By Master Sgt. Skip to main content Press Enter. Home News Article Display. Logistics transformation roadmap takes shape By Master Sgt. Donald J. Wetekam, deputy chief of staff for installations and logistics.
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Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. The ALCs are complex, multi-faceted organizations. They provide support to the Air Force and other components of the Department of Defense DoD on numerous product lines.
Accessed March 22, David Gillette, Jr. To establish the degree of complexity, it is important to note that responsibility for program management and sustainment for some of these platforms are shared with the Aeronautical Systems Center ASC and the Electronic Systems Center ESC. The following sections address the resourcing i. Ogden Air Logistics Center Factsheet. March During the visits to the ALCs, the committee divided into smaller subgroups composed of subject matter experts that aligned with the activities at the specific ALCs.
Consequently, a holistic perspective was taken of the past, present, and future outlooks for assessing resourcing investments. The format of each ALC visit was guided by an agenda established by the ALC commander in response to a general request for information. Each ALC visit consisted of a combination of briefings, facility tours, and in-depth discussions with the participants. Each ALC was represented by its commander, with the attendance of both senior military and civilian leadership.
The briefings were both detailed and comprehensive, the tours were open and thorough, and the discussions were frank and responsive to the questions posed. Historically, the ALCs have operated under several different organizational constructs. It is important to note that material management involved managing commodities and parts as well as weapon systems i. There were also major support functions such as contracting and manufacturing, and communications and computer systems.
Although the internal alignment of all of these functions varied during the s to the early s, the ALCs were consistently functionally aligned. During the early s the functions were re-aligned according to product orientation, which aligned weapon system sustainment not only with weapon system management but also with unique material management and major system maintenance, under a single leader.
Also important is that the ALC commander, traditionally a major general, became responsible and accountable for the operation of the entire ALC organization. The commander generally had authority, responsibility, and accountability for the range of resources available within normal constraints to execute the programs.
Presentation to the National Academies Committee on U. Air Force Sustainment. Unlike the Army, the Navy has significant commonality with Air Force systems and resourcing. Time constraints also did not permit such a visit. However, this no longer appears to be the case. The AFMC develops, tests, fields, and sustains weapon systems. At the time of the integration there were five major ALCs, and a series of changes began to chip away responsibility and authority from the ALC commanders.
Table depicts the attributes and activities of the three ALCs. In addition, responsibility for managing nearly all remaining non-reparable items expendables was transferred from the Air Force to the DLA center in Richmond, Virginia. 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 In other words, although the Air Force would still manage reparable items, determine the quantities to be purchased, and initiate contracts for repair of these parts, the DLA would source and procure the new parts.
The rationale for. Personal communications to the committee, May 3, The unintended consequence was to create numerous process seams and put the same part under two separate management systems, controls, and authorities. Under a March memorandum, the Secretary of Defense proposed a pilot program to move additional spare parts support to the DLA.
March 11, Washington, D. Accessed May 3, These employees then reported to the DLA Distribution Command; they were no longer part of the organization responsible for producing the maintenance results, and their objectives and performance reviews were not driven by the ALC.
Although almost 1, personnel were transferred, the Air Force has placed some personnel into positions to fill the voids in staffing and experience. This action occurred for a variety of reasons, including the desire to standardize processes for reparable. The AFGLSC assumed responsibility for the Air Force reparable parts supply chain in March 14 and is tasked with assuring the availability of reparable parts to both base-level maintenance activities and depot maintenance production activities.
Clearly, the ALCs have undergone a great deal of organizational change within the past 20 years. With this brief history in mind, it would be a mistake to view the ALCs in a monolithic fashion. The committee focused on the current state of the ALCs and their resourcing for present-day operations and future support of the assigned weapon systems. For example, an ALC commander must deal with multiple lines of external authority, many of whom have far less experience and certainly far less of an Air Force enterprise view.
Finding Recommendation 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.
Numerous subsets of activities support accomplishments within these focus areas. For example, within weapon system and product management, there are product engineering, condition of equipment reviews, corrective action planning, modification management, maintenance planning and evaluations, configuration management, technical documentation updates, and safety processes.
Likewise within maintenance, all actions are derived from engineering-based requirements with subsets that can and should lead to effective workflow.
Among these are process engineering, workforce and workload planning and scheduling, replacement parts needs and bill of material upkeep, modern equipment technology insertion efforts, and facility management. All of these processes must come together for an ALC to fulfill its mission to provide support to the commanders who rely on the ALC products and services to fulfill their missions.
To understand how these processes can come together, it is useful to review who and what roles are necessary to achieve the desired results.
To effectively carry out safe and efficient maintenance operations, a technical support process should be developed that begins with system design and ultimately extends to system retirement. To be effective, these processes and. To this end, the ALCs play a key, but not the only, role. The ALC role is part of a complex process involving the system users operating commands , program management offices, contractors who manufacture and provide all types of support, and Air Force laboratories that assist with technology infusion as well as with modernizing equipment for system maintenance.
Effective and efficient sustainment programs are directly tied to the coordination of these multiple players. Achieving effective and efficient sustainment programs is a direct responsibility of many, but should be an enterprise integration effort of the ALC commander.
Sustainment activities should be focused to maintain a system in the status for which it was designed. Thus, the activities should interface with all aspects of operations and processes to ensure that the design goals and or mission objectives are accomplished. An example of such an effort would be strong data capture and archiving. How data processes enhance this support is covered in detail in Chapters 2 and 6. Program management can substantially improve the overall operation of a product but must take a holistic approach to do so.
Maintenance alone cannot make something better than the design objectives without integrated support from the program management engineering. In the absence of desired improvements to the design, maintenance can only assure that the system does not deteriorate below the design objective.
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. Consequently, the committee viewed sustainment activities and the resourcing of these activities at the ALCs in a holistic manner. During meetings with sustainment officials, the discussion of support for the ALCs centered on policy, planning, people, products, processes, and parts.
In addition, the organizational structure, technology infusion, and plant equipment were assessed. It is important to realize that all of these factors are inter-related and inter-dependent on an ongoing continuum that affects the ability of the ALC to meet the sustainment goals that are established above the ALC commander.
However, after analyzing AA, the committee found many external factors that affect. 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.
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. Policy for sustainment is largely covered in Chapter 2. As the committee assessed the resourcing of the ALCs, it found a great deal of policy that can, in various ways and through various interpretations and regulations, encumber the efficiency of the processes.
Spare parts are supplied by contractors, and even though this process performs remarkably well, it has been proposed that spare parts be supplied by organic Air Force and DLA sources.
During subsequent discussions, it became evident that a final decision on the C supply support has not been made. However, it is noteworthy that the widespread conviction of government maintenance personnel is that the contractor-operated supply chains provide far better support than government-operated supply chains. Although it is expected that a contractor will take more time as the C production activity draws down, it still will not take as much time as the government currently takes.
Additionally, the committee repeatedly heard comments about poor supply support to repair lines across all three ALCs. The C proposal to move to organic support and similar stories on other product lines are key examples of how the ALCs are not being resourced to meet production demands. When parts support across all ALCs is considered, the poor performance is systemic, and sustainment activities are not resourced for effective and efficient operations.
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.
Employees at all levels exhibited great attitudes and were frequently well-versed about, and clearly committed to, improvement activities.
Overall, the general industrial operations as well as the product support sustainment workforces are producing reasonably well. 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.
The leadership is clearly committed to improvement; however, they do not have command-standardized processes, metrics, and goals. To the extent possible, the committee analyzed workforce levels to support the ALC sustainment missions. The ALCs have reasonable distributions of staff with skill sets to meet current needs. However, the ALC workforce appears to be constrained in product support sustainment activities in much the same way that other similar Air Force-wide organizations are suffering workforce shortages.
The workforce may be further constrained because a definable workforce standard does not seem to exist for the program offices engaged in sustainment or for the AFGLSC. The committee could not determine what levels of staffing are sufficient or required, because the amount of predicted work varies, and there is no definite operating plan to support staffing levels.
For industrial activities, the workforce seems to be more balanced to the workload.
The U.S. Air Force Targets a Total Transformation of Its Supply Chain
Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. The ALCs are complex, multi-faceted organizations. They provide support to the Air Force and other components of the Department of Defense DoD on numerous product lines. Accessed March 22,
Logistics transformation roadmap takes shape
The U. Air Force is supported by one of the largest and most complex supply chains in the world. Like commercial supply chains, it includes delivery, transportation, maintenance, repair, procurement, inventory management and product lifecycle management of both inexpensive consumable items as well as very expensive reparable items with long lifecycles. Unlike commercial operations, the Air Force's main objective is to provide weapon system capability and readiness to the warfighter, and it must be flexible enough to meet any contingency. Historically, the Air Force has not had the tools required to rapidly re-plan, respond and allocate resources as operational priorities change. In order to meet these needs, the Air Force several years ago launched Expeditionary Logistics for the 21st Century eLog This campaign is a portfolio of initiatives to transform Air Force supply chain processes from stove-piped processes to planning-based, integrated operations.
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