Maintaining the army's equipment requires a significant amount of troops and financial resources: 20% of a heavy division's soldiers (almost as much as supply and services, transportation, and medical personnel combined) and an estimated $11 billion in the fiscal year 2003 across the Army. Even with these resources, the Army struggles to maintain equipment availability at the levels required in high-intensity combat. Furthermore, current standards are insufficient to support the operating ideas of the Objective Force. Future conflicts, according to the Army, will be fought by operationally mobile, widely scattered forces. To fulfill this objective, units must be compact and often lack secure means of communication during "operational pulses," or bursts of continuous operation. For short yet severe durations, these conditions need high military equipment availability and unit self-sufficiency.
Here is the content list:
1. Sustainability Must Improve to Meet Transformation Goals.
2. Levers to Improve Sustainability.
3. Improving the Army's Equipment Sustainability Requirements.
1. Sustainability Must Improve to Meet Transformation Goals
The Army's Transformation Objectives, together with its evolving Objective Force doctrine, resulting in the following four high-level military equipment sustainment goals:
• Increased military equipment availability to keep small units and networked systems fighting;
• Improved deployability and operational mobility by reducing the "footprint" of maintenance in maneuver units.
• Reduced military equipment maintenance expenses so that more money can be put into future capabilities;
• During combat pulses, maneuver unit self-sufficiency to allow them to take advantage of information supremacy through increased mobility.
2. Levers to Improve Sustainability
Reliability has an impact on a force's ability to complete tasks (as measured by mission-critical failures) as well as the resources (measured by maintenance costs and footprint for all failures) needed to repair and maintain weapon systems.
Maintainability refers to the resources and time required to conduct repairs, as well as the capabilities that allow the logistics system to prevent breakdowns from disrupting operations (e.g., prognostics).
The Army's fleet life cycle management plans should detail how it will deal with system ageing and how it will design the system to accommodate updates to keep military equipment performing at the required levels at a reasonable cost.
Supply support requirements are determined by supply chain decisions related to a weapon system program (e.g., spare part levels), support ideas used, and design decisions that promote support efficiency (e.g., commonality).
3. Improving the Army's Equipment Sustainability Requirements
With a comprehensive and balanced strategy, the Army should be able to significantly increase military equipment sustainability. According to the experts at the Arroyo Center, the approach should contain the following four strategies:
• Create a template for military equipment sustainability standards that can be used across all Army weapon systems programs.
• Use all of the design features that are accessible to you.
• Create a KPP for one or more army equipment sustainability requirements.
• Adopt a variety of strategies for enhancing sustainability, such as sustainability-focused award fee criteria, using a "carrot and stick" strategy that enforces program discipline while inspiring maximum potential development.
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