of raw materials and other critical components for production or repair/replacement parts. As the weapon systems’ service lives are extended, the loss of supply chain and manufacturing capability are an increasing concern. During the course of the study, Air Force leaders repeatedly emphasized the importance of managing obsolescence and DMS/MS.35,36
Ultimately, both obsolescence and DMS/MS will result in the inability to provide parts or components to the weapon systems, which poses a risk to readiness. Performance Based Logistics (PBL) is an important obsolescence mitigation strategy. DoD Instruction 5000.02 states, “The PM shall employ effective Performance-Based Life-Cycle Product Support (PBL) planning, development, implementation, and management. Performance-Based Life-Cycle Product Support represents the latest evolution of Performance-Based Logistics. Both can be referred to as ‘PBL.’ PBL offers the best strategic approach for delivering required life cycle readiness, reliability, and ownership costs.”37 Because this process is performance-based and focuses on weapon system availability and lowering costs, it can be accomplished organically, through suppliers, or a combination thereof. PBL tackles the problem of aging by instituting incentives between the government and the weapon system manufacturer to ensure that support providers continuously modernize and improve their systems and methods of support.
This chapter has addressed the sustainment investments, infrastructure, and processes that are currently in place. Investments in sustainment have not met the challenges of supporting an aging, highly stressed fleet. Current acquisition practices do not consider sustainment early enough in the planning process. The ALCs function adequately, but they are not optimized for current and future needs. Investments in infrastructure, personnel, and ground equipment are needed for optimization. Activities such as eLog21 and HVM are aimed at improving processes for maintenance.
35 Sue Lumpkins, Deputy Director of Logistics, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support, Headquarters United States Air Force. “Air Force Studies Board Sustainment Study.” Presentation to the committee, October 20, 2010.
36 Blaise J. Durante, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition Integration, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. “Budgetary Considerations Related to Sustainment.” Presentation to the committee, October 21, 2010.
37 DoD. 2008. Operation of the Defense Acquisition System. December 8. http://elastic.org/~fche/mirrors/www.jya.com/dodi/dodi-5000-02.pdf. Accessed August 18, 2011.