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The Air Force is reexamining its support infrastructure to focus on the goals of faster deployment, reduction in the footprint, increased flexibility, and greater personnel stability. This study examines a potential reconfiguration of the current support system: the creation of maintenance forward support locations to consolidate intermediate maintenance near, but not in, the theater of operations. Such locations are known as Centralized Intermediate Repair Facilities, or CIRFs. RAND Corporation studies found CIRF support of such commodities as F-15 avionics components, LANTIRN pods, and jet engines to be effective in today’s Air and Space Expeditionary Force environment. RAND has also looked at potential CIRF locations, reduction of deployment footprint, and the command and control system supporting repair and other processes. The report recommends that the Air Force explore the use of CIRFs outside of the United States as well as within, establish an Operational Support Center at each Major Command, and centralize “ownership” of engines and pods. An extended analysis of centralized ownership is appended.

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The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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