Building the World's Best Air Logistics Systems

Since our inception, RAND has devised innovations in logistical analysis to keep U.S. Air Force weapons and equipment operating under continuously evolving demands. In the 1950s, RAND was developing ways to better forecast demand for spare parts. In the 1960s, we developed METRIC, a mathematical technique for determining optimal peacetime inventory levels that to this day forms the theoretical foundation for modern inventory calculations used across military and industrial settings. We developed two techniques — LCOM and SAMSON — to identify cost-effective mixes of maintenance personnel and other base-level maintenance resources to assure adequate sortie generation levels. We developed more-efficient and -responsive intrabase maintenance operations organizations and procedures, which exploited emerging computer and communications technologies; these form the basis for today's operations. In the 1970s and '80s, we developed Dyna-METRIC to evaluate how component support resource mixes and rearward support systems would affect aircraft availability in emerging dynamic environments; Dyna-METRIC is used to this day to evaluate unit readiness and wartime spares requirements. We created TSAR, a new theater-level simulation model that led to the development of more-effective ways to operate bases under attack. These advances improved the flexibility and responsiveness of the logistics system in an environment of increasingly stressful operational requirements and tightening fiscal constraints. In the '90s, RAND used these tools to evaluate adapting Lean Production practices from the commercial sector into an Air Force Lean Logistics initiative; in the last decade or so, the Air Force has adopted some of the lean logistics techniques, which have proven so powerful that the Air Force has developed the Air Force Smart Operations 21 program to apply them throughout the Air Force. All of these advances have been accomplished in a unique collaboration with the Air Force that has saved billions of dollars and vastly improved the agility and preparedness of the force. This area of RAND research has made an incalculable difference in American defense.

Evaluation of Options for Overseas Combat Support Basing — 2006

Estimating the Benefits of the Air Force Purchasing and Supply Chain Management Initiative — 2008

A Technique for Determining Maintenance Manpower Requirements for Aircraft Units — 1971

Analysis of the Demand Patterns for B-47 Airframe Parts at Air Base Level — 1954

Unifying Resource Allocation, Control, and Data Generation: An Approach to Improved Base-Level Maintenance Management — 1965

Velocity Management: The Business Paradigm That Has Transformed U.S. Army Logistics — 2001

TSAR: A Large-Scale Simulation for Assessing Force Generation and Logistics Support in a Combat Environment — 1981

The Logistics Composite Model: An Overall View — 1968

Models and Techniques for Recoverable Item Stockage when Demand and the Repair Process are Nonstationary: Part I, Performance Measurement — 1980

Dyna-METRIC Version 6: An Advanced Capability Assessment Model — 1993

Organizational Concepts for Purchasing and Supply Management Implementation — 2004

Aging Aircraft: USAF Workload and Material Consumption Life Cycle Patterns — 2003

Lean Logistics: High-Velocity Logistics Infrastructure and the C-5 Galaxy — 1999

METRIC: A Multi-Echelon Technique for Recoverable Item Control — 1966

Relating Resources to the Readiness and Sustainability of Combined Arms Units — 1981

Measuring and Managing Readiness: The Concept and Design of the Combat Support Capability Management System — 1982

Improving U.S. Air Force Readiness and Sustainability — 1984