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A Common Operating Picture for Air Force Materiel Sustainment

A Common Operating Picture for Air Force Materiel Sustainment: First Steps

Raymond A. Pyles
Robert S. Tripp
Kristin F. Lynch
Don Snyder
Patrick Mills
John G. Drew
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 140
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  • Book Info
    A Common Operating Picture for Air Force Materiel Sustainment
    Book Description:

    Describes a potential common operating system (COP) for the Air Force materiel sustainment system (MSS). The authors first develop a COP based on the principles of effects-based measures, schwerpunkt (organizational focus), decision rights, and a nonmarket economic framework, then they apply the COP to depot-level reparable component sustainment to illustrate how the COP would improve overall MSS efficiency and responsiveness.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4590-4
    Subjects: Political Science, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xv-xxii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxv-xxviii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    The U.S. Air Force (USAF) operates a large, multiagency, multifunction materiel sustainment system (MSS) to support its forces’ operations worldwide.¹ That MSS includes not only official, organic agencies, such as financial management, engineering, depot and base repair shops, and planners, but also other elements of a non-USAF supply chain that encompasses oter DoD and contractor suppliers of maintenance, modification, transportation, warehousing, and supply services.

    The USAF MSS is continually caught between two countervailing pressures: demands for increased efficiency and lower costs on one side versus demands for increasingly effective sustainment of combat operations and peacetime training on the other. Those...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Framework: Common Operating Pictures, Effectiveness-Based Measures, Decision Rights, Schwerpunkt, and Nonmarket Environments
    (pp. 5-18)

    In this chapter, we review previous research on common operating pictures, identifying four related concepts that help frame how a COP may improve an organization’s efficiency and effectiveness: effectiveness-based measures, decision rights,schwerpunkt, and neutral integrators. Common operating pictures have emerged as a central coordinating concept across lateral and vertical agencies in military operations. Effectiveness-based measures hold some promise for developing COPs for large, complex operations such as military sustainment. An emerging economic literature on decision rights provides some perspective about how COPs could be used to tighten the integration of the many sustainment agencies’ activities.Schwerpunkt, which translates as...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Method for Designing a Common Operating Picture
    (pp. 19-32)

    In this chapter, we outline one way to use the framework from Chapter Two to help design a common operating picture for a complex organization. Specifically, we envision an eight-step process that leverages the concepts of a neutral integrator andschwerpunktto develop a set of COPs¹ and assign decision rights accordingly. In general terms, the process is as follows:

    Identify the organization’s broader objectives.

    Relate those objectives to effects the supply sides must produce.

    Identify measures of effectiveness.

    Identify the processes and decisions that can affect each MOE.

    Identify practical, comprehensive MOEIs and alarm thresholds for each MOE.


  12. CHAPTER FOUR An Example: Common Operating Pictures for the Materiel Sustainment System
    (pp. 33-98)

    This chapter has two purposes. First, we illustrate how one might apply Chapter Three’s methodology to design a common operating picture and the organizational relationships it supports. Second, we develop a conceptual foundation for applying the methodology to the full range of U.S. Air Force materiel sustainment activities that affect aircraft—ranging from component maintenance to aircraft depot maintenance to aircraft modifications.

    Thus, as this chapter discusses each Chapter Three step in turn, it proceeds like a funnel—first describing wide-ranging issues that affect all sustainment activities early in the chapter then successively narrowing the context, first to depot-level reparable...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusion
    (pp. 99-102)

    This monograph represents an initial attempt to develop a new process for assuring more effective, more responsive, more efficient materiel sustainment for the U.S. Air Force. We have integrated and described the concepts of common operating pictures, effects-based measures,schwerpunkt, decision rights, and the neutral integrator to outline how one might improve the Air Force Materiel Sustainment System. We have illustrated how one might apply those concepts in a specific context, DLR sustainment.

    No doubt, there are many ways to improve the specific DLR sustainment system design proposed. After all, it has not been tested in actual operations. We expect...

  14. Appendix: How Decisions Occur in Organizations
    (pp. 103-106)
  15. References
    (pp. 107-112)