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Balancing Agile Combat Support Manpower to Better Meet the Future Security Environment

Balancing Agile Combat Support Manpower to Better Meet the Future Security Environment

Patrick Mills
John G. Drew
John A. Ausink
Daniel M. Romano
Rachel Costello
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 66
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  • Book Info
    Balancing Agile Combat Support Manpower to Better Meet the Future Security Environment
    Book Description:

    This report proposes new metrics to measure expeditionary agile combat support (ACS) capacity and uses these metrics to assess the capacity of the current ACS manpower mix to support expeditionary operations, finding that there are imbalances among its career fields relative to expeditionary demands. This report develops and assesses several rebalanced manpower mixes to address these imbalances.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-9001-0
    Subjects: History, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iii)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. iv-v)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vi-vi)
  5. Table
    (pp. vii-vii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. viii-x)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xii-xiii)
  9. 1. Introduction
    (pp. 1-7)

    The U.S. Air Force (USAF) is at a potential turning point. It has been engaged in expeditionary operations for more than two decades, developing and adapting its force management concepts to cope with changing demands first in Iraq, then in Afghanistan, and then again in Iraq, as well as elsewhere. As those operations wind down, so do some of the demands that have strained the force for many years, potentially leaving a window within which to reset and prepare for future operations.

    Recent defense guidance has shifted the focus toward Asia, emphasizing missions that may stress USAF capabilities in new...

  10. 2. An Enterprise Approach to Determining ACS Manpower
    (pp. 8-21)

    In this chapter, we compare and contrast the USAF’s current system for developing ACS manpower requirements with the more enterprise-focused approach we developed as part of our analysis. There are two main features of our approach that make it useful for exploring a range of alternative ACS manpower realignments: (1) it integrates both home-station and expeditionary requirements and (2) it provides an enterprise view of ACS.

    Before describing this enterprise approach, we first describe the basic strategic planning context in which force-shaping decisions should be made and highlight the part of the system on which we focus. Second, we highlight...

  11. 3. Current and Alternative ACS Manpower Mixes
    (pp. 22-37)

    In Chapter Two, we explained our approach to developing ACS manpower requirements: reshaping ACS forces to meet sets of steady-state and surge demands while supporting homestation operations. In this chapter, we demonstrate that approach quantitatively. We first show the capacity of the current ACS forces to support future surge and steady-state operations. Then we show the results of realigning manpower among active, reserve, and civilian workforces, and we conclude with a discussion of the implications.

    We make the following assumptions in our calculations. A more detailed account of our methods and assumptions is contained in previous unpublished RAND research.


  12. 4. Additional Considerations for Shaping ACS Forces
    (pp. 38-41)

    While we addressed several important dimensions of the challenge of sizing and shaping ACS forces to meet future operations, we now discuss some salient issues we did not directly address in our calculations. In this chapter, we discuss three important planning assumptions—joint expeditionary taskings, support to contracting personnel and other services, and response times for major combat operations—and three more-enduring challenges to ACS manpower planning.

    The USAF refers to joint sourcing solutions in the joint community asJETs.Generally speaking, a JET occurs when the preferred service for a combatant commander (COCOM) tasking is unable to support the...

  13. 5. Conclusions and Recommendations
    (pp. 42-47)

    We now provide some concluding thoughts before recommending steps to implement these concepts.

    In this report, we have compared the USAF’s current system for shaping ACS manpower with our own approach. We argued that the USAF’s current approach is more focused on functional areas and driven by home-station needs, while our approach is enterprise-focused and incorporates both expeditionary and home-station needs. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.

    A functionally driven approach appropriately retains focus on maintaining the health and viability of the career field and ultimately places control where most of the expertise currently lies. This approach takes...

  14. Appendix
    (pp. 48-49)
  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 50-53)