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air force air logistics centers

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. The primary issues with the future software enterprise are driven by two long-standing heuristics: “Software is never finished” and “Software never makes the system cost less.” These truisms do not implicate problems with software as a technology, but instead reflect the fact that software can significantly enhance capa-. They have attained substantial process controls and quality measures at the highest levels of the industry. 2 United States Air Force (USAF). That is, how do they know when they have achieved the desired performance level? Clearly, the ALCs have undergone a great deal of organizational change within the past 20 years. At that point, there will be no fall-back position because the expertise will not be available internally. The ALC commanders’ authority has been significantly weakened over the past several years to the extent that they do not have sufficient authority to effectively and efficiently execute the programs for which they are responsible. With the 2005 BRAC, responsibility for greater portions of the ALC supply chain were re-aligned to the DLA. It is most noteworthy that 1,300 applicants sought this type of professional and personal development in its first year alone. “309th Software Maintenance Group.” Presentation to the committee, February 1, 2011. of funding. Safety-critical computer software Components: Those computer software components and units whose errors can result in a potential hazard, or loss of predictability or control of a system. The impact of not having a system appears to be far greater at the ALCs/AFGLSC because of their total responsibility for fleet support across commands and in some cases across services and foreign military sales. The software leadership of the three ALCs have formed a laudable working arrangement to address workload, process improvement, and policy, fiscal, personnel, and other corporate software issues,53 but this body has little to no formal authority. 41 Available at http://www.techweb.com/wire/software/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=51000353. Access to software development data is vital to proper software sustainment. This is commonly referred to as the 50/50 rule of 10 U.S.C. Accessed May 5, 2011. Later in this chapter the report discusses metrics on aircraft production that were used at the United States Navy’s FRCSW and that captured a best practice on aircraft production quite well. In addition, the organizational structure, technology infusion, and plant equipment were assessed. Thus, the production workforce and engineering support do not uniformly grow to meet the increased demand. Table 4-1 depicts the attributes and activities of the three ALCs. Recommendation 4-2. The Air Force should recognize that relief from overly restrictive policies, which in a modern industrial aviation setting impede effective and efficient production. The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is one of the largest units in the Air Force Materiel Command, with a team of over 10,300 military and civilian professionals delivering combat power for America. Software sustainment can be characterized as either (1) the modification or correction of existing code or (2) development of new functions or performance improvements that provide increased capability to enhance weapon system relevance. “Track Four Efficiency Initiatives Decisions.” A Memorandum for USAF Key Personnel. In a briefing to the full committee, the DLA representative explained that because the Air Force is responsible for significant portions of the approval flow, DLA Richmond must be involved. 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 format of each ALC visit was guided by an agenda established by the ALC commander in response to a general request for information. Consequently, a holistic perspective was taken of the past, present, and future outlooks for assessing resourcing investments. Peter Kraljic. SOURCE: Jack Ferguson. Consequently, the Sacramento ALC and the San Antonio ALC were selected for closure, with a large part of their maintenance and sustainment work realigned to the remaining three ALCs. Personal communication to committee, January 6, 2011. work package that allows for it. Personal communication to the committee, April 27, 2011. Although it is expected that a contractor will take more time as the C-17 production activity draws down, it still will not take as much time as the government currently takes. SOURCE: Steve Geary, Center for Executive Education, University of Tennessee. For future system acquisitions, however, as part of initial program planning, strong consideration must be given to a single government en-. “309th Software Maintenance Group.” Presentation to the committee, February 1, 2011. Finding 4-3. CMMI can be used to guide process improvement across a project, division, or an entire organization. There is room for significant improvement in gaining flexible work rules to permit the workforce to be more versatile. This notion was beyond the activities these sites pursued in the past, as the ALCs were challenged to see their enterprises as a system that needed to be optimized. Do you enjoy reading reports from the Academies online for free? Policy for sustainment is largely covered in Chapter 2. Support manpower issues affect the ALC workforce. Suffice it to say, the sustainment process is hindered by the currently fielded or lack of process management and reporting tools. Available at http://www.tinker.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=8552. These metrics represent the first concrete evidence that performance of the supply chain is being measured. In fact, the flow of funds for depot maintenance and for the Air Force’s flying hour programs has been adequate, although this may not be the case in the near term. 20 Recommendation 2-2 in Chapter 2 provides a related recommendation. Identify and make recommendations regarding incorporating sustainability into future aircraft designs. The leadership teams are engaged with the workforce and constantly demand process improvements and efficiencies; however, the current work rules lack the flexibility to achieve these efficiencies. The various seams, the ALCs’ limited ability to influence the supply chain, and the fragmented system alignment all impact outcomes—to the extent that it is surprising that the process works at all. A very interesting aspect of the software maintenance organization and processes at the ALCs is the lack of significant organizational and higher Headquarters management oversight. 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.16, In measuring the resourcing of the ALCs—funding, workforce, skill sets, technologies—the committee studied a large number of charts and various planning documents, including the ALCs’ strategic plans. Although it was referenced by Headquarters staff, the committee did not see a concerted effort on the part of the AFMC to implement and measure productivity measures systemwide. The commander and the civilian executive director at the FRCSW both commented that, although their industrial workforce levels are reviewed, they have freedom to adjust industrial personnel levels as determined by the workload.19. Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. [1] It was stood down in 2012 as part of Air Force Materiel Command restructuring. Although not a funding issue in the traditional sense, the ALCs need an enterprise management solution. Community See All. As shown in Figure 4-1, the Warner-Robins Air Logistics Center (WR-ALC), founded in 1943 and located on Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, serves as the primary modernization, sustainment, and depot maintenance center for a variety of aircraft, including the U-2, C-5, C-17, all models of the C-130, E-8, and F-15, and other important aircraft.1,2 WR-ALC also has the Air Force’s primary. Sustainment activities should be focused to maintain a system in the status for which it was designed. Over the course of the study, the committee reached the conclusion that one of the single greatest impediments to a successful sustainment enterprise is the lack of standardized processes and a functioning enterprise-level data system that forces standardized actions and delivers timely, actionable data to all levels of work/management. FIGURE 4-13 Washington, D.C.: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense. The committee assessed the ALCs’ activities and resourcing using a variety of inputs, including: (1) briefings at Headquarters Air Force; (2) briefings at Headquarters AFMC; and (3) visits to the three ALCs with presentations and tours by the respective ALC management chains. For systems of this age and in these general conditions, a deck of work could be optimized for both cost and turn time. Importantly, a modern resource management tool, although promised as “coming” is not available, despite being desperately needed. 42 Available at http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Enterprise-Apps/GM-to-Software-Vendors-Cut-theComplexity/. Although this is noteworthy, the committee also detected the “pain” of legacy systems that have been forced to operate “as is” for years while ECSS has been fielded. 4,630 people follow this. In other words, organizational change will not necessarily solve the many issues, but crafting and following defined process may. Recommendation 4-7. Last, few key decision makers or mid-level managers outside the immediate software community have in-depth software understanding; therefore, software management and engineering competency tend to be weak. The committee interfaced with employees in conference room settings and by “walking the floor” to talk with them at random. FIGURE 4-7 Unlike the Army, the Navy has significant commonality with Air Force systems and resourcing. Logistics, Installations & Mission Support United States Air Force (AF/A4/7) and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) - PERFORMANCE BASED AGREEMENT (PBA), Version 3.0. Production characteristics. Maintenance depots production metrics were discussed during the visit to the FRCSW where the committee observed excellent quality, cost, and schedule measures. “309th Software Maintenance Group.” Presentation to the committee, February 1, 2011. In reality, market dynamics demonstrate that for many commodities this is entirely appropriate. A strategic framework. At WR-ALC, the C-17 aircraft are modified and repaired by government employees. 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. 36 eLog21 is discussed extensively in Chapter 2. 4,598 people like this. In addition, it would generally ensure that the SIL equipment and development tools, which are generally commercial products, are current, as opposed to what sometimes occurs in maintenance organizations; namely, the support equipment is baselined at older versions that are no longer supported by the vendor. Finally, software digitization of previously analog-based, hardware-delivered measurement and control functions, such as sensing, flight controls, and engine controls, continues to increase. The Air Force is slowly fielding an ERP, but a system is needed as soon as practical, and the Air Force must provide it to the entire sustainment community. DLA Aviation reported that the DLA employee count is linked to government-wide personnel policies.21 The hiring restriction may be temporary, but the fact will remain that the DLA manages personnel independent of the repair effort, which was confirmed in discussions at the ALCs and with DLA Aviation. There are disconnects between the engineering resources needed to support production and the resources provided. 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. 51 OO-ALC was assessed CMMI v1.1 level 5 in CMMI V1.3 in 2006. Undated. Production characteristics. 38 Doug Keene, High Velocity Maintenance, WR-ALC. This situation can only be understood in the sense that funding accounts do not allow technical engineering support to grow or that policy limits hiring engineering personnel and placing them in the production environment with inherent authority to make decisions. This approach creates a very high risk for the near term because there are no other systems to take their place. During the assessment of the ALCs, much was heard about the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS) and the promise it holds for the future sustainment processes management. The primary focus of the following discussion pertains to the process for software development, through transition and on to sustainment. In one form or another, the committee repeatedly heard similar stories about the condition of management systems to support parts requirements generation or production support. Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email. Weapon system management at Ogden Air Logistics Center (OO-ALC). To assess the ALCs’ resourcing, the committee required an understanding of how the ALC leadership teams view the current situation and how the Headquarters AFMC and Headquarters Air Force view both the past investment utilization and the current flow of funding to support ALC operations. The center provides globally integrated, agile logistics and sustainment to the warfighter through world-class depot maintenance, supply chain management and installation support. They provide support to the Air Force and other components of the Department of Defense (DoD) on numerous product lines. FIGURE 4-8 Importantly, these expendables are directly related to an ALC commander’s maintenance production activities, and, whether pennies or thousands of dollars, when not available they can impact the commander’s success. The AFGLSC assumed responsibility for the Air Force reparable parts supply chain in March 200814 and is tasked with assuring the availability of reparable parts to both base-level maintenance activities and depot maintenance production activities. Finding 4-5. SOURCE: Steve Geary, Center for Executive Education, University of Tennessee. Software presents numerous advantages and challenges to sustainment. and spare support.31,32 At the Aviation Week MRO conference, the Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Maintenance succinctly summarized the bottom line for any maintenance effort: “If you don’t have parts, you can’t do maintenance.”33. A second area, like engineering support, is DLA support to the production lines. Figure 4-11 highlights partnerships strategies to be considered. Nevertheless, select parts of the plant and equipment do not meet current needs. Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for USAF AIR FORCE PATCH squadron AIR FORCE LOGISTICS CENTER AFLC Flight Test at the best … The Air Force should focus on strengthening and retaining the advanced skill sets needed for the sustainment of new aircraft systems. (OEMs) and high-confidence aftermarket suppliers have a higher likelihood of providing the parts where and when needed than do mass commodity suppliers. 6 Major General Andrew E. Busch, Commander, Ogden Air Logistics Center (OO-ALC). As the Air Force moves into new production modes such as High Velocity Maintenance and Repair Network Integration that demand higher flows through the repair cycle, the current parts situation will not be capable of sustaining these new processes. “Acquiring What the Warfighter Needs.” Presentation to the Aviation Week MRO Conference, April 12-14, 2011, Miami, Florida. Weapon system software sustainment is well supported at the three ALCs, but the Air Force has no central governance body to sustain software, and the various Headquarters staffs are technically ill equipped to deal with software issues. “309th Software Maintenance Group.” Presentation to the committee, February 1, 2011. systems to balance contractor efforts with the required development of organic capabilities. For the ALCs to be effective, data must become the key element in their efforts.35Chapter 2 addresses how data suppots engineering. “Commander’s Briefing.” Presentation to the committee, January 6, 2011. responsibility for avionics systems management, support equipment management, and electronic warfare systems and the significant maintenance of these systems. As an example, when the workload for a product line increases, the workforce will eventually increase to meet the workload, but the engineering support that provides technical direction and instructions for the craftsmen comes from a different pool of authorizations and resources. Recommendation 4-8. Currently, no reasonable, concrete definition of software maintenance exists. Yet, the ability to rapidly adjust staffing levels, as would happen in the commercial sector as workload changes, is constrained in the ALCs. “COMNAVAIR. 11 A conscious decision was made to not visit United States Army sustainment activities. He also oversaw comprehensive logistics support and sustainment of the E-8C Joint STARS and the C-17 transport aircraft, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center is one of three Air Force air logistics centers and the largest single-site industrial complex in the state of Georgia. ), simulators, maintenance and diagnostic software, logistics tracking, etc. Additionally, four committee members travelled to the Navy Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) to observe selected elements of the Navy’s depot maintenance programs and the interfaces with program offices and supply support.11 Although this chapter stands alone, topics such as policy, investments in general and in facility and equipment technology are covered in depth in Chapters 2, 3, and 5, respectively. The ability of the United States Air Force (USAF) to keep its aircraft operating at an acceptable operational tempo, in wartime and in peacetime, has been important to the Air Force since its inception. 40 Karl Rogers, Director, 309th Software Maintenance Group, OO-ALC. It is essential to have a clear understanding of all the resources that impact the ALCs’ operations to better evaluate the ALCs’ capabilities. As cited earlier, the software sustainment processes at the ALCs were considered to be on par with the best of industry. Despite a known greater than 10 percent growth in maintenance workload, an ALC was restricted by higher levels from hiring maintenance personnel to meet the growing workload. FIGURE 4-9 It was stood down in 2012 as … The E-3 and the E-8 have program offices at ESC. However, the target goal for FY2011 is expressed in a table for each weapon system/ subsystem and does not begin to portray the degree of parts non-availability for selected product lines at the depots, in part because depot maintenance activities can express MICAP conditions based on work content, timing, and product lines. Finally, the DLA and the AFGLSC each have a colonel designate as the key coordinator of spare parts support at the respective ALC. Consequently, the committee viewed sustainment activities and the resourcing of these activities at the ALCs in a holistic manner. Although almost 1,000 personnel were transferred, the Air Force has placed some personnel into positions to fill the voids in staffing and experience. 2010. Typically, software development and sustainment have nearly identical processes.40. tenance managers and technicians, the committee learned that a contractor, when responsible for a part, can typically supply the part within 24 hours, while organic sources routinely take 17 days. The committee universally came to believe that AA is fragmented, and its accountability is such that it is not a measureable performance criterion for any single sustainment manager. Data rights are vital and an issue on virtually all new software workloads; these issues must be considered during acquisition planning to ensure future access for the ALCs.54 The shift from development to sustainment is currently defined at Milestone C, but it is more a shift from development to sustained block updates—an approach that is not optimum for the new generation of aircraft. Determine if the Air Logistics Centers have the necessary resources (funding, manpower, skill sets, and technologies) and are equipped and organized to sustain legacy systems and equipment and the Air Force of tomorrow. Accessed March 1, 2011. Although this may be acceptable, the Air Force has declared software a core maintenance area under the provisions of 10 U.S.C. The 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing is co-located at Scott Air Force Base and supports movement and combat operations. Presentation at the Aviation Week MRO Conference, April 12, 2011, Miami, Florida. In addition, there were no strong plans for recovery when AA or delivery fell below target levels. The ALCs support the “supported commander.” Yet, success is often attributed to the individuals involved in “making it happen” rather than to an optimal, high-efficiency construct, clearly defined lines of authority, effective enterprise resource planning systems, and data-driven analysis and actions. 31 Captain Fred Melnick, Commander, United States Navy, Fleet Readiness Center Southwest. Within the Air Force, better policy and guidance for software development, upgrades and modifications, and maintenance must be developed, promulgated to the field, and enforced. 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 briefings were both detailed and comprehensive, the tours were open and thorough, and the discussions were frank and responsive to the questions posed.

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