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Improving Air Force Depot Programming by Linking Resources to Capabilities

Improving Air Force Depot Programming by Linking Resources to Capabilities

Don Snyder
Julie Kim
Manuel Carrillo
Gregory G. Hildebrandt
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 106
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  • Book Info
    Improving Air Force Depot Programming by Linking Resources to Capabilities
    Book Description:

    Depot purchased equipment maintenance (DPEM) funds the bulk of the work done at Air Force depots that does not involve the repair of spares or work on modification programs. This report analyzes how to better program for DPEM, emphasizing the importance of defining metrics that relate directly to objectives in operational plans and that are defined broadly enough to embrace a range of funding areas.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8349-4
    Subjects: History, Technology, General Science

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-xiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Funding is often insufficient to meet all the stated requirements of the U.S. Air Force, so building the budget submission and executing the budget each year incur risk. Managing that risk necessitates prioritization, which, in turn, introduces several programming challenges. Especially on the combat support side, the ties between programming and the ultimate objective—to perform operational missions—for many areas of funding can be difficult to isolate and quantify. Also, reducing the funding, and thereby reducing the capability, of one programming area can negatively affect the capability of another when their capabilities are mutually dependent. On top of these...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Depot Purchased Equipment Maintenance
    (pp. 5-12)

    We begin with an overview of depot-level maintenance, with a focus on DPEM and the associated requirements and prioritization processes. Readers familiar with these areas might wish to skip to the next chapter, in which we take up measures of capability and address issues of tying expenditures to capabilities.

    Depot-level maintenance is largely performed in several business areas: DPEM, contract logistics support (CLS), sustaining engineering, technical orders, materiel support division (MSD) exchangeables, and modifications. Modifications are funded through procurement appropriations; all others are funded through O&M appropriations. In this chapter, we describe DPEM in some detail and then present briefer...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Metrics for Assessing Capabilities and Risks in Depot Purchased Equipment Maintenance
    (pp. 13-20)

    The necessary sequence of undertakings for capabilities-based planning and programming for depot-level activities is first to establish metrics for performance goals that relate to Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)–level planning objectives, then to define and validate anticipated requirements to meet those objectives, and finally to set priorities among these requirements. The latter activity can be greatly facilitated by analytical tools. This chapter discusses the definition of metrics. The following chapter discusses prioritization and is followed by development of the underlying formalism for programming tools in Chapter Five. We do not examine the requirements process in general in...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Enterprise Prioritization in Depot Purchased Equipment Maintenance Funding
    (pp. 21-28)

    The objective in enterprise prioritization is to find optimal target values for programming in each program element in the budget in terms of the relevant capability metrics—or, put more succinctly, to find the target values of the metrics.¹ An initial temptation is for each actor in the Air Force to push to increase the values of all metrics within that actor’s purview as much as funds allow. Unfortunately, this local attempt at maximizing capabilities is globally inefficient, leading to an overall lower capability for the Air Force for a given funding level.

    As a simple illustration, suppose the system...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE A Prototype Model for Assessing Capabilities and Risks in Depot Purchased Equipment Maintenance Programming
    (pp. 29-38)

    In the previous chapters, we argued that given a set of depot-level production requirements and a limited budget to perform them, prioritization among weapon systems can be achieved via weighting factors derived from operational plans. The desired programming levels are then set to maximize a balanced capability among weapon systems via the appropriate funding along cost-capability curves. In this chapter, we develop an analytical model to guide programmers in making these trades. The model and related software tools to be described examine trades among the aircraft (specifically, PDM) and engine commodities of DPEM. The model uses aircraft availability as a...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Software Maintenance Challenges for Capabilities-Based Programming
    (pp. 39-52)

    Trading among weapon systems and business areas necessitates a certain similitude, not only in metrics but in a range of other characteristics. Some of these include time lines of the requirements and programming process. The discussion of these details is best done with a concrete example. In this chapter, we discuss in depth one of the most challenging areas for capabilities-based depot-level programming, software maintenance.

    After aircraft and engines, software constitutes the third-largest (by funding) DPEM commodity category, accounting for about 17 percent of total DPEM funding and representing about $634 million in the 2008 programmed budget.

    1 Although overall...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN Policy Options and Conclusions
    (pp. 53-60)

    Our discussion of quantitatively linking spending for depot-level maintenance to capabilities has focused on the utility of capability metrics, such as aircraft availability, and how to apply such a metric to balance capabilities across a range of commodities and weapon systems. The metric reflects important aspects of the utility of the weapon system to the operator, and, when tied to a higher-level metric, such as the ability to generate sorties, it can be related to DoD-level planning guidance and used to balance priorities among a diversity of resources and weapon systems. We also showed how optimization tools can then guide...

  16. APPENDIX A Aircraft Possession Purpose Codes
    (pp. 61-62)
  17. APPENDIX B Decision Support System Description
    (pp. 63-68)
  18. APPENDIX C Software Deferrals
    (pp. 69-76)
  19. APPENDIX D The Software Requirements and Execution Process
    (pp. 77-84)
  20. References
    (pp. 85-86)