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Costs of Flying Units in Air Force Active and Reserve Components

Costs of Flying Units in Air Force Active and Reserve Components

Albert A. Robbert
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 88
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  • Book Info
    Costs of Flying Units in Air Force Active and Reserve Components
    Book Description:

    This report describes a methodology for compiling and comparing the costs of Air Force active- and reserve-component flying units. Using data from the Air Force Total Ownership Cost system, the author estimates the cost of operating the Air Force’s active and reserve C-130, KC-135, and F-16 fleets; highlights how cost considerations favor the active and reserve components differently; and discusses how this can inform force mix decisions.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8191-9
    Subjects: History, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xvi)

    The relative costs of operating and supporting Air Force active-and reserve-component units are an important consideration in programming the mix of forces for various missions. Unfortunately, there are no generally accepted or well-documented methodologies for compiling the costs and output measures to be included in these comparisons. This report describes the development of one such methodology, using recorded costs from past periods, and applies it to an exploration of force mix alternatives in several weapon systems.

    The primary source of our cost data was the Air Force Total Ownership Cost (AFTOC) decision support system. Using this and other, minor sources,...

  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Minimizing cost is an important consideration in evaluating active/reserve force mix alternatives. One of the compelling reasons for maintaining reserve components (Air Force Reserve Command [AFRC] and the Air National Guard [ANG]) in the force is the potential to reduce costs relative to a force that is entirely active. However, clear delineation of the relative costs of active and reserve forces, or of the total cost of force mix alternatives, is often elusive. Conclusions regarding relative costs are typically based on a surrogate for costs—estimates of full-time and part-time military personnel strengths in comparable active and reserve units. See,...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Costs and Outputs
    (pp. 5-10)

    Active and reserve components differ in several important respects that have potentially significant impacts on their costs and outputs. To permit a credible comparison of the costs of their outputs, we needed to acquire data that reflected these differences as fully as possible. We wanted, for example, to be sensitive to the significant differences in installation infrastructure costs at the typically Spartan reserve-component installations and the typically larger, more well-appointed active-component installations. We also wanted to reflect differences in personnel characteristics, such as the part-time status of many reserve-component military personnel, the lower turnover in reserve-component units, and the higher...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Cost Structures and Alternative Mixes
    (pp. 11-24)

    To continue our analysis, we determined the outputs and cost per output for each unit for which we had useful data. Appendix B contains graphic displays of unit outputs averaged over the five years included in our analysis. These data support some general observations:

    The smallest active units (typically based overseas) own only marginally more aircraft (i.e., have more PMAI) than typical reserve-component units, but the largest active units own three to four times the number of aircraft as typical reserve-component units.

    Typical active units fly one and a half to three times as many hours per year per aircraft...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Perspectives and Insights
    (pp. 25-26)

    Our broadest observation from this study is that, given the high operating tempo of the past decade, the active/reserve mix in heavily tasked fleets has not been optimal. Holding constant the total size of the three fleets we examined, we see that the operational mission could have been accomplished with fewer total flying hours and less cost or, by sacrificing some cost savings, with less stress on active aircrews.

    Underlying this observation are two important cost considerations. The first is that, while reserve-component wings operate with some inherent cost advantages, their considerably smaller scale of operations imposes a significant cost...

  13. APPENDIX A Organization Types
    (pp. 27-42)
  14. APPENDIX B Outputs and Costs per Output
    (pp. 43-56)
  15. APPENDIX C Optimization Exercises
    (pp. 57-66)
  16. References
    (pp. 67-68)