations at the ALCs, it becomes apparent that the organizational structure is so dispersed that no one is responsible. Mismatches remain between support to production activities and the growth of requirements at the production level. The ALC leadership teams were strongly committed to partnering with the unions but met with varying degrees of success. The Air Force should focus on strengthening and retaining the advanced skill sets needed for the sustainment of new aircraft systems. 24 Kathy Cutler, Deputy Commander, Defense Logistics Agency Aviation. Thus, the activities should interface with all aspects of operations and processes to ensure that the design goals and or mission objectives are accomplished. ECSS standardizes sustainment processes at every level and uses an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool to enforce the approved rule set. The ALCs recognize that strong leadership and supervisory skills “don’t just happen”—they develop over time and can only come from efforts by leadership. Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available. Otherwise, it is not a key performance metric for any manager of the sustainment community. 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. § 2464. 1 Major General Robert H. McMahon, Commander, Warner-Robins Air Logistics Center (WR-ALC). Each ALC visit consisted of a combination of briefings, facility tours, and in-depth discussions with the participants. As discussed earlier in this chapter, the spare parts organizational structures for the Air Force at large and for the depot maintenance lines, in particular, are broken, largely because no one officer is responsible for the supply chain. Available at http://www.airforce-magazine.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/Reports/2011/March%202011/Day24/Secdef_Ef-ficiencies_031411.pdf. The ALC workforce is professional and continues to work within the Air Force system to provide strong weapon system sustainment. (OEMs) and high-confidence aftermarket suppliers have a higher likelihood of providing the parts where and when needed than do mass commodity suppliers. Their staffs have the technical skill sets required to maintain current inventory aircraft. Support manpower issues affect the ALC workforce. The net result of the delay was a significant growth in work-in-process, unfavorable year-end carryover, and the attendant budget impacts. 2 United States Air Force (USAF). 50 Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI): A process improvement approach that helps organizations improve their performance. It is Air Force Logistics Center. These are just two of a select few of the many policy impediments that affect the ALCs in their sustainment efforts. To the extent possible, the committee analyzed workforce levels to support the ALC sustainment missions. The Air Force should establish streamlined command lines of accountability and authority to allow the ALC commanders clear execution authorities to direct process improvements on assigned programs, maintenance activities, and supply support. The committee did not attempt to evaluate the process that selected the specific ERP system or the contractor(s) involved in the development and implementation. In 1961, the command was redesignated the Air Force Logistics Command with some of its functions transferred to the new Air Force Systems Command. Figure 4-2 depicts the core expertise areas of OC-ALC’s 76th Maintenance Wing. The increased dependence on software is not restricted to DoD systems; it is also evident in commercial products, such as personal digital assistants, smart phones, games, and automobiles. FIGURE 4-9 These efforts are designed to enhance depot throughput and to tailor both depot and field inspections to realistic operational conditions. The following topics are discussed in this section: (1) current trends in software development and maintenance; (2) current Air Force capabilities; and (3) future challenges based on new aircraft entering the inventory. The ECSS is being developed with ERP capabilities and will be implemented to meet the Air Force need. SOURCE: Brigadier General Arnold W. Bunch, Jr., Director and Program Executive Officer for the Fighters and Bombers Directorate, Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Finding 4-6. In other words, organizational change will not necessarily solve the many issues, but crafting and following defined process may. SOURCE: Gregory Mann, United States Navy, Fleet Readiness Center Southwest, Industrial Business Operations Department. Increasing percentage of aircraft system capabilities that are now delivered by software. The unintended consequence was to create numerous process seams and put the same part under two separate management systems, controls, and authorities. Third, business and operational needs change, often faster than full system capability can be implemented, which, in turn, challenges the Air Force requirements management processes, existing program management directives, and traditional systems engineering practice. Within the Air Force, better policy and guidance for software development, upgrades and modifications, and maintenance must be developed, promulgated to the field, and enforced. In addition, given Air Force dependence on software to achieve mission capabilities, the Air Force should strongly consider additional education on software sustainment for senior leaders. [1] It was stood down in 2012 as part of Air Force Materiel Command restructuring. The ALC commanders’ authority has been significantly weakened over the past several years to the extent that they do not have sufficient authority to effectively and efficiently execute the programs for which they are responsible. Production characteristics. In addition, given its dependence on software to achieve mission capabilities, the Air Force would benefit from additional senior leader education in this area. 2011. Available at http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/01/21/337424/lockheed-struggles-to-keep-f-35-flight-testing-ontrack.html. SOURCE: Major General Bruce A. Litchfield, Commander, 76 MXW, OC-ALC. To a serious extent, the supply chain causes great inefficiencies in the depot maintenance and parts repair efforts. In either case, clear lines of authority do not exist to resolve disputes and expedite decisions on supply chain issues. As cited earlier, the software sustainment processes at the ALCs were considered to be on par with the best of industry. 22 The committee heard all of these terms used, often interchangeably. 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. Many of these techniques were not reduced to writing or a knowledge capture basis and consequently require a “revised” learning curve. DLA Aviation reported that the DLA employee count is linked to government-wide personnel policies.21 The hiring restriction may be temporary, but the fact will remain that the DLA manages personnel independent of the repair effort, which was confirmed in discussions at the ALCs and with DLA Aviation. The DLA colonel serves as a point of contact with whom ALC personnel can work. Maintenance of complex equipment is as much about information as it is about the ability to execute the actual work. ECSS is a component—albeit an important component—of the Air Force Expeditionary Logistics for the 21st Century (eLog21) initiative. To this end, the ALCs play a key, but not the only, role. However, after analyzing AA, the committee found many external factors that affect. The 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing is co-located at Scott Air Force Base and supports movement and combat operations. The ALCs have reasonable distributions of staff with skill sets to meet current needs. Software sustainment planning must begin prior to Milestone A and must have ongoing involvement by the designated sustainment organization throughout the development process. The current organizational components are stable, but there is concern over the stability. 21 Kathy Cutler, Deputy Commander, Defense Logistics Agency Aviation. It is Air Force Air Logistics Center. Accessed March 22, 2011. Likewise the committee saw evidence of lean practices and critical chain project management tools that will improve the overall maintenance processes. Recommendation 4-3. At the time of the 1992 integration there were five major ALCs, and a series of changes began to chip away responsibility and authority from the ALC commanders. Looking for abbreviations of AFALC? The software leadership of the three ALCs have formed a laudable working arrangement to address workload, process improvement, and policy, fiscal, personnel, and other corporate software issues,53 but this body has little to no formal authority. IEEE Software 18(4):105-107. showing that an ever-increasing percentage of aircraft system capabilities is now delivered by software. Based on experience, the skepticism in various execution offices is well founded. “309th Software Maintenance Group.” Presentation to the committee, February 1, 2011. Some aircraft sustainment support is provided by the Product Centers, namely, the Aeronautical Systems Center and the Electronic Systems Center. This PBA is a good first attempt to measure the DLA performance, but additional effort should be devoted to developing metrics with upper and lower thresholds, thresholds and standards as appropriate, and a key single metric that reflects the impact on operational effectiveness and most importantly on efficiency of field and depot maintenance operations of the DLA-managed supply chain. “OC-ALC Strategic Goals.” Presentation to the committee, January 11, 2011. The Air Force Global Logistics Support Center (AFGLSC) served as the hub for supply chain management for the U.S. Air Force. Consequently, a holistic perspective was taken of the past, present, and future outlooks for assessing resourcing investments.
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