Compare and Contrast Military vs. Commercial Ground Vehicle Supportability 2005-01-0597
The Army is actively and forcefully engaged in over 80 countries with approximately 180,000 soldiers operating in various environments with diverse equipment. Approximately 135,000 soldiers are currently operating in Iraq and that number will be sustained through 2005. In order for our soldiers to be effective in their missions, equipment must operate effectively and accurately. However, with current operations our fleets are at a pace ten times that of normal operations (causing entire fleets of trucks and aircrafts need for replacement). The question becomes how does the Army keep up with the demand?
The current supply network, although it is operating at 70% of capacity due to attacks on convoys in Iraq, is keeping pace with the demand. General Kern stated, “We're meeting the requirements but we don't have a lot of slack. If you're in the supply business, you'd like to say you have six months of supplies on the shelf. Right now, we are delivering to meet demands. We are not building any significant reserves.” The focus should be how to improve our network to account for the increase demand. This issues falls within the supportability aspect of military operations. Supportability consists of the reliability, training, logistics, and the “Pit Stop Mentality” of a system. This is comparable to the commercial industry that includes manufacturing requirements, training, logistics and ease of maintenance.
The following paper will compare and contrast the military and commercial aspects of supportability, concentrating on the logistic side of supplying parts with respect to contractors and subcontractors. A case study of an M1A2SEP road arms will be evaluated to determine the effectiveness of the current supply system and suggestions for future improvements.