Effectively Sustaining Forces Overseas While Minimizing Supply Chain Costs

Targeted Theater Inventory

by Eric Peltz, Kenneth J. Girardini, Marc Robbins, Patricia Boren


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For shipping supplies to sustain troops overseas, airlift or sealift can be used with differential speed and cost. This documented briefing lays out a construct for designing a distribution network that takes advantage of the two transportation modes' respective strengths to meet combatant command needs while minimizing total supply chain costs. In doing so, it provides recommendations for when and how the two modes should be employed in conjunction with their integration with inventory management and positioning and operational planning.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction and Background

  • Chapter Two

    Distribution System Design Tradeoffs

  • Chapter Three

    Targeted Theater Inventory Investments

  • Chapter Four

    Policy Changes to Leverage Forward Distribution Depots

  • Chapter Five

    Summary of Recommendations

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was cosponsored by the United States Army and the Defense Logistics Agency and conducted under the auspices of the RAND National Defense Research Institute and RAND Arroyo Center.

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