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The U.S. Air Force does not have an effective way of allocating limited funding for depot-level repair across weapon systems and calculating the readiness implications of such allocations. The RAND project discussed in this report addressed this problem by developing a methodology that estimates the effect of depot repair funding allocations on aircraft availability. The methodology is called the “Closed-Loop” Planning System because it provides this type of feedback as opposed to the open-loop nature of the current planning system, which does not. The report describes the shortcomings in the current system to rationalize the development of the closed-loop methodology. It also illustrates the application of a prototype of the new planning system using a subset of real data from Air Force depot-level repair. It compares the cost of achieving the same level of readiness with the current Air Force approach and the closed-loop methodology. In addition, it describes extensions of the methodology that would be useful for both long-term and short-term planning.

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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