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The Publication of Record for the Military Logistics Community

OklahomA City Air Logistics Center Special Pull-out supplement

Logistics Enabler Alan F. Estevez Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness

March 2012

Volume 6, Issue 2

Maintenance IT O Sierra Army Depot O Predictive Maintenance Operational Energy O Obsolescence O Supply Chain



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Military Logistics Forum

March 2012 Volume 6 • Issue 2


Cover / Q&A Predictive Maintenance Predictive maintenance is a successor to readiness centered maintenance (RCM), a methodology used to determine maintenance requirements, and condition based maintenance (CBM), which determines how and how often to perform maintenance. By Peter Buxbaum


Obsolete Obsolescence


As equipment ages but remains operational, the challenge of maintaining it becomes more difficult. The KC-135 is an example. With a current average age of 49 years and projected retirement not until 2045, the math—and maintenance—are challenging. By J.B. Bissell

Connected Maintenance


Maintenance of military assets continues to evolve, ambitiously using the latest procedures, tools and concepts to improve asset performance. In the Internet age, one of the latest and most important waves in this evolution is net-centric maintenance. By Henry Canaday

Oklahoma CITY Air Logistics Center Special PULL-OUT SUPPLEMENT


Interview with Kevin O’Connor Vice Director, 76th Maintenance Wing


Looking to the Future by Kelly Fodel

Globalization and Supply Chain Risk


Diversifying the global and IT comms supply chains, from design and acquisition to integration, operation, maintenance and disposal, provides opportunities for cost-saving and flexibility; however, it also introduces risks and creates opportunities for adversaries to compromise IT infrastructure. By Nadya Bartol

PBL 2.0


21 Alan F. Estevez Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness

Departments 2 Editor’s Perspective 4 Log Ops/People 6 LOG Leadership Lessons 18 Supply Chain 35 Calendar, Directory

Performance based logistics, or PBL, has been the Department of Defense’s preferred system support strategy for over 10 years. But now PBL 2.0 is on the horizon, a strategy that seeks to develop joint, enterprisewide PBL contracts. By Peter Buxbaum

Sierra Army Depot Sierra is no longer a storage and handling site for ammunition, but a depot that provides rapid expeditionary logistics support and long-term sustainment solutions to the Army and the joint force.

Industry Interview

29 Saving Fuel with Better Power


Powering soldiers in forward operating bases (FOBs) and smaller camps has become a tough challenge, as gear in both camps and on the move has become more power-hungry. Add to increasing demands the need to lighten loads and reduce fuel costs, and the military has to search for ever-better power solutions. By Henry Canaday

36 Rory A. King Director Global Supply Chain Product Marketing IHS Inc.

Military Logistics Forum Volume 6, Issue 2 March 2012 Publication of Record for the Military Logistics Community Editorial Editor-In-Chief Jeff McKaughan Managing Editor Harrison Donnelly Online Editorial Manager Laura Davis Copy Editor Laural Hobbes Correspondents Christian Bourge • Peter Buxbaum • Henry Canaday • Cheryl Gerber • Leslie Shaver Art & Design Art Director Jennifer Owers Senior Designer Jittima Saiwongnuan Graphic Designers Amanda Kirsch Scott Morris Kailey Waring

Advertising Associate Publisher Jane Engel

KMI Media Group Publisher Kirk Brown Chief Executive Officer Jack Kerrigan Chief Financial Officer Constance Kerrigan Executive Vice President David Leaf Editor-In-Chief Jeff McKaughan Controller Gigi Castro Administrative Assistant Casandra Jones Trade Show Coordinator Holly Foster

Operations, Circulation & Production Circulation & Marketing Administrator Duane Ebanks Data Specialists Rebecca Hunter Tuesday Johnson Raymer Villanueva Summer Walker Donisha Winston

EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVE Several major trade shows that would normally have been held this year—or even previously scheduled—have been cancelled for the year. While the value of trade shows and conferences as a venue to meet colleagues face-to-face is tremendous, over the years there has been a multiplication in the number and diversity of events. Are there too many is a hard question to answer, but there are enough shows that many people are asking that question out loud. That being said, a paragraph in a book I’m reading brings home the power of trade shows. The Quiet Professional is a biography of Major Richard (Dick) Meadows, an icon within the Special Forces community. He led the Jeffrey D. McKaughan Editor-IN-CHIEF assault team in the famous Son Tay prison camp raid in North Vietnam in 1970 and was one of four Americans living in Tehran for months leading up to the abortive rescue of U.S. hostages being held from the embassy there. Needless to say, when it came to people who had “been there, done that,” he was one of them. In describing the training and build up for the Son Tay raid, Meadows mentions finding a “clever but simple device” that was to dramatically improve night vision marksmanship. He discovered this device while at a trade show. Even though there was no interface between the new optic and his weapons, with duct tape to the rescue the night vision went into combat. The point of the anecdote is that solutions are there at every trade show. Solutions to requirements are there to be seen and held while walking the aisles. As Meadows is quoted as saying, “The results were unbelievable.” Travel budgets will be tighter this year and the number of events is being curtailed—which in my opinion is not necessarily a bad thing. The events that remain will not only host presentations by key military leadership, but the exhibit floor is the window to emerging technologies and answers to questions that may not have even been asked yet. I would be interested in knowing if any of our readers and eventgoers expect their travel and event plans to change this year—or change more than they have already. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments regarding Military Logistics Forum magazine. All the best.

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Army Aviation Materiel Readiness Award

Services and Support for AFMC Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has been awarded a prime contract by the United States Air Force to provide design and engineering services in support of the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) and other agencies within the Department of Defense. The multiple-award, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract has a five-year period of performance and a contract ceiling value of approximately $1.9 billion. AFMC conducts research, development, testing and evaluation, and provides the acquisition management services and logistics support necessary to keep Air Force weapon systems ready for war. Under the contract, SAIC will provide design and engineering services as required, including: new design, technical documentation, technology refresh, diminishing material and manufacturing, environmental improvement, and productivity, efficiency and cost saving efforts. SAIC is one of 26 prime contractors who will compete for task orders under the contract. “We look forward to providing the AFMC with design and engineering services to improve system life cycle cost, operational life, performance, sustainment, maintainability and support, and safety and environmental friendliness,” said Glenn San Giacomo, SAIC senior vice president and business unit general manager.

L-3 Communications announced that its L-3 Army Fleet Support (L-3 AFS) unit has received the 2011 Army Aviation Materiel Readiness Award for a Contribution by a Major Contractor from the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA). The AAAA organization presents this prestigious award to a major defense contractor that has made an outstanding contribution to the materiel readiness of Army Aviation, a service scope that includes logistics support, aircraft maintenance and supply chain management. “Our AFS programs are designed to generate successful mission results for our customers, and the outcomes have been exceptional in terms of operational readiness, flight hours and performance success,” said Michael T. Strianese, chairman, president and chief executive officer of L-3. “This award recognizes the dedication and outstanding contributions of our AFS colleagues, who provide round-the-clock services in support of our military aviators and worldwide Department of Defense requirements.” L-3 Army Fleet Support provides aircraft maintenance and logistics support at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Ala.

PEOPLE Major General Lynn A. Collyar has been selected as the commanding general, United States Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala. His previous assignment was as director, Logistics Operations, Defense Logistics Agency, Fort Belvoir, Va.

Maj. Gen. Kurt J. Stein

Major General Kurt J. Stein, currently the

4 | MLF 6.2

Compiled by KMI Media Group staff

commanding general, United States Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, Warren, Mich., has been reassigned as the commanding general, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Maj. Gen. Larry D. Wyche

Major General Larry D. Wyche, currently

the deputy chief of staff for Logistics and Operations, United States Army Materiel Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., has been named the commanding general, United States Army Combined Arms Support Command and the Sustainment Center of Excellence, Fort Lee, Va. Major General Michael J. Terry will become the commanding general, United States Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, Warren, Mich. He currently serves as commanding general, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, Fort Shafter, Hawaii.

Brigadier General (Promotable) Gustave F. Perna, currently the commanding general, Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command/Joint Munitions Command, Rock Island, Ill., will become the deputy chief of staff for Logistics and Operations, United States Army Materiel Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

Life Cycle Management Command/Joint Munitions Command, Rock Island, Ill.

Brigadier General Kevin G. O’Connell, currently the director for Logistics, Engineering and Security Assistance, J-4, United States Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii, will become the commanding general, Joint Munitions and Lethality,

Brigadier General Darrell K. Williams has been selected as deputy chief of staff, United States Army Materiel Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala. Williams currently serves as commander, Defense Logistics Agency, Land and Maritime, Columbus, Ohio.

Brigadier General John F. Wharton, currently the deputy chief of staff, United States Army Materiel Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., has been named the commanding general, United States Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island, Ill.

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Colonel Mark Roddy, USAF (Retired), is the CEO of DawnMar Associates, Inc. His active duty service as a career logistician and his work in the private sector as an information technology consultant reflect over 40 years of logistics and information technology expertise. Roddy is also a past National President of the Logistics Officer Association.

Mark Roddy

Facing the New Certainties: Budget Reductions and Continued Logistics Support to the Warfighter In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote that most memorable phrase: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” For the next several years—perhaps as many as 10 years—I believe we can add one new “certainty” to the first two: significant defense budget reductions. I also believe these reductions will be of such a magnitude that all functional areas within the defense community will have to bear some of the reductions. No one area such as personnel or acquisition can absorb them all, or even a disproportionate share. As logisticians, we strive to ensure we provide the warfighters with everything they need at the right place, at the right time, and at the right cost. To ensure the other certainty in this forthcoming era of massive budget reductions, continued logistics support to the warfighter, I believe we have to look at how we provide logistics support today and how we may need to soon do it very differently as a result of significantly reduced logistics budgets. I think the time is ripe for a vigorous, structured dialogue between public and private sector representatives about future logistics in an age of unprecedented austerity. Such a dialogue would be focused on how the U.S. public and private sector logistics communities can jointly provide more effective and efficient logistics support—a national defense logistics enterprise—to ensure today’s level of warfighter support with tomorrow’s budgets. For example, based on the success already embodied in the DLA BRACdriven business model, how could a national defense logistics enterprise offer the same level of simplicity and service we have all come to expect whenever we order something over the internet or over the phone? We don’t care where it is stored or from where it is issued. We just care that it is either in stock, or we know its backorder status and have an order tracking number so we can monitor its progress. Why would a warfighter feel any different about from where or how his or her supplies come? Some may say such an enterprise is not achievable because the logistics needs of each service are different. I would argue that when you boil logistics processes down to their core elements, they are all the same, be it Wal-Mart, Home Depot, DLA, or the Navy. Each of those organizations’ logistics needs aren’t different; they are unique to that organization. For example, the Navy does underway replenishment at sea. That is unique, 6 | MLF 6.2

but from a logistics perspective, it is not different. It is basically the movement of supplies from a supplier to a consumer. Therefore, what we need to examine and discuss in this joint dialogue is how to best leverage existing and emerging logistics technologies and infrastructures to support current and future warfighters rather than focus on how service-specific requirements are so different as to defy change. I believe the key to a productive dialogue concerning a national defense logistics enterprise would be for the DoD, military services, DLA and USTRANSCOM to work jointly with representative umbrella organizations from the private sector, such as TechAmerica or the National Defense Industrial Association. The team’s goal would be to discuss and collectively develop comprehensive requirements and a multi-year implementation roadmap. This joint partnership approach can ensure realistic and achievable requirements are developed by engaging all relevant parties in the discussion. This association-based approach also offers the broadest possible private sector technology perspective to DoD by involving all interested association members. Simultaneously, such a dialogue can help ensure all potential vendors are eligible to participate in any opportunities emanating from this work by avoiding potential individual firm conflict of interest issues. In my opinion, given the probability of future defense budget cuts, logisticians currently have a time-constrained window of opportunity to set the agenda as to what the next generation, resources-constrained logistics system will look like and how it will operate. Now is the time to examine what is achievable and what is the art of the possible in terms of a national defense logistics enterprise, and how it can best provide 21st-century support to joint and/or coalition-based, expeditionary warfighters in light of the broad spectrum of potential conflicts they may face. A budget-constricted future could very well demand a new and very different way of providing defense logistics. Now is the time to examine and discuss the options and develop the roadmap needed to implement the best way or ways forward. If we wait, budgets—not logisticians—may set the agenda and characteristics of a future logistics system, and we will all have to work with the results. Let’s start the discussion now and ensure that our warfighters never lack for logistics support. O

Taking the guesswork out of system maintenance can prevent a known failure window from impacting operational performance.

By Peter Buxbaum MLF Correspondent

A United States naval vessel, about to be deployed, was in port for one last checkout. During that stay, information came to the attention of its maintenance crew that a certain component was likely to fail during the deployment. Since it would be more difficult and costly to replace the component while on the high seas, the crew put in a maintenance request and replaced the component before the deployment. This story illustrates the benefits of predictive maintenance (PDM), the latest of a series of techniques used by military logisticians and maintenance personnel to proactively maintain the readiness of equipment, while streamlining processes and reducing costs. Predictive maintenance is a successor to readiness centered maintenance (RCM), a methodology used to Brian Finley determine maintenance requirements, and condition based maintenance (CBM), which determines how and how often to perform maintenance. Predictive maintenance takes these techniques a step further by adding a prognostic element. By gathering and analyzing system and component failure data, predictive maintenance systems are able to recommend preventive maintenance measures that are justified on the basis of costs. All branches of the U.S. armed services have adopted predictive maintenance and have implemented it to one degree or another.

“It’s all about performing the right maintenance at the right time and at the right cost,” said Brian Finley, a program manager at the Ship Systems Engineering Station of the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NAVSSES). “We want to get away from emergent types of repairs. If a vessel is getting ready to deploy, we want to look forward to possible failures 60, 90, 180 days out, like a weather forecast.” “With CBM you see the evidence of a need,” said Chris Savage, the Integrated Logistics and Fleet Maintenance Division head at NAVSSES. “With predictive maintenance you have more time and are able to plan more efficiently.” “PDM is the repair or maintenance of systems based on evidence of a predicted failure provided by system monitoring and analysis,” said Kimberly Gavaletz, vice president of enterprise logistics solutions at Lockheed Martin’s Global Training and Logistics unit. “Implementing predictive maintenance requires sensor integration with legacy and new platforms, analysis of data to create recommendations and training of system maintainers to use new tools.” PDM comes to mitigate the costs and hassles involved in dealing with random maintenance events, according to Jim Henry, vice president of technology development at StandardAero. “If a system is maintained only within its minimum maintenance requirements, the reliability of the system could suffer,” he explained. “Predictive maintenance complements RCM and CBM by asking what can be done when a system comes in for maintenance to optimize the system, meet reliability goals and achieve the lowest possible operating cost per hour. You replace not only what broke but also what is likely to fail in the next service interval if it makes economic sense to do so.” MLF  6.2 | 7

The line between CBM and PDM can become blurry. “CBM tends to get a picture of what the condition of a piece of equipment is,” said Chris Amos, technology solutions group manager at Alion Science & Technology. “Predictive maintenance tries to estimate when maintenance will be required based on a pool of similar equipment. “It’s smart to use CBM and PDM together,” Amos added. “For example, a part might be thought to have a 6,000-hour life. When inspected at that interval it might turn out to be okay, so you don’t want to replace it. If you just used CBM you might be surprised and not have parts Chris Savage available. If you just used predictive maintenance you would be in a posture where every maintenance activity would be a demand.” Predictive maintenance allows its practitioners to forecast system failures and enables them to develop cost-effective maintenance scheduling, according to Gavaletz. “This leads to the prevention of unexpected equipment failures, optimization of supply chain management, Kimberly Gavaletz the early diagnosis of critical issues and results in improved safety,” she said. “Overall, it increases mission confidence and affordability. Lockheed Martin’s systems detect the health of ground-based, naval and aviation platforms and enable the positioning of the correct parts and qualified maintainers, resulting in reduced downtime, decreased costs and enhanced efficiency.” Jim Henry Predictive maintenance as practiced by Lockheed Martin involves evaluating equipment via periodic or continuous condition monitoring. “Common evaluation methods include sensors for subsystems, vibration and oil analysis combined with field service representative support,” said Gavaletz. “Information from these sensors is then relayed to maintainers and analysts.” Chris Amos PDM as a prognostic methodology involves collecting data on failures of, and preventive maintenance on, equipment in the field. These numbers are crunched to create a projection of when components ought to be replaced. “When you have that data you can create an estimate on the life of a part,” said Amos. “You can use that information to predict how many specific parts you are going to need to service a fleet over a certain time frame.” 8 | MLF 6.2

StandardAero’s predictive maintenance tool, Optimized Maintenance, has been deployed by the U.S. Air Force. The software ingests historical maintenance and failure data and also creates reliability models for parts that go beyond historical data to include other elements such as repair costs. “Whenever equipment comes into the shop, the software creates an optimal work scope for that repair,” said Henry. “The system will suggest that while replacing a part that failed, there are other components that should also be replaced because they may fail within the next year and it is cheaper to replace them now.” The StandardAero tool is currently implemented on several Air Force aircraft engines. “In our view, predictive maintenance requires a concurrent approach,” said Gavaletz. “That’s why we emphasize both systems integration with legacy platforms and the training of maintainers to effectively use these tools. We also use field service representatives to ensure maintainers are equipped to take full advantage of this technology in their day-to-day operations and to assist maintainers in data analysis.” Lockheed Martin’s sustainment engineers work with the U.S. Navy to place shipboard sensors on littoral combat ships (LCS) to provide a network link to shore experts that enables early detection of emergent issues. Lockheed Martin’s Oculus, a data historian and diagnostic tool, monitors information feeds on critical hull, mechanical and electrical systems. Lockheed Martin’s LaserNet Fines was developed with the Office of Naval Research to identify mechanical faults by analyzing debris in lubricating oil. The system has been deployed aboard naval vessels in an oil analysis-based predictive maintenance program. “Both innovations reduce manpower requirements and assist in supporting the littoral combat ship’s low manning concept,” said Gavaletz. The Navy is concurrently implementing CBM throughout the fleet while inaugurating PDM with the LCS, according to Savage. He expects PDM to be implemented fleetwide in the future. “We are currently developing the data and tools required to have a true prognostic capability,” he said. “CBM is currently on 100 ships and we will work it through the rest of the fleet by 2017 or 2018. We’re just getting predictive maintenance off the ground with the LCS and we plan to transition that throughout the fleet.” The plan is built upon the prognostic capability on an open-source platform such as Linux so that best-of-breed predictive tools can be easily integrated. Alion is working on a predictive maintenance system for Marine Corps ground vehicles. “We started off with one vehicle,” said Amos. “We have been subsequently asked to expand that and now have programs covering over 400 systems.” Alion’s system, an SQL database with a web interface, allows Marine Corps maintenance activities to directly input data into the system. The system has also ingested historical maintenance data, from which estimates of the useful life of parts have been generated. “The system uses statistical methods to model failure rates,” said Amos, “and to predict how many parts will be need for a certain vehicle and when those parts will need to be replaced.” In one case, one of the Marine Corps MRAP variants developed a significant problem with its alternator pulley. “By looking at the numbers, we were able to identify the equipment being carried by

the vehicle as the cause of the failures,” said Amos. “They were drawing too much power from the alternator.” The solution was to design a new pulley. “By collecting the data and analyzing the problem, we eliminated the need for large numbers of spare pulleys to be kept in inventory, which reduced logistics costs,” said Amos. Honeywell’s Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) was originally developed for rotary aircraft but has since been adapted to fixed wing aircraft, ground vehicles and Navy ships, according to Chris DeLong, the company’s senior manager for technical sales. “The technology involves vibration monitoring and is based on sonar technology that came from the Navy,” he said. “We are able to recognize problems by signal processing data collected off a rattling piece of equipment.” On the original helicopter application, HUMS is able to detect out-of-balance con- Many major systems—air, land and sea—have warning systems that sense when conditions are reaching critical levels and impending is possible. More predictive systems can take that warning window out to hours before critical failure. Needless to say, the ditions and provide information to a main- failure difference could be life and death. [Photo courtesy U.S. Army] tainer on where and how to adjust the balance. “On the Chinook we found that prepositioning of spare parts. You don’t need as many spare parts it used to take three to five days to do rotor smoothing,” said on hand in forward positions. The equipment can be positioned DeLong. “With our software they are able to do it in less than a back to a central location for maintenance.” day.” In the case of the application of HUMS to Apache helicopters, On the Apache helicopter, HUMS monitors the transmission a study found that the fleet experienced 30 percent fewer aborted gear box. “It detects metal chips in the gear box, an indicator of a flights, 20 percent fewer maintenance test flights and a 5 to 10 serious problem,” said DeLong. “Typically crews get a warning on percent reduction in scheduled maintenance activities. In the case the order of minutes before a major of a fleet of 71 Chinook helicopters, outfitting the aircraft with problem might occur. With vibraHUMS avoided nearly 3,000 maintenance man hours over a twotion monitoring, we pick up signals year period. from degrading elements and give For naval vessels, predictive maintenance means that more them 20 to 50 hours of warning that maintenance can be done in port so that the ship can reduce the there is a problem.” numbers of spare parts it carries on board. “This has an impact on The same data is used to develop weight being carried and the space taken up on board, which are trends across a fleet of aircraft, vehialways critical,” said Savage. “It also means that sailors on board cles or vessels. “The system detects will be doing less maintenance work and that has an impact on anomalies that require further their training.” investigation,” said DeLong. Chris DeLong “The biggest benefit of predictive maintenance is optimized Military organizations using maintenance planning,” said Finley, “so that when a ship comes predictive maintenance can expect in we know exactly what maintenance needs to be done during concrete results to their maintenance and logistics operations. that time frame. Other benefits include reduced ownership costs, “Organizations can diagnose and treat equipment problems and maintenance costs, man hours, and increased ship and system system failures sooner and more accurately,” said Gavaletz. “The readiness.” result is a reduction in sustainment costs, less environmental “Predictive maintenance should be part of all logistics planimpact, an optimized supply chain, improved operational readining,” said Amos. “If used effectively, it reduces the costs of logisness and increased mission confidence.” tics and you get smarter about when and where maintenance and The T56 engine aboard the Air Force’s C-130 fleet, maintained inventory will be needed. It enables you to tailor inventories of with the help of StandardAero’s Optimized Maintenance tool, has spare parts to what experience suggests the real need is.” O seen average time on wing increase by 500 hours, according to Henry. “We have also seen a reduction in unscheduled removal rates,” he added. “We generally tend to see a 10 percent to 20 percent reduction in life cycle costs using predictive maintenance.” For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at or search our online archives for related stories “Predictive maintenance provides advance warning of failing at components,” said DeLong, “and allows you more flexibility for 10 | MLF 6.2

Obsolete Obsolescence As equipment ages but remains operational, the challenge of maintaining it becomes more difficult. By J.B. Bissell MLF Correspondent “The Air Force is all about maintaining our current inventory,” said Robert Eardley, technical lead, Weapon Systems Sustainment Branch, Directorate of Logistics, Air Force Materiel Command, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. “The last time that I saw it written down, the average life of our aircraft inventory was in excess of 26 years. We have some—the KC-135—with a current age in excess of 49 years, and a projected retirement of 2045. So the old keep getting older. But they keep flying.” Handling a wide range of obsolescence issues is how Eardley and his colleagues keep those planes flying. In the simplest terms, obsolescence is when a part or system becomes outdated. In the civilian world, obsolescence is a fairly easy problem to solve: When your personal computer is a little light on RAM or your television can’t handle a highdefinition signal, you go to the local electronics store and buy a new laptop or flat-screen. However, in the Air Force—and other branches of the armed forces—it’s a little

more complicated. For example, when a fleet of A-10s needs new wings so they can continue to fly for another 30 years or so, it’s not just a matter of heading down the street to a nearby airplane shop. “We have three product centers: an Aeronautical Systems Center here at Wright-Patterson, the Air Armament Center at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts,” explained Eardley. “These are where the majority of our program management and acquisition force reside. They are always looking forward to when we need to buy new systems or what we need to do to upgrade our current systems, whether it be a new radio or new radar, or in the case of the A-10, new wings.” The first impediment is money, but one of the foundations of obsolescence management is that it’s more cost-effective to replace the wings than it is to purchase a brand-new plane. So while money is certainly part of the equation, one of the biggest obstacles can be

locating the necessary components to tackle the update.

Missing Pieces Maintaining a collection of those components is crucial to the planning and process that goes into managing older systems or machines—such as an A-10—that can still have a relatively long and productive shelf life as long as a few necessary renovations are made. In today’s economic climate, however, there is no such thing as an endless supply of the exact elements one might need. “The main challenge with part obsolescence is that in the past, when a manufacturer was notified by the government that they would be using their product, the military would either make a life buy or the manufacturer would hold the line open,” said Len Goldstein, chief engineer for the VSE Corporation. “Due to shrinking budgets and the increase in commercial demand, the suppliers design new product lines every year.” MLF  6.2 | 11

In other words, once supplier A meets the contracted quantity, the company often moves on to the next project, and that particular piece of the bigger puzzle— a bolt, a light fitting, an electrical panel, etc.—can be very difficult to procure years later when it needs to be replaced. “When we introduce a new system, we’ll buy some spare parts,” said Eardley. “We might not buy enough so that we can build whatever it is from scratch, but we’ll buy some, especially ones that are expected to have a little shorter life to them.” This is a good first step, but it’s not without various pitfalls. “Occasionally, as we start to really use the system,” Eardley continued, “we’ll find that the parts fail a little more quickly than anticipated, or that maybe the engineering team during development didn’t take into consideration the severe weather conditions and speeds and so on that we put them through.” It’s when the spare parts run out and the original manufacturer has moved on to a different merchandise line that the true magic of obsolescence management begins, and VSE has plenty of experience. “Over the past 50 years, we’ve been a leader in obsolescence management and service life extension,” Goldstein said. “We have supplied countless replacement parts for the Department of Defense, and created new technical data packages [TDP] and parts, such as micro-chips, wing tip lights and instrument panels, as well as mechanical and electrical units.”

To do this, Goldstein and his partners first go through the logical initial steps to locate the needed accessories. They check the original manufacturing line and any possible second source options. If that leads to a dead end, “we review the specifications to determine if the part can be supplied by relaxing the requirements,” he explained. “For example, many times we find the original specifications called for extremely low temperature testing, but the geographical location where it will be used is a desert.” Component age and technology also is considered and there are times, especially for electrical pieces, when VSE can locate an updated version that still meets the form, fit and function of the original. “When we need a part that is simply no longer available in the supply chain, we determine if we can get the specifications or a TDP,” Goldstein said. And when all else fails, “we reverse engineer it,” he added.

Tracking Resources Because it can be costly and time consuming, the goal is to avoid reverse engineering, and one of the best ways to do that is to monitor as many of the applicable replacement elements as possible. “We track the acquisition of different relevant company’s product lines,” said Willie Brown, director of obsolescence management programs at BAE Systems Support Solutions. “So we have the ability, in most cases, to fairly easily go in and if the original documents call for a certain part, but maybe that manufacturer is no

longer around, we can locate who took over their product line.” There’s more to BAE Systems than just uncovering hard-to-find nuts and bolts. Their popular AVCOM tool is a “full-service obsolescence management product that allows a hierarchical loading of a platform system for obsolescence analysis,” explained Brown. “Normally, we’ll go over whatever our customer’s source document is—purchase orders, engineering drawings, and so on— and we’ll extract and then load that information into the software. Once we have that, we go through a comprehensive assessment to identify the current status of parts, and forecast where that particular system is in its life cycle as well as what steps should be taken in order to extend its service life.” Depending on which AVCOM Tier is utilized (there are four), users can evaluate everything from future component costs to the possibility of alternate parts and where to get them to discontinuance notices. The software’s numerous features and functionalities also are customizable based on what each client requires. “What services we actually provide are flexible, too,” Brown added. “We have some customers who already have an obsolescence management team in place and they just need a tool and database into which they can load their own information. Or we can provide basically the full obsolescence management services, everything from loading the initial information to providing final recommendations as to resolutions to their engineering authority.”

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Obsolescence In The Future Most obsolescence management decisions and ideologies are concentrated on keeping older systems and equipment up to date. The other side of it, though, is how the phenomenon affects the development of new things. On one hand, at the beginning of a product’s life cycle, there is little concern about becoming outdated. “Being in the growing unmanned aircraft systems [UAS] market, and as a result of UAS experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is continual technology refresh to provide new capabilities to the warfighter,” said Pete Collins, a production engineering manager at AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems. “This allows us to sidestep many of the long-term obsolescence issues that typically affect the maintenance of older systems.” That said, budget considerations make it very important for designers of even the newest gear to plan ahead for obsolescence matters. “To minimize product development costs and be competitive, there is an emphasis

to use commercial off-the-shelf equipment,” Collins continued. “Our main challenge is trying to predict and manage obsolescence of COTS. Typical obsolescence subscription services only track electronic components, so a manual effort is required to reach out to the COTS vendors with a survey to try and determine a predicted end-of-life [EOL] date.” Ultimately, the continued advancements in technology prove to be a double-edged sword for military suppliers. Since communication devices and electronics in general are constantly evolving, their realistic duration of use is quite short. To combat this, Collins and his fellow designers “screen the components of new products to look at obsolescence health early on in the development phase. This allows us to make timely changes in order to maximize the longevity of the product. In addition, we try to utilize leading-edge technology products, which buys us additional time before we hit EOL issues.” Still, Collins recommends that surveys that evaluate if COTS equipment is still current be conducted at a minimum of every six months.

“When a COTS item does go EOL, typically the recommended replacement piece is not form/fit/function drop-in compatible, and redesign and requalification activities need to be performed,” Collins said. “A trade study is required to determine if a bridge or lifetime buy would be cheaper than redesign and requalification activities. We perform this balancing act on a regular basis.” It’s a balancing act that more and more people are performing. “We have a guy whose title is product support manager,” said Eardley. “It’s a recent appointment. Congressional law told us that we need to develop this position. He’s a senior logistician for each program and it’s his job to organize and plan to make sure that his staff is focused on the areas of support so that his aircraft can continue to fly.” Because even though the old keep getting older, they still need to fly. O

For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at or search our online archives for related stories at

MLF  6.2 | 13

Special section: Logistics IT

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Special section: Logistics IT

Enabling maintenance in a net-centric environment. By Henry Canaday MLF Correspondent

Maintenance of military assets continues to evolve, ambitiously using the latest procedures, tools and concepts to improve asset performance. In the Internet age, one of the latest and most important waves in this evolution is net-centric maintenance. At its core, net-centric maintenance means seamlessly connecting the maintainer to a vast array of pertinent information that resides in a distributed set of authoritative data sources, summarized Greg Kilchenstein, senior policy analyst in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Maintenance. By exploiting all available information, the Defense Department can achieve material availability targets with optimum repair cycle times and inherent equipment reliability, all at reduced cost, so it maximizes the buying power of maintenance funds. Kilchenstein emphasized that net-centric maintenance is a two-way street. “The maintainer is the most important source of life cycle data on the asset. So we must also collect information from the maintainer, and any time we can automate that collection, we should do it.” The types of information to be distributed, in one direction or the other, are highly varied and stretch across the entire life cycle of an asset, from initial acquisition through sustainment. This information includes design and engineering data, acquisition

and supply data, information on usage, maintenance history and warranties. “The data should also include serialized asset management data, item unique identification, radio frequency identification (RFID) and total asset visibility data, so we can execute precision maintenance, reduce inventories, target recalls when necessary and ensure warranties are used,” Kilchenstein said. Distributed net-centric maintenance must also contain operational views—of asset utilization and warfighter capabilities—and connect maintainers to these operational views. The maintainers who must either provide or have access to all this data include uniformed military staff, civilian government workers and the private industry partners that support assets. “We also want to get data in real time to subject matter experts and to align the folks who turn the wrenches with the folks in engineering, in depots, shops and elsewhere,” Kilchenstein said. Net-centricity also seeks to enable real-time connection to interactive technical manuals and interactive training of maintainers. “We want the ability to provide multimedia presentations of best maintenance practices and to support this with visual aids,” Kilchenstein said. “Today’s maintainers learn differently than maintainers from a generation ago. Instead of carts full of maintenance manuals and training materials, today’s maintainers excel in a MLF  6.2 | 15

Special section: Logistics IT net-centric environment. They thrive in an interactive, multimedia environment and learn through gaming technology in which they compete with one another.” In order to exploit the benefits of netcentric maintenance, DoD must ensure that authoritative data sources have accurate and up-to-date information. “We need to make sure automatic identification technologies are used to their fullest extent practicable, in order to reduce the burden of data input and human errors,” Kilchenstein noted. Net-centricity enables aggregation and automated maintenance analysis from many authoritative data sources. “We want to find the maintenance trends and outliers and the best ways to operate efficiently,” Kilchenstein said. “We want to know how to benchmark on best practices, either in defense or the commercial sector. So we must have two-way connections across the firewalls between private and government maintainers.” All this is not new in principle, even if specific terms and tools may be new. Analysis of data from multiple sources to support smart maintenance decisions has been the norm since DoD began collecting and storing data decades ago. The game-change is that net-centricity enables connection of this enormous amount of data with smart analytical tools that automate creation of information for maintainers and decisionmakers. The Defense Department has already made great strides in several areas of netcentric maintenance. Kilchenstein pointed to Army aviation, where condition-based maintenance (CBM) enablers have been embedded in many platforms, including 1,500 missiles. “Now they are accelerating the implementation of it to the ground side. They expect to have upwards of 2,000 tactical wheeled vehicles enabled in a connected CBM+ environment by this time next year.” Naval Sea System Command has been developing and implementing net-centric enablers through their Integrated Condition Assessment System (ICAS) initiative over the last decade. ICAS is now implemented on 108 ships. “ICAS monitors equipment and generates automatic alerts to shore when certain conditions are met,” Kilchenstein explained. “So the onshore engineers can provide assistance to the onboard maintainers.” 16 | MLF 6.2

The Air Force and other services are moving forward with the Joint Strike Fighter program, which includes autonomous logistics and the Automated Logistics Information System. “It has embedded prognostics and diagnostics and supplier information, all integrated,” Kilchenstein pointed out. He said the Comprehensive Automated Maintenance EnvironmentOptimized for the V-22 Osprey is similar. The Marines are working with the Army to implement net-centric maintenance on their tactical wheeled vehicles, and the Army Logistics Information Warehouse has been established and is collecting data from many authoritative data sources. “We are seeing a lot of momentum across different defense segments,” Kilchenstein summarized. An initial hurdle to net-centric maintenance was obtaining alignment of, and a common framework for, acquisition and life cycle sustainment. “We had to develop the policies, tools and guidelines under this common framework,” Kilchenstein explained. “We are there now with policies and guidance that integrate a life cycle focus in acquisition and sustainment. In addition, we now have sustainment Key Performance Parameters and supporting Key System Attributes that require new acquisition systems to be available at target reliability and cost.” Kilchenstein said the alignment hurdle has thus been overcome. “Now we have to execute.” Execution will involve a host of specific and major challenges. These include installing digital data collectors and sensors, developing automated identification technologies and RFID and installing the infrastructure to get information into authoritative data sources and keep it up to date. Finally, enterprise resource planning and product life cycle management systems must be built or enhanced. “This is a monumental challenge, but there is lots of activity in each of these areas and the details are being worked out,” Kilchenstein said. The Defense Department will continue to look to the private sector to help with much of this execution work. Kilchenstein said that DoD will also look to private firms for productive partnerships and examples of industry best practices. He noted that private firms have plenty of experience in improving operations even “in a financially

stressed environment.” And that is precisely the kind of environment that DoD faces as it further develops net-centric maintenance. The goals of net-centric maintenance are worthy of strenuous efforts. And private companies see plenty of strenuous efforts ahead. Potential gains from net-centric maintenance are huge, according to Robert Charlton, CEO of GID Solutions. His firm provides technologies and expertise for military clients who want to improve maintenance with net-centric techniques. Net-centricity can enable conditionbased maintenance, which studies have shown can reduce total ownership costs by 25 to 30 percent, Charlton said. Use of unique identification tools to manage components would add to these savings. Furthermore, “on the outer edge, more sensors and intelligent agents can add even more savings,” Charlton added. But net-centric maintenance requires much more than just sharing data. “You must have the logic to apply data to problems,” Charlton stressed. “And you do not want to overload the mechanics with data. You must group data in sets to improve decisions on repair and get it to the decision point so you have the right skills, tools and parts in mobile environments. Then you must have applications that support decisions.” Charlton said that many Defense Department staff in system engineering and sustainment still work in their own environments and must be connected to tactical maintenance. “You need the right data in standard format so product support data can be ported over to decision points in field maintenance. And then you must do it vice versa, get data on how items are used to the product-support managers so they can build in more reliability. Right now, these are still two camps, product support and tactical maintenance.” Charlton acknowledged this connection is happening in some instances—for example, in maintenance of robotics for dealings with explosive devices. “But not across big weapon systems like tanks and mine resistant ambush protection vehicles.” Charlton argued that one major hurdle to net-centric maintenance is that when DoD buys capabilities under tight budget restraint, “the first tool to get

Special section: Logistics IT cut is sustainment, even though they will pay more in the long term.” He said the military must then use the “brute force” of more mechanic labor to deal with problems as they come up. “And they will continue to get the same results that way.” Cubic Global Tracking Solutions, the asset-visibility solutions provider of Cubic Corporation, makes sensors and wireless tracking technologies, according to its president, Mary Anne Wagner. Cubic has developed a new wireless technology that uses 802.15.4 wireless frequency. “The key is power management,” Wagner said. “In the network industry, it is considered quite expensive if you can get 500 devices on a network. We get up to 6,500. That is ground-breaking.” The Cubic wireless mesh network is deployed for yard administration in Kuwait where many vehicles must be tracked by individual serial numbers over a very broad area before they can be forwarded to theater or returned to the United States. The system uses small, battery-powered Mesh Asset Tag devices with GPS receivers that are attached to vehicles and automatically connect wirelessly with one another to form a wireless mesh network. Wagner said the Cubic solution has saved the yard about 50 percent of the costs of the previous solution. Cubic also supports asset tracking for logistics. It has developed a sensor device for cargo containers that integrates both GPS location with detection of intrusion into the containers. Previously, two separate sensors had to be used, one for location and the other for intrusion. This technology has also been deployed. Wagner said the military has called this solution “groundbreaking,” and that she expects more deployments of both Cubic innovations. Brian Schultz, chief technology officer at SAIC, said two major challenges of netcentric maintenance are first, how to do it in combat environments where mechanics have limited Internet connectivity, and second, how to keep all the data accurate, avoiding missing, invalid or duplicate entries. “Everyone uses Excel spreadsheets, but these were built for their own purposes,” Schultz explained. “You must ensure all the data is accurate and recent.” This data includes technical manuals, repair histories, part stock and much more.

It is not possible to have everyone just post their latest data on tools like SharePoint. “Field mechanics have intermittent Internet connectivity, once a night or once a week,” Schultz noted. “The military had already solved this problem pretty well for people who were constantly connected.” SAIC had to find a way to do it for those without constant connection. “We created a process so that when they are connected we can synchronize the data of mechanics in the field with program office data,” Schultz said. “They can push data back to the program manager and the program manager pushed it back to them.” Critically important to address the dataaccuracy challenge, there is also a verification and validation process. “If two versions of the data do not match, there is a human process to decide which is right,” Schultz said. “Usually, the mechanic who is sitting in front of the asset or looking at the box of parts is right.” In between synchronization events, data is cached. “So it is not real time, but near real time,” Schultz said. “The data is not completely in sync between synchronizations.” Nevertheless, the process allows the program manager to do analysis and exercise control with the latest data practically available and to update technical manuals for field mechanics. The SAIC solution is called Paradigm Visibility Metrics (ParadigmVM) and is operational now in two major programs. It has been used for more than three years on the MRAP Joint Logistics Integrator (JLI). Although the principles are simple, Schultz said meeting both the synchronization and accuracy challenges was far from easy on the initial MRAP JLI. “There were 20,000 vehicles made

by different manufacturers, in different configurations, operated around the world by different services using different systems.” Using lessons from the MRAP JLI, in September 2009 SAIC applied ParadignVM to the Marine Corps’ Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare Product Support Integrator program. ParadigmVM is also supporting some smaller programs. So, as Greg Kilchenstein might say, the momentum is building. O For more information, contact MLF Editor Jeff McKaughan at or search our online archives for related stories at

MLF  6.2 | 17

SUPPLY CHAIN Ground Unmanned Support Surrogate Heavy Duty Light Tower Larson Electronics’ has announced the addition of a heavy duty light tower that provides powerful illumination and high durability in an easily transported design. This industrial grade tower provides illumination for up to 6,400 square feet, yet can be easily broken down and transported. Constructed of heavy duty steel and incorporating dual 500 watt Quartz light heads, this adjustable tower is ideal for work operations and emergency response services where high power and dependability are critical. The WAL-QP-2X500-25 work area floodlight from is designed to provide powerful illumination and portability in a package built to withstand heavy duty use and harsh operating conditions. Equipped with two 500 watt quartz light heads, the WAL-QP-2X500-25 produces a 17,500 lumen light beam with a wide flood pattern that is capable of illuminating 6,400 square feet of work space. The light heads are independently adjustable, allowing operators to change the angle and direction of each light head as needed to provide the best coverage. To provide stability as well as portability, Magnalight has designed this unit as a highly stable quad pod tower that can withstand inclement weather conditions and heavy duty use. The four supporting legs are foldable and provide stability even under windy conditions, and the light assembly is mated to a detachable mounting bracket that can be removed from the tower without the use of tools. The tower height is adjustable, and can be set from 7 to 10 feet in height at 2-inch increments.

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The Marine Corps’ GUSS (ground unmanned support surrogate) recently underwent a weeklong limited technical assessment (LTA) at the Fort Pickett Army National Guard Maneuver Training Center. The autonomous vehicles, part of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab’s unmanned ground vehicle program, can lighten the load of the dismounted warfighter and increase the durations units can operate independently. Torc integrated four ByWire tele-op and autonomous vehicle kits on Polaris MVRS700 6x6 platforms for the GUSS program. Dismounted users can command GUSS using the handheld WaySight or a FalconView-based operator terminal on the TRC. The GUSS vehicles operate autonomously off-road at operational speeds using LIDAR and EO/IR cameras. The most recent LTA involved Marines operating two upgraded GUSS autonomous vehicles to conduct resupply, dismount support and RSTA operations. Unmanned operations took place over a variety of off-road terrain, trails and through mock checkpoints and villages. Torc upgraded GUSS’ perception sensors and the AutonoNav autonomous navigation software to increase operational speed and improve ability to traverse complex off-road terrain even in the presence of obscurant. GUSS now has a full, 360-degree sensor coverage and improved range to ensure safe operation in close proximity to dismounted Marines. The upgraded capabilities allow GUSS to avoid traps that slow operational tempo and permits extended operation in the absence of GPS.

Sustainment is Key Navistar Defense LLC announced that it received a $134 million delivery order for field service representatives (FSRs). The order from the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command renews the company’s in-theater FSR service contract to support International MaxxPro MRAP vehicles. “I’m proud to say that Navistar will not sell a truck if we can’t support it in theater,” said Archie Massicotte, president, Navistar Defense. “Sustainment of our vehicles is key—especially when vehicle life cycles may run between 15 to 20 years. With our fleet of vehicles now growing beyond 32,000 trucks, fleet support will continue to be a critical piece of our business.” The company currently has more than 600 FSRs in theater and working domestically to support the MaxxPro family of vehicles.

Readiness Maintainer Kevin O’Connor Vice Director 76th Maintenance Wing Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center



Readiness Maintainer

Q& A

Working Across the Horizontal Enterprise to Execute the Mission

Kevin O’Connor Vice Director 76th Maintenance Wing Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center

Kevin G. O’Connor is the vice director, 76th Maintenance Wing, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. As the vice director, he serves a 9,500 personnel team responsible for over $3 billion in revenue for the Center. The wing performs programmed depot maintenance on the KC-135, B-1B, B-52 and E-3 aircraft; expanded phase maintenance on the Navy E-6 aircraft; and maintenance, repair and overhaul of F100, F101, F108, F110, F118, F119 and TF33 engines for the Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Navy and foreign military sales. Additionally, he is responsible for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of a myriad of Air Force and Navy airborne accessory components, and the development and sustainment of a diverse portfolio of operational flight programs, test program sets, automatic test equipment and industrial automation software. He began his civil service career in the Pollution Prevention Division of the Environmental Management Directorate at Tinker Air Force Base in 1994. He joined the Aircraft Production Group in 1998 as an engineer in the Production Engineering Section. As the squadron director of the 566th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, he was responsible for the planning, scheduling and execution of E-3 programmed depot maintenance and depot level modifications, Navy E-6 extended phase maintenance and depot level modifications, and the de-paint, paint and movement of aircraft in depot status. Prior to his current position, O’Connor was the deputy director, 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group, 76th Maintenance Wing. As the deputy director, he was responsible for depot repair, modification and overhaul of the C/KC-135, E-3 (AWACS), B-1B, and B-52 aircraft and depot level work on the B-2A, C-130J and Navy E-6B aircraft. His awards and honors include: Meritorious Civilian Service Award, 2002 and 2010; Air Force Association, Award for Middle Management; Overhaul and Maintenance Award for Outstanding Achievement, OC-ALC Nominee; and Couple of the Year, Big Brothers and Sisters of Oklahoma City, 2003 and 2006. Q: What have you identified as the biggest challenges at Oklahoma City ALC and how have you addressed them?

A: One challenge that we’ve really been working on in recent years is material supportability for our maintenance operations. That runs the gamut from an accurate bill of materials to the accurate forecasting of workload, [obtaining] the required parts that we’ll need to perform our maintenance, all the way through to the execution of the contracts, working with our supply chain, both the Defense Logistics Agency [DLA] and the Global Logistics Supports Center [GLSC] and making sure those parts are supportable. We align the workload, the supportability and what’s on the shelf so that there are no material constraints. We’ve shown time and time again across all of our production lines, from our engine lines to our commodity to our aircraft, that when we’re part-supportable we can get positive throughput, get products back to the customer by their required dates and our production machine functions much better. Another thing we’ve been systematically working on across our local enterprise here is the horizontal integration of all the supporting organizations—all of the enablers that help the maintenance wing execute our mission—whether it be engineering support for dispositions to our technical challenges, procurement Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center | MLF 6.2 | 1

Oklahoma City AIR lOGISTICS cENTER issues, contracting issues and again the supply chain. We are working across these traditional stovepipes of functionality with the one common goal of supporting the maintenance wings and our efforts to get throughput and output back to the warfighter. Probably the third biggest challenge is adjusting to the impending budget cuts, the standup of the sustainment center and the five center construct, and how that will impact how we do depot operations across Air Force Materiel Command.

set levels based on demand history and future forecasting requirements. It’s a poll system basically. As a maintenance wing, we’ll poll the spare parts into our maintenance operations as necessary, but it’s always a challenge given the change in requirements and the changing workload for them to stay ahead of the adjusting demand. It’s a balance for our supply chain to keep the right inventory levels while still having enough product for us to execute our mission as well.

Q: What’s your take on high velocity maintenance? As a maintenance philosophy, and in comparison to other methodologies, do you think it’s well suited for aircraft maintenance?

Q: What is your command’s role in spotting and defending against the influence of counterfeit parts into the supply chain and ultimately on the platforms?

A: Absolutely. High velocity maintenance is based on four tenets. First, knowing the condition of an incoming aircraft that we’ll have to refurbish and perform depot maintenance on. Second, understanding the supportability stature—that really goes beyond just the material, like I mentioned earlier. It goes into establishing if we have the right tools, equipment and resources. The third tenet is trying to make daily standard work as repeatable as possible, even though it’s an unpredictable kind of work since you never know what each aircraft is going to present in terms of corrosion or system challenges. The fourth tenet of high velocity maintenance is to have a high touch labor rate, making sure mechanics are on the aircraft at all times. So we really try to serve up everything to that mechanic when he needs it to keep him on the aircraft and keep that jet moving along. In my mind, the philosophy of high velocity maintenance is the perfect combination of lean manufacturing principles and the theory of constraint. It really pulls the best of a variety of philosophies together and applies them to our aircraft maintenance philosophy and procedure. I’m a huge fan. We’ve already seen great results on our B-1 line here locally. When you talk about depots here, it’s not just the depot here at Tinker. We also have the depots in Ogden, Hill AFB, Utah, and Warner Robins in Georgia. All three depots are working toward the implementation and evolution of high velocity maintenance and having success.

A: From the maintenance wing perspective, a lot of this is transparent to us. The DLA or GLSC put all of the parts on contract. The contracts are managed through the Defense Contract Management Agency [DCMA] system, and the DCMA will do the inspections and make sure the suppliers meet all the requirements, one of which is to not have counterfeit parts and ensure they’re keeping their quality at the highest level. If we bring in a part that is wrong in terms of the form, fit or function, we’ll do a quality deficiency report or a report of discrepancy. We’ll feed that back to the supply chain and they’ll work that. A lot of that is upstream from the maintenance wing in terms of ensuring there are no counterfeit or unqualified parts coming to us.

Q: Can you describe how the spare parts supply chain works now that the Defense Logistics Agency is a direct supply partner? A: We’re a customer of the spare parts and the DLA provides piece parts to us for our end-item repairs that we do and our whole engines and whole aircraft. DLA manages piece parts, the Air Force manages end items—they’re both integrated very closely because piece part success feeds into the Air Force’s success in keeping end-items on the shelf for us as well. The way it works is they will

Q: Are there methodologies that are used to further reduce the levels of inventory held on hand? A: In terms of the supply chain, not necessarily the reduction of inventory but for rightsizing that inventory. In some product groups, we may need to increase the inventory given what we see in our future. In other instances, if the workload looks to be drawn down, then we’ll need them to reduce that inventory. If there’s a case where we know exactly what our workload is and they’re stocking more than they need, their demand history algorithms will let them adjust that. It’s a constant balancing act between predicting what our future parts requirements will be and what our past demand has been. The DLA focuses on demand forecasting and they like to plan based on our historical demand. What we are doing as partners is we’re trying to get much better in communicating not just past demand history, but our future requirements based on our forecasting. If you just base inventory levels and procurements on historical demand, it doesn’t take into account what can change in the future based on conditions of the aircraft changing, a fleet size change, mission change, etc. There are ways to do it a little bit

Oklahoma City AIR lOGISTICS cENTER smarter. It really keys improved communication of that forecast and the predictability of the work we do. Q: Without jeopardizing operational readiness, how can you better match needs with immediate on hand availability? Finally, how do you monitor and track parts usage to predict future needs? A: A lot of what I just mentioned in terms of the balancing act and the demand history [goes into that]. Every time we order something that enters into the supply chain database, it shows there was a need here for that and gives a historical perspective. But what we need to improve is passing our future projections to our supply chain as early as possible, and they need to respond to those projections just as aggressively as they respond to our demand history. Q: Several aircraft under your care certainly qualify as aging aircraft. What role does your command have in looking at an airframe or its major subcomponents and determining the reasonability of repair, replace or disposal? A: Well, from the maintenance wing we have a huge role in that, because we’re the first touch point to that aircraft and to those challenges when they come back in as part of our maintenance package. We do the inspection and open it up, looking for the cracks and corrosion. Frequently, the repairs may just be driven by technical orders or technical data. But as the aircraft age, we sometimes find things that are outside of the technical data limits. In those instances we work with the engineering staff from our system program offices. A lot of times our mechanics will give us suggestions, which the engineers will take into account when they do their analysis, and they’ll also use their own experience to come back with the repair or replace determination. Ultimately, that decision is made by our cognizant engineers up in the system program office, but the boots on the ground and hands on the aircraft also play a critical role. We also play a critical role in our defect inspections—the visual, the tap test, NDI testing, for example. Our folks are the ones that discover those and we work closely with the engineers to resolve the technical challenges. Q: Dealing with any number of hazardous materials from oils and lubricants to paints and weapon systems, what are the major environmental issues you have to deal with? Related to that, how important is it to the command to become more green in your day-to-day operation?

A: We’re always striving to be greener. When we look across our history, when we find green [products], we find that not only are those usually better for the environment, they’re also better for our workforce. A lot of times they’ll come with process changes that will streamline our operations. Probably if I had to pick one right now, there’s Hexavalent Chrome, which is included in the primers on our aircraft—there are constant efforts to replace that chromated primer, including work by the Air Force research labs. Until we come up with a suitable substitute, we’re always improving the safety of our work environment and workforce by ensuring we have the right process in place, the right PPE in place. We always use a substitute-replace approach first when engineering and the scientific community can’t provide that to us, so we can protect our employees and the environment. Of course, [there is] the compliance that comes with emissions and the reporting issues that accompany that. Outside of hazardous materials and chemicals, the base is always aggressively pursuing energy reduction initiatives. We’re on the cusp of working on some partnerships with the state and industry to see what we can learn and how they can help us reduce our energy through more efficient processes and equipment. We try to do our part in conserving energy across the nation. Q: How successful have you been in retaining the trained and skilled workforce that you have? Is there a demand in the civilian MRO world for the kind of skills your people have? A: Here in Oklahoma we’ve been pretty successful. Our attrition out of the maintenance wing is probably around 4 to 6 percent. It varies a little bit year to year, but that’s pretty typical across industry. That attrition will come from retirement or sometimes folks will leave and find other positions, but we don’t have an alarming attrition level. We’re comfortable about what we have to offer as an employer; we always have folks lining up at the door willing to interview and come in. To be proactive, we have great relationships with our local vo-tech [vocational technical] schools. There are about two to three vo-tech schools that’ll feed us A&P [airframe and power plant] licensed mechanics. These mechanics come into our workforce with a good foundational knowledge already when they hit our production lines. We also work with our local schools to get specialized training. If we need sheet metal skills, they’ll put an accelerated class together and give us a class of very well-prepared sheet metal individuals who can pursue the rest of their A&P license at a later time.


Our relationship with our local vo-tech schools has always been very strong here in Oklahoma. As far as our skills in the civilian MRO world, absolutely. We do a lot of the same types of work that the workforces at Delta and big and small airlines do, [so our workforce has the] same types of skills they need. Q: Do you utilize simulator and computer-based training aids to teach and hone skills for your maintenance teams? A: Yes. We do computer-based training on a regular basis. We’re starting to explore opportunities to do more than computer-based training, applying graphics and technologies from video games. A couple of weeks ago, a company showed me a very detailed interactive training to help with operational risk management. [This kind of training is] very valuable in terms of things we may not see on every aircraft on a regular basis—it may be something that comes up once a quarter—but that kind of training can really run them through the gamut of the processes that could happen. We’re really on the cusp of this right now. We don’t have any tried and proven examples of that yet in our workforce. It’s phenomenal what they’re doing with training these days. Q: With your wing’s experience with the tanker fleet, do you know if that will give you an advantage when deciding who will handle tanker maintenance? A: In terms of tanker maintenance in general, I think it does give us an advantage because of our experience with the fuel cells and the tanker that we do maintain today. In terms of the KC-46A, when it does come on, we’re the designated source of repair for that, so we’re prepping ourselves for that mission. It goes beyond tanker maintenance. The large-bodied aircraft we do here, B-1, B-52, E-3, E-6, all of that heavy MRO activity we do makes us very competitive for other types of workload that fall into that category. The KC-46 A, which is in development, should come out in FY18. C-check will happen then. Q: Besides turning wrenches on large platforms, do you also have a group that looks after software development and production? Tell me about the work done by this group and what types of people and skills you pull together in this organization.

Maintenance on individual aircraft takes place at the depots, such as Oklahoma City, but the process is an extension of the greater enterprise of maintenance and supply chain providers. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force]

middle of that as well. In our maintenance wing, they’re involved in complex operations, equipment machinery, test stands—they’ll build the test program set software that basically runs the equipment that tests these components, so they’re active in that as well. Q: Any closing thoughts?

A: We do. It’s our software group. All of the three depots—here at Oklahoma City, Warner Robins and Ogden—have software maintenance groups. Here at Tinker we have about 660 personnel. The majority of those, around 500, are electrical engineers. About 90 are computer scientists. The others are analysts and planning types. It’s a very extensive, highly skilled portion of our workforce here within the maintenance wing. The types of work [they do] include anything from mission planning development, operational flight programs, development of software programs and the sustainment of existing programs. If something’s new that needs to be developed, they can develop programs from scratch. At the other end, we have a mission planning capability that needs to continuously evolve; they’re in the 4 | MLF 6.2 | Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center

A: When you think about the Air Force depot enterprise, it’s important to think about all three at the same time. Here at Oklahoma City, we have a specific mission in respect to aircraft, software, engine, commodities, but we’re really an extension of a greater enterprise that includes the depot operations out at Tinker Air Force base in Ogden, Utah, and at Warner Robins down in Georgia. I can’t underscore enough how much we work together and when we look at the Air Force requirements for software development or commodities or manufacturing, when someone comes to Air Force depot, they don’t just tap into one single depot, they tap into entire enterprise that’s working together to meet the needs of the Air Force and DoD. O

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Looking to the Future: The Next Small Business Steps at OC-ALC By Kelly Fodel MLF Correspondent The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker AFB, Okla., is a leader in providing depot maintenance for the Air Force’s most sophisticated weapon systems. The center is the largest of three air logistics centers within the Air Force Materiel Command and the worldwide manager for a wide range of aircraft and missile engines and commodity items. The small business office at Tinker works to facilitate acquisition opportunities for small companies in support of the Air Force mission and serves as the initial point of contact for small businesses seeking contracting opportunities with OC-ALC. Joanne Davis, director of small business, leads a team that includes two certified small business specialists, as well as a separate source development specialist who ensures that contractors get approved as a source for repair jobs. They see, in their office alone, 400 to 500 people each year who want to get into government contracting. That number doesn’t include all of the outreach work that the staff does outside the office setting. Last year, Davis was involved in an outreach program that took her out of the office almost every month, which leads to more people coming in for more information. In addition to meeting the small business goals set by the Air Force Materiel Command, Davis and her staff are working to adjust to new leadership and enjoying a renewed emphasis on small business from the top down. With the arrival of Joseph M. McDade Jr. as the director of the Air Force Office of Small Business Programs last September in Washington, D.C., Davis said, “Within his first 90 days, he has formed what we call the small business improvement plan. He has given us three priorities to focus on, which is a little different than what we had been doing before.” Davis continued: “Most of the time, when you talk about small business, you talk about the goals. The goals are important ... but Mr. McDade has established this plan [in February 2012] to give us three top priorities, based on the fact that the Air Force as a whole in the last few years has seen a steady decline in our small business dollars.” Priority One: To eradicate this decline in small business dollars. Davis said the plan

asks small business offices to ensure that they maintain the numbers they made in FY 2011. Whatever percentages the office achieved, they should hold steady or improve upon those numbers. “That is a different focus, because usually we are told, ‘let’s improve, let’s improve, let’s improve,’” Davis said. “But right now we are going to focus [in FY 2012] on not going any lower than we were last year, in FY 2011.” That leads us to Priority Two: In FY 2013, they are looking for game-changers, ways in which they can change the game in order to improve numbers. Priority Three is to develop the workforce and encourage them to continue being advocates for small business. “I am beginning to see a real change in thinking as it relates to small business,” said Davis. “I am really happy about that, of course, because most small business specialists like myself are advocating and out there saying, ‘Hey, just think about it for a moment,’ and now that thinking is coming from the top. It is really going to help us, because as our budget declines, small business friendly markets like construction, IT, professional services ... they are hit hardest by budget constraints. We are going to have to find new ways of trying to infuse other market areas we can get our small businesses into.” Last year, for FY 2011, the small business office at OC-ALC did not reach their set goals, but Davis is proud to point out that they did improve significantly when you compare the FY 2011 numbers to their FY 2010 stats. In only one area did they have a decrease from 2010 to 2011. In every other area, they increased their dollars expended. “We are on a roll,” Davis said. “We are going to try our best to make sure we explore maximum opportunities for small businesses. I anticipate we are going to do really well this year.” So what is the OC-ALC’s plan to keep in line with the new improvement priorities outlined by leadership in Washington? Davis said educating the workforce about the new goals and plans is her top priority. Making sure all senior leaders and acquisition professionals at OC-ALC are on board and understand the plan is imperative. “Acknowledge where we are, know where we are and for now, do not

6 | MLF 6.2 | Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center

try to improve. Let’s just make sure we do not decline,” Davis explained. “What I want people to do, every time they have an acquisition, is ask themselves: ‘Is there any way possible for this to be a small business friendly market?’ Let’s do some good market research and use data-driven tools to make sure we are allowing for small business.” When it comes to Priority Two, looking for game-changers that can ultimately improve their numbers, Davis said, “It is going to be hard. That is the truth. Where we can improve, we will. If it is not there, we will have to take what we can and move on. What we are going to do, once I get them to understand the market research and tools that are available, is to really start looking in every area of our acquisition, even as it relates to subcontract dollars. We have our goals based on our contract dollars, but there is another component and that is our subcontract dollars. There, we are focusing on an area called the Small Business Participation Plan.” Even if Davis does not have a small business friendly market for acquisition, then Davis and her team will take the large businesses to task. “We tell them, ‘We are giving you this contract. Our expectation is that you take this and flow down to small businesses within your subcontract goal.’ The large businesses have to make a plan and tell us how they plan to take that money and bring it down to the first, second and third tier subcontractors and small businesses. That is a new twist.” As for Priority Three and increasing the workforce, Davis said she wants people working with her who love what they do. With the many in the workforce growing older and nearing retirement age, Davis is keen to recruit additional qualified staff to the small business career path. “It is a great way to market small business and get to know people. It is a great way to be a wingman for small businesses. We all have a responsibility; not just our office, but all acquisition staff. In the end, small businesses are what feed our economy.” Those interested in contacting the small business office at Tinker may do so by calling 405-739-2601 or visiting sbo.asp. O


Supporting 5th Signal Command ITT Exelis has been awarded a $160 million U.S. Army contract to provide information technology support and IT services to the U.S. Army Europe, U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility. The Operations, Maintenance and Supply-Europe, or OPMAS-E contract, awarded by the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Fort Huachuca, Ariz., includes the base period of six months and four one-year option periods. “Providing IT services to our nation’s warfighters is vital,” said Ken Hunzeker, president of the Mission Systems division of ITT Exelis. “We have a proven record of solid performance, and this selection allows us to continue a long-standing tradition of exceptional IT support and related services to our European-based customers.” Under the OPMAS-E contract, the Mission Systems division of Exelis will continue to provide IT operations, maintenance and logistics support for the Army’s 5th Signal Command and its subordinate units. Other military services and customers, to include U.S. Army Cyber Command, NATO, and the Missile Defense Agency, will likewise receive support. The firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-award fee contract requires operations, maintenance and logistics support for the defense information infrastructure throughout the U.S. Army European Theater. It includes the Global Information Grid, the Defense Red Switch Network, air traffic control and systems management, and maintenance of American Forces Television. Exelis is also responsible for operating the Army Europe Facility Control Office, performing information assurance and cybersecurity, and maintaining satellite communication terminals in deployed locations.

Compiled by KMI Media Group staff

Lightweight Matting System Macro Plastics has announced the availability of a new plastic matting system, I-Trac. The engineered design of I-Trac enables lightweight panels to perform on par with larger crane mats while shipping nearly three times more product per truckload. Its patented bow-tie shape interlocks in a manner that distributes the load evenly and creates a uniform contiguous surface. “We saw a demand in the construction and military markets for an alternative to heavy, costly matting systems,” said Dan Jakubiak, director of the MacroTrac Division at Macro Plastics. “At only 38 pounds per panel, I-Trac can be manually deployed in small sections or mechanically deployed in large pre-assembled sections. This cost-effective system handles extreme loads while delivering greater transportation efficiencies than other traditional mat systems on the market today.” I-Trac’s versatile mat system is ideal for temporary roadways, helipads, tarmacs, and hangar or maintenance shed flooring. Current customers include the U.S. Navy who deployed I-Trac as a LCAC hovercraft pad on a military base in California. In Florida, several electric line contractors have I-Trac deployed as temporary access roadways through saturated fields that otherwise cannot be accessed with utility trucks.

MLF  6.2 | 19




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Q& A

Ensuring an Efficient and Responsive Supply Chain

Alan F. Estevez Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness

The Honorable Alan F. Estevez was sworn in as the assistant secretary of defense (logistics and materiel readiness) on August 8, 2011. He is the first career federal official to hold the position. As the assistant secretary of defense (logistics and materiel readiness), Estevez manages logistics policy and processes to provide superior, cost-effective, joint logistics support to the warfighter, both in current operations as well as in the future. He also performs logistics program oversight to manage over $190 billion Department of Defense logistics operations. Prior to his Senate confirmation, Estevez served as the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense (logistics and materiel readiness) from November 2006. He performed the duties of the assistant secretary of defense (logistics and materiel readiness) position from April 2009 until his confirmation. From October 2002 to November 2006, Estevez was the assistant deputy under secretary of defense (supply chain integration) responsible for development of global supply chain management and distribution policies. Prior to assuming his executive position, he held key positions within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he played a critical role in reengineering defense transportation processes, and with the U.S. Army Strategic Logistics Agency, where he managed the Army’s program to correct logistics deficiencies identified during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. From 1981 through 1990, Estevez held numerous positions with Military Traffic Management Command in Bayonne, N.J., Oakland, Calif., and Falls Church, Va. Estevez received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Rutgers University in 1979 and a master’s degree in national security resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1995. He is the recipient of the 2010 Presidential Rank Distinguished Executive Award and the 2006 Presidential Rank Meritorious Executive Award, two Office of the Secretary of Defense Medals for Meritorious Civilian Service, and the 2005 Service to America Medal awarded by the Partnership for Public Service. He was inducted into the Senior Executive Service in October 2002. Estevez was interviewed by KMI Media Group Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan. Q: In regards to major equipment items, can you talk about the reset plan? Are things going according to the plan?

A: In order to discuss reset, we need to look at it in relation to the wars and our drawdown operations. The retrograde operation from Iraq was just a fabulous operational achievement. The folks executing on the ground did a remarkable job ahead of schedule. I was recently in Kuwait looking at the residual of reset operations—our equipment being cleaned, loaded onto ships and moved back. If the equipment is not needed for operations in Afghanistan or other missions in theater then it will be reset. When deciding how to reset items on unit equipment lists, many different parameters have to be taken into consideration, such as the condition of the equipment. Some of the items will deploy back with the unit it belongs to and be repaired on base. Some will go through the depot process and deploy back out to the units. That is the procedure taking place for the equipment that was in Iraq. Obviously, the equipment in Afghanistan is currently being used there. Currently, we have many different types of equipment that is going through the reset operation, including non-standard equipment. This type of equipment ranges from small devices to items like UAVs. As the services work through their force structure, they will figure out the reset plan for the non-standard equipment. We stand by what we have said in the past: We must expect the reset process to take two to three years beyond the end of major contingency operations. MLF  6.2 | 21

Q: Are the mechanisms in place already in Afghanistan that will emulate what was being done in Iraq? Will the Iraq process be mirrored in Afghanistan? A: The Afghanistan retrograde will not mirror Iraq because Afghanistan is not Iraq. Afghanistan is a landlocked country. We would like to be moving equipment through Pakistan; we are not at the moment. We recently received permissions to move retrograde operations through the Northern Distribution Network and we are running some proof of principles on that. We do not have the catcher’s mitt of Kuwait, which allowed us to convoy materiel out of Iraq and have the 1st Theater Sustainment Command waiting there to receive the equipment. Kuwait also graciously let us operate on its fabulous infrastructure to assist us with drawing down Iraq. In Iraq, we also moved equipment through Jordan, via the port of Aqaba. The Jordanians also graciously let us transit equipment through their country and Representative of the harsh climate and difficult Afghanistan terrain, sometimes airdrops are the only safe and efficient form of resupply to remote, forward deployed forces. [Photo courtesy of DoD] utilize their facilities. We do not have the same operating environment in Afghanistan to conduct retrograde Q: What are DoD’s major supply chain integration initiatives? Are operations, but U.S. Force-Afghanistan [deputy commander] Major there any new initiatives? What’s being done to make the system General [William] Rapp and Major General [Robert] Ruark, the CENTmore integrated than it was the year before? COM J4 are certainly working hard to create a similar environment. We will also look closely at our plans for Afghanistan retrograde A: Good question. When I talk about the supply chain, I am also going operations because we have equipment that has been deployed for to incorporate maintenance activities. We are always looking for a over 10 years in Afghanistan. It is just a much harder operation to number of different things to keep our supply chain lean, cost-effective execute. Should our Northern Distribution Network proof of prinand flexible for our warfighters and the American taxpayer. First, we ciples go well, and I expect that they will, we will have to work on are looking at some inventory management tools and techniques. some of the multiple border crossing issues. We are also looking at For POM 12 we took out—through business process improvemulti-modal operations outside Afghanistan—for example, flying ments—about $366 million worth of inventory. Frankly, I think we equipment to an intermediate port and then sailing it back. can achieve more just by using the same processes and techniques. There is more work to be done there—such as honing our forecasting Q: Is using the Northern Distribution Network for outbound shipskills, requirements determination, and demand skills to see both sides ments relatively new? Did Pakistani actions drive the decision to of the supply chain, so we do not buy in advance of what we need. pursue this option? Hypothetically, I buy a brake pad for an MRAP because past history demonstrates that I am going to use a lot of brakes. Yet I do not require A: We have been working reverse flow on the Northern Distribuwhat I anticipated, so I am left with more than what I need. In the tion Network for quite a while, so that was independent of Pakistani private sector, when they buy more than what is needed, they have a actions. Based on the sheer volume of equipment that we need to sale. If you discover a sale while surfing the Dell website, it is probably deploy out of Afghanistan, we have to utilize the Northern Distribubecause new models are due in and they want to purge the old models. tion Network. I cannot shape demand inside the department. So we will put the From a logistics standpoint, having multiple routes into and out excess out onto the market or destroy it—freeing up warehouse space, of a place is a sound concept. For example, you and I both live in the and ultimately driving total efficiency in the system. When you start Washington, D.C. area. Having multiple routes to get to work if the looking at our depot maintenance operations, we also have a number beltway or 395 is jammed up allows us to get where we need to go. of activities including continuous process improvement. Think of Afghanistan as Washington—you need multiple routes to We are also looking at counterfeit materiel heavily, which is not get in and out. When Pakistan closed down the PAK GLOC [Pakistan just a DoD issue, it is in the commercial sector as well. We do not ground lines of communication], we were able to sustain our operawant to impede our warfighters’ ability; we want safety in flight and tions in Afghanistan because of the flexibilities built into the end-tosafety in personnel. We are taking action to ensure we are buying from end routes. We also maintained stable stock levels across all classes of valid suppliers who in turn are following the correct procedures in supplies, including critical supplies which assisted with sustainment. their supply chains, such as reporting counterfeit materiel when they With that said, we would love for the Pakistanis to work with us discover it. If we identify counterfeit parts that have been installed in to open the GLOCs. 22 | MLF 6.2

equipment, it will be the responsibility of the company who provided us with the equipment to fix it. Q: The Army uses condition-based maintenance. The Air Force utilizes high velocity maintenance. They’re basically maintenance philosophies. Would there be synergies to having all of the services abide by the same type of philosophy? Or should they use what works best for them? A: It is both. There is never a clear answer on these things. Simply put, the specific maintenance approach used depends on the type of equipment, how it is operated, and the type of work that is required. The maintenance philosophy utilized on a wheeled or a tracked vehicle may not be the same that is used on an aircraft. High velocity maintenance is a good example to look at. For example, before I induct a C-5 in two months I must know in advance what needs to be repaired on it. By understanding what I need to repair on the C-5 prior to receipt of it, I can ensure I have the parts for the lean production tear down and rebuild of that airplane. There are certainly different philosophies at work here. The goal is to take maintenance best practices and cross-pollinate those ideas throughout the services. My deputy assistant secretary of defense for maintenance, policy and programs, Mr. John Johns, leads a maintenance executive steering committee which ensures a joint view is considered on current and future maintenance practices. Q: Is your office in the position to tell a service, “This works best and this is what you should be doing?” or is that left to the service with guidance from your office? A: Due to the diverse operational environments the services operate in, that decision is left up to them with guidance from our office. We can certainly direct the outcomes and frankly, given the budget environment that we are in, looking for those great ideas and cross-sharing them is essential. Q: The Defense Logistics Agency has been managing the supply chains for the Air Force’s air logistics centers. Could you characterize how that’s working? A: When BRAC occurred in 2005, we implemented some changes in the operation and had DLA take over parts management. We go back to your earlier question about supply chain management and inventory. DLA’s management of Air Force’s Air Logistics Centers’ parts prevents duplication of inventory at DLA warehouses and helps streamline inventory. Secondly, we streamline a layer in the demand pattern, so if DLA is holding the part and has to order it, there is not a buffer stock in between so we can determine the true demand. That is the philosophy behind what we did. For that philosophy to work, you need collaborative processing. Everyone has a high priority for fixing this issue. Q: Can you explain the importance of the balance score card and where you are in that process? A: We are not quite using a balanced score card, but we do look at metrics. We use customer wait time, with the outcome metric

being readiness. There are many inputs that can reflect readiness, not just the supply chain part of the equation. Customer wait time [is] measured from the time the customer says “I need the part,” to the time the customer has that part in his/her hand. The elapsed time is a component of that. We are looking to move that to perfect order fulfillment, which requires just-in-time delivery. That is easier at an industrial site where you happen to have space. If I walk into a supply support activity at Bagram airbase that is sustaining an Army unit on the ground, it is likely that I will find that it is constrained. Bagram is constrained. There is space there, but it is constrained. You want to ensure customers have supplies when they need it, so figuring out this dynamic is part of perfect order fulfillment. Providing the supplies or parts to the user unbroken and on time is a commercial metric. As part of this process, it is also imperative to have in-transit visibility of the supplies and ensure there is documentation throughout the entire process. Q: Your title has changed since the last time we spoke. What does that mean for this office? What does this mean for your ability to do tasks that maybe you couldn’t do before? A: I now have the title of the job I was doing for two years beforehand, so I am still doing that. The title comes with certain authorities that I was certainly exercising, but I now have them statutorily. My working relationships with my peers and my bosses haven’t really changed. I have a great working relationship across the logistics community, even as people rotate in and out. Those relationships exist because we are all focused on the mission. I have been around for a long time so I know my peers and that helps, but I do not want to say it is personality-driven; it is more than that. Q: Going back to supply chain integration: We want the supply chain to be as integrated as possible all the time. Do you ever see yourself saying, ‘Okay, we’re fully integrated. We’re done.’ A: If I ever say that, I should be fired. There is no end game—the goal is to always get better. Anyone who is not looking to improve is probably not doing their job. It is not about efficiencies or better business practices, which are always something any company or operation should be going after. That is independent of whether we are in a constrained environment or if money is flush. We should always strive to do better, because we owe it to the taxpayer and certainly to the warfighter. Having a streamlined supply chain always improves the flexibility on the battlefield. We are always striving to determine where the good ideas are and how can we implement them inside DoD. I know I talked to you about this earlier, but I must repeat that moving our forces out of Iraq and doing the surge into Afghanistan was a huge logistics operation that went very well. We are sustaining the force right now in Afghanistan and we did a fabulous job in the drawdown of Iraq. The logistics community should feel good about itself. The logistics community still has a long road ahead of it as we draw down forces in Afghanistan. We need to ensure we are making the most of the forces that are deployed and that we take care of them, and that from a logistics standpoint, we are implementing the best processes. O MLF  6.2 | 23


and Supply Chain Risk By Nadya Bartol

“Global security and prosperity are increasingly dependent on the free flow of goods shipped by air or sea ‌ Both state and non-state actors possess the capability and intent to conduct cyber espionage, and potentially, cyber attacks on the United States, with possible severe effects on both our military operations and our homeland.â€? - Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense January 2012, Department of Defense Information and communication technology (ICT) is at the heart of modern civilization. Governments and organizations rely on ICT to support critical activities and missions; it is central to U.S. security and prosperity. ICT is woven into complex infrastructures, supported by globally distributed networks through broad and deep supply chains. ICT includes hardware,

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software, microelectronics, printed circuit boards, signal processors, cell phones, satellite communications, networks and many other things that we rely on in our daily lives and work. ICT can be a standalone component, such as software application or memory chip, a commodity such as a laptop, or part of a larger system such as a weapons system or avionics in a jet fighter.

Hardware and software used in ICT solutions for military and civilian organizations have gone through a significant evolution over the last 20 years. It used to be that one company could develop and provide a complete solution. It would either design, develop and manufacture all of the hardware or design and develop software using

proprietary models and dedicated employees. Today, ICT is assembled and integrated using components from a global web of suppliers. Governments and companies acquire pieces from many providers to create custom solutions to meet their needs. A single supplier is now an integrator and tester of the entire supply chain, not just a developer of the hardware or software. Cyber compromise is a significant risk with global ICT supply chains that are often not visible to or well understood by organizations and individuals acquiring and using the technology. IT components are manufactured, assembled and delivered throughout multiple suppliers within the supply chain. These suppliers are located on different continents and produce anything from conventional ICT products (e.g., servers, routers, mobile devices) to specialized components (e.g., weapons systems or control systems), and spare parts for installed systems. The actors in this supply chain range from system integrators to software developers, producers of logic-bearing components, and hardware (e.g., chips) and media storage disposal providers. As a result, global supply chains provide a lot of opportunity for the intentional compromise of ICT and there is a significant risk that global IT infrastructure may rely on tampered or tainted ICT components it carries. Diversifying the global ICT supply chains, from design and acquisition to integration, operation, maintenance and disposal, provides numerous opportunities for cost-saving and flexibility; however, it also introduces risks and creates opportunities for adversaries to compromise IT infrastructure. In The World is Flat, author Thomas Friedman describes multiple places where his laptop battery components were made. It turns out that it was produced in over 20 countries. What about an entire laptop? What about a complex command and control system that integrates hundreds of commercial off-the-shelf components? Within the last few years, the media has exposed examples of broken or infiltrated ICT supply chains, particularly with respect to counterfeit assets surfacing within federal government networks, insertion of malicious code into critical infrastructure, and poor quality ICT design and

development that results in the exposure of sensitive data and puts U.S. government missions and critical infrastructure at risk. ICT supply chain risks must be addressed throughout the acquisition life cycle. Organizations that acquire ICT components are often unaware of critical supplier processes and practices that could impact their ICT infrastructure, and often lack the skills required to understand and manage potential risks. These risks may be mitigated by training and educating acquisition personnel, establishing explicit expectations between acquirers and suppliers about specific practices required of suppliers and the monitoring and validation of these practices by acquirers. For example, due diligence in the source selection process for a major weapons systems should include not just how and where the supplier does business, but the implications concerning how their business culture and practices may affect the supplier’s readiness or ability to deliver trustworthy products or services. According to multiple Department of Defense sources, operations and maintenance costs typically represent 60 to 80 percent of the total life cycle cost of a system. At this level of investment and given the additional risks to the U.S. military systems, it is critical that ICT SCRM considerations are included in these sustainment activities to ensure that systems can be trusted to continue operating as intended throughout their life span. Planning for continued operations and maintenance of the system should be initiated early in the acquisition cycle and should include requirements, determination, production and fielding. One of the challenges of sustaining operation over the course of a system’s lifetime is that parts break or are discontinued, or the supplier goes out of business. It becomes increasingly difficult to find genuine replacement parts to maintain intended system functionality. As a result, organizations that own these systems are left with unattractive options, such as acquiring replacement parts from unverified third-party suppliers, which increases the risk of acquiring counterfeit parts that will not perform to specification. An additional risk of acquiring components from unverified

suppliers is that those components may include malicious functionality that will either break the system or will expose sensitive data processed and stored by the system to a malicious actor. It is no longer possible to “buy American” when it applies to ICT. Commercially available components are used for the vast majority of U.S. government and critical infrastructure ICT needs, with a small exception of critical components produced at a significant expense in a domestic classified environment. The U.S. government is only one of the buyers of ICT and as such must learn how to manage the inherent risks associated with a global supply chain. Steps are being taken by both government and industry to address the challenge. The recently approved National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 includes language that aims to strengthen protections against a flood of counterfeit electronic parts coming into the defense supply system. The U.S. IT industry is equally concerned about the ICT supply chain risks due to potential loss of intellectual property and damage to reputation caused by malicious and unintentional threats throughout the supply chain. To address the challenge, the U.S. IT industry engaged in identifying, sharing and publishing best practices and creating standards. These emerging processes and practices are available to the U.S. government, which has a responsibility to address the risk. The overall solution will require changing U.S. government IT acquisition and life cycle management practices, including educating program managers and acquisition workforce, providing greater clarity in setting expectations for ICT suppliers and monitoring how suppliers perform against these expectations. O

Nadya Bartol is a senior associate at Booz Allen Hamilton and serves as cochair of DoD/DHS/NIST SwA Measurement Working Group.

For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at or search our online archives for related stories at

MLF  6.2 | 25

Seeking enterprisewide PBL contracts.

Performance based logistics, or PBL, has been the Department of Defense’s preferred system support strategy for over 10 years. But now PBL 2.0 is on the horizon, a strategy that seeks to develop joint, enterprisewide PBL contracts. PBL 2.0 has implications not only for logistics but for procurement, acquisitions and budgets as well. Capt. John Spicer Military Logistics Forum asked Navy Captain John Spicer, lead for Performance Based Logistics solutions at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), for the low-down on the latest developments. Q: What is the focus of the DLA PBL Office? A: If you look back over the history of PBLs, what the services tried to do when PBLs first started out was to mimic what airlines were doing with maintenance service agreements. Companies like Southwest didn’t want to repair planes. They wanted to fly their routes. They didn’t want to reward contractors for broken parts and they didn’t want to pay them when they had to replace a part. When a part broke they didn’t want the cash register to ring. So basically what a maintenance service agreement said was that we want to pay you a fixed price for a certain level of availability and reliability. That way, the contractor had every incentive to make parts as reliable as possible. The less the parts came back for repair, the more profit the contractor made. In 1998 and 1999, the U.S. armed services adopted a model with the first PBLs that were service specific. What we at DLA want to do is to roll this out to the next level by taking PBL 1.0—the servicespecific solutions—to PBL 2.0, which is an enterprise solution. Picture a Venn diagram where items and platforms cross service boundaries. We think we can get a better deal for warfighters by putting those in a joint performance based logistics environment. Q: How do you go about migrating from one model to the next? How do you get from service-specific contracts to enterprise contracts? 26 | MLF 6.2

By Peter Buxbaum, MLF Correspondent

A: If you take a look at what the services did with BRAC, they did it all at once. What we wanted to pursue is more of an evolutionary process, using pilot programs to test and prove out the business model. We asked the Office of the Secretary of Defense to look at auxiliary power units [APUs], which are found on just about every self-starting aircraft, to see if this could work. The Army, Air Force and Navy all fly aircraft with these components, made by Honeywell and others. The Navy has a total logistics support contract for Honeywell APUs while the Air Force has a secondary logistics power contract. We are trying to get those two into one contract vehicle and then bring the Army along; Army has a contract which is 100 percent transactional right now. We have engaged Honeywell on this to see if we could to come up with an enterprise solution. OSD came back to us and said that the idea had merit but also asked us to look at the T700 aircraft engine, made by General Electric. It is a very ubiquitous engine that powers a wide variety of helicopters, including the Blackhawk and the Apache. That was an intriguing idea because the Army and Navy now have separate contracts for that engine. GE came back to us and said if we have one contract—one set of terms and conditions for doing business—we could save a lot of money. Also, we can potentially get to one configuration of the motor. There are about seven different configurations of this engine flying around right now. The supply chain would get a lot easier to manage if you have only one configuration to support. Q: You would need the cooperation of a lot of people to get to that point, wouldn’t you? A: Absolutely, but if you could show those savings, you can sell the concept all day long. For execution, you need the cooperation of all the services to make that happen. So what we have done for both projects, the APU and the T700, is to set up integrated product teams that include representatives from all the services. They sit down and go through the requirements. They go through the BCA [business case analysis] methodology with us and at the end of the day the numbers we come up with are agreed to by all the services.

Right now, for the APU, the DLA leadership has directed that it be turned over to DLA Aviation for execution. We’ve got folks talking to Honeywell and to the service reps to compare notes. Assuming a positive BCA result and the concurrence of the services, we expect a basic contract with Honeywell in the near future. On the T700 right now we are working with the Army and Navy program offices to develop a similar BCA. Q: What are you doing to improve the development of sound business case analysis? Have you identified a core group of metrics that all BCAs should be based on? A: OSD has put out a BCA guide. We have taken that and are using it to govern our process. This is important because we realize that any follow on initiatives will have to adhere to that standard. Our goal is to have it finalized by late spring and turned over to OSD for review. We will make sure to execute BCAs according to the OSD mandated model. All of the services will agree on the numbers to populate the BCA and what comes out at the other end are the actual savings figures. Our goal is to have a collaborative and transparent process involving the appropriate military service, DLA, Joint Staff and OSD organizations that produces a robust cost, benefit and risk evaluation that enables leadership to make informed decisions about the merits of these enterprise PBL pilots. Q: How will those standards improve PBLs and how can they be implemented across the joint services environment? A: If you start expanding the market basket out, you start reaping economies of scale and scope. What we want to do to improve PBLs is to break down the service stovepipes and see if we can get enterprise contracts across the service boundaries. The driving factor, if we take a look at budgets circling down pretty precipitously starting in 2013, is to migrate to a more efficient business model so that the services can maintain coverage. That is what the services are looking at. You can’t make these cuts in a peanut butter spread, so if there is a better business model that allows us to absorb the cuts and maintain superior coverage, we want to explore that.

It’s just a better way of doing things. I think DLA is uniquely suited to bridging service boundaries. We can provide the common environment to execute these vehicles. Q: How is DLA positioned to tackle the configuration changes you mentioned earlier? A: It is something DLA can help the services with. If configuration changes are done organically it takes upfront investment by the services. But if you sign a contractor to a long-term, five- to 10-year PBL contract, they will be willing to make the investment in years one and two and reap the rewards in years three, four, five and out. These companies will be willing to do it as long as they have a long enough contract to reap the benefits. We tend to budget on a yearly basis and those funds are markable. Programs that require upfront investment are sometimes vulnerable to these marks. Q: But how do you get the services to forgo their favored engine configurations? A: If you take a look at the T700, the Navy flies the 401C variant of the engine. The Army flies the 701D variant, which is an upgraded configuration. The Navy looked very seriously at the 701D but it would have had to fence significant amounts of money to cover the upgrade. Under a PBL scenario it would be up to GE to make the investments in the upgrade. It will cost GE money in the early years but a simplified supply chain would pay benefits as long as they are supporting the engine in the later years of the contract performance. We are trying to leverage what industry is good at, which is making investments and trying to realize a return, with what the services want. All configuration issues are under the purview of the responsible weapon system program office and will be handled on a case-by-case basis, but in this instance, there is general agreement to get to that common configuration. Q: What are a few examples of successful and beneficial PBLs? A: All of them are, for the most part, service unique right now. We are just at the early stages of getting to an enterprise solution. MLF  6.2 | 27

The ALR67(V3) avionics box is a PBL that is operating extremely well. The ALQ126B is another avionics box where there were substantial savings and availability went up to almost 100 percent. The metric was 85 percent, so in that case the PBL provider was actually able to beat the metric. There are also several Air Force and Army PBLs that are very successful. Results for the Navy and Air Force APU contracts showed significant savings. Availability went up and reliability went up as well. We have found that when you turn to industry and they say, ‘Can you provide a certain outcome,’ they tend to perform really well. I should also point out that the APU PBLs leverage organic depot capabilities, Cherry Point for the Navy and Ogden for the Air Force. They didn’t take anything out of the depot to execute these vehicles. Q: What are the challenges to a seamless, joint service, single supply chain? A: The big challenge is getting cooperation from everyone to push in the right direction. At the top there is a lot of interest because it saves money and improves performance. At the working level people see the benefits. People at the middle levels are sometimes skeptical. What we did for the Navy when we did this years ago was to answer questions until people ran out of questions. In the end they were very satisfied. Program offices will have questions and they should be addressed. Some questions helped us improve the vehicle. Q: Can you give any examples? A: For the Navy APU program several years ago, program offices were concerned over configuration control. Honeywell had proposed configuration changes but we assured them that configuration changes always have to get approval of the program office. DLA will not be going into the business of approving configuration changes. That is wholly in the hands of the program office. Other questions had to do with the use of organic depots. Some were concerned that the organic depots would be losing business to commercial depots. As it turned out, we ended up putting more work in the organic depots. Industry has been impressed with the skills of the artisans at the depots. What usually happens is that there is a public-private partnership. The contractor comes in and agrees to provide all piece parts and to make sure the artisans have all the stuff they need to repair and overhaul items. Q: How confident are you of the claim of 10 to 20 percent savings by migrating to a joint PBL structure? A: When we have conversations with our industry partners, they have spoken about savings in that same range consistently. Let’s say the Acme Company has separate repair contracts with the various services. They are going to have separate vice presidents for Air Force business, for Navy business, and for Army and Marine Corps business. Each of the service contracts will have different terms and conditions. One stipulates a service contract and the other a supply contract. One contract may be commercial 28 | MLF 6.2

and the other may stipulate a non-commercial approach. There are conflicting rules. Getting to one set of terms and conditions is the sweet spot for the contractors. That is where they see savings over a fractured supply chain and that is what they will share with the government. Also, if we can get to a single configuration for components it is going to be easier to manage the supply chain more effectively. Q: We previously spoke about the focus of your office. Are you making progress along a timeline? Do you consider the track behind, on or ahead of schedule? A: We are making good progress on the timeline. The office was set up in August 2010. We identified the first candidates for joint PBLs after several meetings. We went forward with the pilot program for the APU and we got OSD concurrence on that and on the T700 program around March 2011. The Honeywell initiative has gone to the point where it can go to DLA Aviation for execution. We anticipate that at some point in near future we will go before the Joint Logistics Board for a briefing and that we will get the green light to proceed. Is this as fast as I would like? Maybe not, but I think that sometimes to go fast you have to go slow to start. You have to make sure everyone has buy-in, that everyone understands that DLA is engaged in a disciplined effort that, at the end of the day, will save all the services money and improve performance. Q: What is the next milestone? A: Next is to get the T700 engine program to the place where it can move to the field for execution. Once we migrate to and prove this model, as savings are realized and people understand that this is on an evolutionary growth path, we anticipate more and more items that cross service boundaries will flow into this business model. Q: Will the budget estimates based on the president’s FY13 request affect your office’s ability to make progress as you had hoped? A: If we can produce savings it will only help us. We are all about improving logistics performance for less money. Q: Is there anything else you would like to add? A: We’ve tried over the last 10 years to come up with joint PBL solutions and have not been able to do it largely because of incongruities in service rules. I think where DLA offers value is that it can provide a common playing field, we can get the service requirements in there, and get a single set of rules, a single way of doing business. It is very exciting for us. I think we can overcome some of the difficulties of the past and get to a place where we can develop joint solutions. O

For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at or search our online archives for related stories at

No longer just an ammo storage but a facility that provides support to the Army and joint warfighters. By Lori McDonald

Photo by Lloyd Gubler

For the United States, the beginning of World War II was also the beginning of Sierra Army Depot (SIAD), located in the foothills of the Sierra-Nevada Mountains. The gates to the depot were officially opened 70 years ago on February 5, 1942, with the

mission of storing all classes of ammunition and explosives, except chemical ammunition. The depot’s ammunition mission went through many transformations due to recommendations from the 1995 and 2005 Base

Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commissions. Today, Sierra is no longer a storage and handling site for ammunition, but a depot that provides rapid expeditionary logistics support and long-term sustainment solutions to the Army and the joint force. MLF  6.2 | 29

Retrograde and Redistribution In July 2003, Sierra Army Depot was identified as the Army’s main retrograde site for equipment returning from Southwest Asia (SWA). It began as a small scale operation to receive, store and redistribute stock coming back from the Afghan theater, specifically Army managed inventory and non-Army managed inventory (referred to as AMI-NAMI or AJ1). If materiel came back in acceptable condition, it could be processed and put back into inventory for troops to re-order, therefore providing the Army with opportunity for extensive cost savings. As movement of units and materiel became more prevalent, the operation escalated from truckloads of materiel being received intermittently to trainloads of materiel being received on a regular basis, sometimes upwards of 200 containers. In August 2009, the Army asked Sierra to increase its retrograde and redistribution capacities to handle 10,000 to 40,000 additional containers of excess material designated to come out of theater—in support of the Responsible Retrograde Task Force initiatives. Sierra Army Depot expanded its ability to support the Army’s drawdown of units and equipment from Southwest Asia with increased manpower, process improvements, and minor facilitization and equipment purchases. These initiatives greatly increased Sierra’s ability to extract value directly back to the Army from “excess” material that would have been otherwise lost if demilled in theater. Sierra also deployed a team of experts into theater to help the retrograde processing centers increase the throughput of excess material through their processing centers. Sierra has more experience than any other organization in the Army or Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) with establishing and maintaining the nation’s only capability to receive excess “dirty” stock—and managing that stock in order to realize some positive value for the Army, both unit readiness and sales generated back to the Army Working Capital Fund (AWCF). Since program start-up of the Retail Supply Activity operation, the cost avoidance to the AWCF is more than $463 million over the cost to run this business at Sierra. Sierra has over $106 million worth of stock currently on hand. The depot maintained an inventory accuracy rate 30 | MLF 6.2

well above the Army standard with less than a .036 percent denial rate. Sierra has built the capability to quickly move the stock to a requesting unit, as 98.5 percent of all shipments are made within 24 hours of the materiel release order receipt, well above Army standard for “new” stock. Based on our expertise in dealing with returned excess material from SWA, the Army asked Sierra to perform similar-type functions on clothing to receive, identify, classify and bring to record “excess” organization clothing and individual equipment (OCIE) from clothing and issue facilities (CIFs); returned items from SWA (and posts/camps/stations); as well as new OCIE directly from DLA with their clothing inventories. Since this function falls into our core mission capabilities, the Army recently established Sierra as the consolidation and distribution center for the Clothing Management Office. Since the program began in June 2008, SIAD has shipped just under 7 million pieces of clothing/body armor/heraldry items to 125 separate CIFs around the world, at a dollar value of $771.4 million. This was in support of critical Reset/ Retrograde and Reserve activities for over 500,000 soldiers, with a cost savings to the AWCF of over $500 million. The reset program, acquired in fiscal year 2009, now consists of 1,084,224 pieces of OCIE material representing 626 line item numbers valued at $91 million. The Central Issue Facility–Installation Support Module is the system of record and is used by the CMO to identify the items that can be sent to a reset cycle. In 2011, OCIE reset shipped a total of 798,218 pieces of equipment with an extended dollar value of $54 million to 27 separate CIFs around the world—supporting critical reset activities for over 60,000 soldiers, with a cost savings to the AWCF of over $24 million. In an ongoing effort to bring value from previously declared unserviceable material, Sierra has began repairing Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert (ESAPI) armor plates that exhibited some form of external material failure (EMF). These external failures make the armor plate unusable by soldiers in the field, and would have previously been destroyed by the Army. Sierra currently has over 500,000 ESAPI and ESBI plates on hand, with more than half of them “unserviceable” due to EMF.

Instead of destroying all of these plates (and spending about $550 for each replacement), Sierra worked with the manufacturer to implement a repair program. The CMO asked Sierra to establish a repair capability to “patch” these plates and return them to inventory as serviceable assets (at a cost of approximately $125 each). To date, 110,043 plates have been repaired at a cost avoidance of $46.8 million. The non-destructive test equipment team and X-ray facility is located at SIAD and continues to X-ray armor plates. A milestone was achieved this fiscal year when the one-millionth plate was scanned since this mission began in FY09. Armor plates that fail the X-ray process are identified and tagged with a large red label with white lettering that says “Training Only” for the Army to use as training assets. This will provide cost savings as new plates, which would have been used for training, will not have to be purchased. The non-standard-equipment (NS-E) mission at Sierra is the main NS-E retrograde support location for the Army. Under this program, Sierra receives containers of material, processes the material inside the containers, brings the material to record utilizing a new Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced System, makes the assets visible to potential users and redistributes the assets to any location in the world to meet urgent demands. Since processing the first receipts of NS-E material, Sierra has received and brought to accountable record over 48,000 non-standard items with an acquisition value of $248 million. After making these items visible to potential users, the depot has shipped over 20,000 items, with an extended value of more than $145 million to units across the world. Most of these items would have been declared excess and destroyed in theater if Sierra had not established this unique capability for the Army. Not only have various units across the world benefitted from the vast amount of non-standard items, but with the support from the Army G-4, the depot has been able to redistribute items to individual states under the National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property (NASASP) program. The NASASP representatives identified an interest in 122 items for an acquisition value of the equipment total of $10.5 million.

End of First Life Center Sierra Army Depot is always thinking outside the box when it comes to what new missions the depot can accomplish. In 2005, there was a need to store equipment that is excess to current needs of the Army, and SIAD stepped up to the plate to take on this requirement. The depot manages an End of First Life Center operation for the storage, accountability, parts reclamation and distribution of major end items, in addition, provides an economical solution—i.e. cost avoidance of Defense Logistics Agency storage fees. Since inception in FY05, the number of “excess” assets on hand has grown to over 16,000 equipment end items and has branched out over the initial planned M1 tanks, APCs, Bradleys and towed howitzers. SIAD has the space and the rail capability to support the receipt and distribution of equipment awaiting induction into reset/repair programs, excess defense articles (EDA) foreign military sale (FMS) programs, or Defense Logistic Disposition Services actions, and continues to make infrastructure improvements to support this growing mission. The equipment in storage is accounted for in various computer systems to include the Logistic Information Warehouse and Logistic Modernization Program. SIAD also provides custom reports to customers on a routine basis by serial number, current condition and component inventory. As a result of recent EDA determinations, SIAD has taken on an ever-expanding role to facilitate the Joint Vehicle Inspection requests of foreign countries and the subsequent shipment of assets in support of approved FMS cases. Parts reclamation first started on the M1 tank family of vehicles and has extended to other assets in storage. SIAD provides a quick response for the demand of parts not readily available in the supply system or no longer manufactured that are needed to keep production lines running or to provide repairable secondary items and spares. To date, over 15,000 parts have been pulled and reclaimed at a cost avoidance of $89 million over the cost to purchase new parts.

Significant Achievements CITE Designation In 2011, Sierra was approved and designated by the Secretary of the Army as the

In 2009, Sierra was asked to increase its retrograde and redistribution capacities to handle 10,000 to 40,000 additional containers of excess materiel coming out of theater. [Photo courtesy of Sierra Army Depot/by Lloyd Gubler]

Center for Industrial Technical Excellence (CITE) for all petroleum and water distribution systems for the Army. Having a CITE designation greatly enhances the depot’s ability to enter in partnership agreements. ISO Certification Sierra strives to meet the needs of base customers by continually improving the quality management system, facilitate improvement of depot processes and analyze customer satisfaction of work performed by the depot. After working to integrate the mission and garrison programs into a single depotwide registration utilizing International Standards (ISO), Sierra received certification for ISO 9001:2008. In addition to maintaining a culture of quality, standardization and continuous process improvement for re-certification of the previous certification, Sierra moved along to acquire new ISO certification for Environmental Management Standard ISO 14001:2004.

Location, Location, Location With over 30,000 buildable acres for open storage or expansion, 41 warehouses and magazines, almost 800 earth covered igloos, an experienced workforce that has embraced continuous process improvement using Lean techniques—Sierra is

uniquely postured to provide rapid support response for equipment and sustainment in the Asian Middle Eastern theaters. The strategic location, along with on-site airfield, close proximity to all West Coast ports utilizing either rail or road, remote location (no urban encroachment), excellent climate for storage and capable workforce ready to support the warfighter make Sierra an excellent place to do business.

Future For the past 70 years, Sierra Army Depot has been here to support the soldier and will continue to do so well into the future. As SIAD continues to excel in their day to day operations, they will go on looking for new opportunities that would enhance not only the mission of the depot, but that of the Army: “Supporting our Soldiers.” O

Lori McDonald is the Sierra Army Depot public affairs officer. Lloyd Gubler is the depot’s photographer.

For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at or search our online archives for related stories at

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Fuel is expensive to buy, expensive to transport so the less needed will result in less cost and perhaps save lives. By Henry Canaday MLF Correspondent Powering soldiers in forward operating bases (FOBs) and smaller camps has become a tough challenge, as gear in both camps and on the move has become more power-hungry. Add to increasing demands the need to lighten loads and reduce fuel costs, and the military has to search for ever-better power solutions. Some gains will come with better oil-fed generators, just now going into the field. More efficiency can be gained by linking up generators in micro-grids that work a bit like traditional power grids, shutting down the more expensive units when overall load goes down. Hybrid systems can rely primarily on renewable energy sources like solar, storing power and using conventional generators only when needed. On the demand side, smarter systems and better equipment can also make a difference. The U. S. Army and Marine Corps are pushing along all these fronts for leaner power in the field. The Mobile Electric Power (MEP) office in Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) works closely with the Program Executive Office for Soldier Power, noted Colonel Brian P. Cummings, program manager for MEP. “We want to go from the tip of the spear to our forward operating bases,” Cummings said. “As we add more technologies, we have increased the power requirements for both soldier and FOBs.” Cummings meets with PEO Soldier Power staff several times each week. MEP itself is now concentrating on getting its advanced medium power source (AMPS) into the field. These are 5KW to 60KW generators 32 | MLF 6.2

for small units. “We want to drop them in and show them how to use it,” Cummings explained. MEP is also working on micro-grids that network multiple loads and generators, which can be turned on or off according to needs. It is looking at renewable sources of power. “But there will still be generators for some time to come,” Cummings said. The new AMPS generators are, on average, 21 percent more efficient than the tactical quiet generators (TQGs) that they will replace, according to Deputy Program Manager Paul Richards. “And they get at least 200 percent better reliability,” Richards added. Mean time between failures on TQGs is 500 hours. The new AMPS generators have demonstrated MTBF from 900 to 3,000 hours. Finally, size and weight of AMPS is 10 to 15 percent less than that of the TQG. MEP has trained the 173rd Airborne Brigade on AMPS, and the brigade is expected to deploy with the new generators later this year. MEP is testing micro-grids as a substitute for connecting each generator to its own load. “With a micro-grid serving all load, you can turn generators on or off according to load,” Richards explained. “There are big fuel savings. And you do not have to interrupt power for maintenance, since work can be done on one that is down.” In tests in Afghanistan, micro-grids have reduced fuel consumption by 20 percent and decreased maintenance man-hours by 90 percent. MEP is also working on reducing load demand, but Richards acknowledged this is a more complex challenge.

Private firms are also busy, upgrading current equipment or developing the technologies of the future. Solar Stik makes solar and multi-fuel systems, explained Chief Executive Officer Albert Zaccor. It specializes in small scale, 1KW to 3KW systems, with some 5KW products. “These do not work for full FOBs, but are more for platoon and combat outposts, remote communications, surveillance applications and checkpoints,” Zaccor said. The emphasis is on portability. Solar Stik equipment is small enough to be carried by one or two men or in small vehicles. “One very fit man could carry them for a short way,” Zaccor noted. Most of the equipment is usually carried in small vehicles, but the company is introducing new solutions that are truly man-carried. Solar Stik works with solar power, wind power, fuel cells and also used grids of traditional generators. It makes components of these systems, including power generators, power management, storage and the interface to applications. A modular approach means customers can mix and match components. Although Solar Stik shies away from full customization, it does do some customizing for specific needs. The company uses commercial off-the-shelf technologies and an open-architecture approach so its products can be used with other firms’ equipment. “For example, GE can use their solar collectors instead of our tripod solar generators,” Zaccor said. All the equipment works with standard battery bags. The company has produced a new 3KW hybrid system for the Army. “The Army wanted to automate it and make it work with standard generators,” Zaccor said. The system runs off battery power until batteries reach a certain level, at which point generators kick in and also recharge batteries. “When the batteries are fully charged, generators turn off.” Zaccor said the response from MEP has been positive. Under tests with the right configuration, the system has run generators only onethird of the day, saving two-thirds of fuel consumption. “The payback would come in six months to a year or about a year.” The Rapid Equipping Force is doing a pilot test in Afghanistan and the new system will be evaluated at the National Integration Exercise at Fort Bliss in March. As with other Solar Stik products, the hybrid system can be used with other companies’ generators. Solar Stik is partnering with Qinetiq on a 1KW generator that can use jet fuel. Zaccor said it would be great for small teams. The company is also working on the shift away from heavy lead-acid batteries toward iron-phosphate batteries. HDT Global builds FOBs and command posts from the smallest squad level all the way up to division, according to Mike Stolarz, vice president business development. The company makes all the major elements, including shelters, generators and power-management systems. Stolarz said that being responsible for the whole system, rather than just an individual component, allows HDT to achieve bigger fuel savings—for example, by designing shelters for energy efficiency. HDT is working on product improvements in its existing FOB systems, including making air-conditioning systems more efficient. These improvements will be delivered in retrofit field kits. In a more forward-leaning effort, HDT is also making a proposal for the Marines’ ground renewable energy network (GREEN), a tactical power-management system that would use a micro-grid. Here too, the aim is to link generators so they can be turned on or off according to total load. “The goal is to cut fuel consumption by 50 to 75 percent,” Stolarz said. “Ultimately, they would like to get rid of generators, but that is a long way off.” GREEN would use renewable energy like solar and

wind power as its primary energy, storing this power in batteries, supplemented by generators when needed for the remaining 25 to 50 percent of demand. Sole reliance on renewable sources will come eventually, but first in very forward positions, not in base camps, Stolarz predicted. The military also wants to train users on how to make better use of power in camps. HDT shows personnel how to set up its systems and then how to be smart in using the equipment. “For example, if there is no movement, lights go off,” Stolarz explained. “Or if the temperature goes below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, turn off the environmental control unit and switch to the fuel-fired heater, which is more efficient.” HDT makes generators, heaters, air conditioning, filtration, power management, lights and floors, “everything except solar panels,” Stolarz joked. “The system approach is beneficial. Some companies show up with more efficient insulation and have some wins. But we can do better with a systems approach instead of a hodge-podge of components.” INI Power has worked with the Defense Department for a decade on portable power, and “portable to us means one person can carry it,” stressed Larry Markoski. “Everything we manufacture weighs less than 40 pounds.” INI started with hydrogen fuel-cell systems and has recently developed flex-fuel-cell hybrid systems, including generation, storage and harvesting modules. These Trinity systems aim for the highest level of energy efficiency and energy assurance at the lowest weight and cost. The very versatile Trinity has been through field trials and INI is working with MEP. Trinity is meant for squad-level camps and FOBs in austere environments where it is tough to get HMMWVs in. “We can drop in our systems and scavenge any fuels, gasoline, any alcohol, ethanol, methanol, jet fuel, diesel, hydrogen diesel or propane,” Markoski said. Dewey Electronics makes standard two-man portable 2KW generators, said vice president business development Dana Hollis. These can provide either AC or DC power. They are open-frame units, extremely lightweight, from 143 to 152 pounds. The Dewey generators have their own fuel tanks and can run for four hours before refueling. “They are typically the first to get in due to their portability,” Hollis noted. DC units are uses to power digital targeting systems for mortars and charge batteries for communications and antenna farms. AC units are used on a lot of ground stations, for example for the RQ-7 Shadow. Altogether, Dewey has delivered 17,000 units since 1996. Hollis said DoD is now looking to use renewable sources like solar and use Dewey’s 2KW generators as backup. Dewey has modified the unit with a digital controller. “It can monitor batteries and has different algorithms for charging different battery chemistries,” Hollis said. “There is also automatic stop and start-up. If the sun goes down, it starts the battery. It shuts off if the battery is at a certain level.” He estimates from 30 to 70 percent of fuel can be saved with such techniques. Dewey’s new generators can also be used for surveillance where they are left unattended for two weeks. These unattended units must be quiet, so Dewey has developed an enclosed version with sound dampers that works with 24-volt batteries. “It’s good for borders and some FOBs,” Hollis said. The generator and its battery can run for a week on just 15 to 20 gallons. O For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at or search our online archives for related stories at

MLF  6.2 | 33


April 2012 Vol. 6, Issue 3

The Publication of Record for the Military Logistics Community

Cover and In-Depth Interview with:

Rear Admiral Mark F. Heinrich

Commander U.S. Navy Supply Systems Command and Chief of Supply Corps

Special Section

Supply Chain Excellence Flowing the supply chain is more complex than loading trucks and moving airplanes. The DoD and its service components are continually honing the process.


Corrosion Management As destructive as it is unattractive. There is a science to managing the metal eater.

Greening the DoD Becoming more energy efficient is a mantra.

Forward Logistics Managing the supply chain into Afghanistan.

Demand Planning and Forecasting “Just in time” is not good enough, and “not enough” is unacceptable. So what is the right amount of inventory?

Rock Island Arsenal This profile highlights the warfighter support and capabilities from this depot.


SPecial Pullout Supplement

This special pullout supplement will feature a detailed look at the organizational structure and business operations of NAVAIR with an exclusive interview with RADM Cindy James, Assistant Commander, Logistics and Industrial Operations. Other features include a two-page pictorial spread of NAVAIR senior leadership, plus a profile of critical contracts and the command’s components.

Bonus Distribution

• Navy League-Sea/Air/ Space Expo • GSA Expo

Insertion Order Deadline: March 21, 2012 • Ad Materials Deadline: March 28, 2012 To Advertise, Contact: Jane Engel, MLF Associate Publisher 301.670.5700 x 120 •

The advertisers index is provided as a service to our readers. KMI cannot be held responsible for discrepancies due to last-minute changes or alterations.


Ability One...................................................................................... C4 BAE Systems................................................................................... 13 Cubic Corporation........................................................................... 3 GSA................................................................................................... 5 Inventory Locator Service............................................................. 12 New Breed...................................................................................... 20 Oshkosh Corporation.................................................................... C2 SAIC................................................................................................ C3 StandardAero................................................................................... 9

Oklahoma City Air lOgistics Center Special PULL-OUT SUPPLEMENT

Chromalloy...................................................................................... 5 Northrop Grumman...................................................................... C2 Northrop Grumman.....................................................................2-3

Calendar May 8-10, 2012 AUSA Sustainment Symposium Richmond, Va.

July 16-18, 2012 Performance Based Life Cycle Support Washington, D.C.

May 14-16, 2012 Army National Guard Logistics Management Seminar Austin, Texas

July 25-27, 2012 Performance Based Logistics Alexandria, Va.

May 21-24, 2012 Environment, Energy & Sustainability Symposium New Orleans, La.

August 13-15, 2012 Tinker and the Primes Oklahoma City, Okla. php

June 4-8, 2012 GEOINT Community Week Washington, D.C. area

September 22-26, 2012 NDTA Forum & Expo Anchorage, Alaska expo.htm

MLF  6.2 | 35


Military Logistics Forum

Rory A. King Director, Global Supply Chain Product Marketing IHS Inc. Rory King is director of global supply chain product marketing at IHS Inc. and has primary responsibility for content, software and expert analysis on worldwide technology. Q: Please provide some background on IHS and its work with DoD in the logistics arena. A: IHS was founded in 1959 to provide product catalogs for aerospace engineers. More than 50 years later, we are a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange with more than 5,500 colleagues in more than 30 countries. Our parts logistics systems grant tens of thousands of users access to 180 million part records and procurement history on the source from which the government purchased an item, what was paid and how often the item was purchased. We also offer information about 85 million parts qualified and tested against military specifications. Together, these fulfill critical logistics, sustainment and procurement functions. Q: What are the main challenges IHS is capable of solving for the warfighter? A: IHS enables cost reduction and risk mitigation. DoD and its entire supply chain is challenged with significantly reducing cost while maintaining effective support of our warfighters. We help reduce defense supply chain costs while addressing threats from counterfeit parts and high risk suppliers. Compliance with counterfeit regulations is now part of the 2012 U.S. National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA]. There’s a link between counterfeits and significant cost avoidance in sustainment, component obsolescence, and diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages [DMSMS] that IHS can help solve. Q: Explain the counterfeit part regulations in the NDAA defense bill for FY 2012. A: In 2011 the issue was blown wide open when investigations into counterfeit electronic parts in the defense supply chain culminated with chilling testimony given 36 | MLF 6.2

at a November 8, 2011, hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Testimony revealed fake, damaged, or electronic waste components prevalent within all levels of the defense supply chain and failing to meet military specifications. Even more concerning were real dangers of part failures that could put armed services and civilian lives at stake. There were also fears over the potential for devices like integrated circuits being used as malicious Trojan horses to disable defense systems at critical times. Regulations for counterfeit part detection, avoidance and reporting became part of the final NDAA for fiscal year 2012 with the president’s signature on December 31, 2011. Members at all tiers of the defense supply chain must put counterfeit-risk-mitigation procedures in place and ratchet up efforts to procure from trusted suppliers. Certain steps must be completed within 270 days. Q: With challenging budgetary times and increasing DoD regulations, how can cost and risk be avoided? A: The expense to resolve counterfeit incidents can be massive. For instance, the MDA learned that mission computers for THAAD missiles contained suspect counterfeit memory devices creating a problem that could have led to the entire system failure. The cost of that fix was nearly $2.7 million. IHS data shows that a typical bill of materials [BOM] or parts list for a military/defense program can have anywhere from a few hundred to over tens of thousands of purchased parts, of which between 0.5 to 5 percent typically match incidents of counterfeit parts we report. When just one counterfeit poses major risk, the fact that most part lists have hundreds or thousands of matches to known problematic parts should be a major cause for concern.

Over 50 percent of all counterfeit incidents reported are for discontinued or endof-life obsolete components. Well-known industry DMSMS figures show that each individual obsolescence incident can cost anywhere from $3,000 and four weeks to resolve to in excess of $1 million and 64 weeks to resolve. A single parts list can have thousands of sole source, availability, or other obsolescence problems that equate to millions in avoidable cost. Anyone who identifies avoidable obsolescence and counterfeit incidents can avoid upwards of millions in program costs, time and risk. Q: As a major player in the logistics arena, how has IHS positioned for 2012? A: The vast majority—over 90 percent of all counterfeit incidents reported—come from an exclusive partnership IHS has with a privately held global information services organization, ERAI Inc. GAO reports discussed at the SASC hearings shared how defense is challenged because the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program [GIDEP] is not designed for counterfeit parts and handles all sorts of issues of nonconformance. IHS uniquely offers 100 percent of these verified counterfeit-incident reports from ERAI, GIDEP and other sources. We unify these within robust tools that offer complete, end-to-end capabilities for managing parts logistics, obsolescence and counterfeit risk. The new NDAA regulatory requirement and generally accepted risk mitigation strategies are to make use of trusted suppliers and avoid high risk suppliers. Through our decision support and analytical tools, not only can defense evaluate part-specific issues like obsolescence forecasts and availability, but they can understand exact government qualified items and suppliers as well as enforcing their approved supplier lists. Our IHS tools also allow clients to flow down through a complete set of trusted or safer suppliers from the original component manufacturers and authorized distributors to aftermarket sources and credentialed independent distributors and brokers. In essence, IHS customers that stay within our tools can stay within a trusted set of defense suppliers. O

Logistics Solutions for Affordable Readiness NATIONAL SECURIT Y The U.S. military needs reliable operational availability at a low life-cycle cost. To provide this affordable readiness, SAIC delivers a wide range of logistics, product support, and supply chain management solutions. Smart people solving hard problems. Visit us at



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Fight proud. Work proud.

Soldier photo courtesy of U.S. Army.

“I feel proud to be a part of the troop deployments and all the other aircraft that support our military operations.” – AbilityOne employee Ira Huddleston Ira works in Airfield Alert Support Services at Ft. Hood Army Base, TX and is just one example of how AbilityOne supports the mission of America’s warfighters. With a presence on nearly every military installation in the U.S., AbilityOne has the experience, capability and workforce to keep our fighting men and women fed, clothed, supplied, supported and protected. In addition, AbilityOne enables people who are blind or have other significant disabilities to be independent and productive citizens.

MLF 6-2 (March 2012)  

Military Logistics Forum, Volume 6 Issue 2, March 2012, including Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center Who's Who

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