Setting Requirements for Maintenance Manpower in the U.S. Air Force
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Over the past decade, the United States Air Force has faced a variety of unforeseen challenges. On the one hand, a significant portion of the force has been engaged in a range of contingency as well as peacekeeping operations. On the other hand, a once-robust economy led many to leave the force in unexpected numbers during the 1990s. The result has been a mismatch between Air Force taskings and available personnel. This report outlines the findings of a study whose objective was twofold: first, to review the methodology that the Air Force uses to determine active-duty enlisted manpower requirements in aircraft maintenance; and second, to investigate whether these requirements and their resulting authorizations have been underestimated. Toward this goal, the study assesses the Logistics Composite Model (LCOM), a statistical simulation model that the Air Force uses to gauge direct maintenance man-hours, as well as the Air Force-wide regulations that establish ceilings on available hours. The report concludes that maintenance manpower requirements are in fact underestimated in the Air Force, largely because the service's manpower processes do not adequately account for all the tasks that maintainers in the field must undertake. Accordingly, the report recommends that Air Force policies and analytical tools be reexamined and appropriately refined to better reflect maintenance manpower needs.
Table of Contents
The Maintenance Force in Context: Supply and Demand
The Red Box: How the Logistics Composite Model Works
The Red Box: Assessment of How LCOM Is Applied
The Blue Box: Bounding Working Hours
The White Box: Ample Time for "Everything Else"?
A Preliminary Assessment of Shortfalls
Recommendations and Conclusions
The Exponential Fleet Clock
The Break Process in the Real World and in LCOM
RAND Questionnaires for Maintainers in the Field
Description of the Skill-Mix Model
Research conducted by
The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's Project AIR FORCE unit.
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