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The ability to access and continuously operate in space is vital to the economic, social, and military interests of the United States. In part because of sometimes-conflicting demands and in part because space systems are highly specialized, sustainment can be a challenge. To help Air Force Space Command meet this challenge, the authors used a strategies-to-tasks framework to examine AFSPC sustainment as a whole, working toward a commandwide philosophy for space system support. The core of the philosophy is separation of demand-side, supply-side, and integrator processes and clear definition of roles and responsibilities at all levels of the command. Its adoption can provide a basis for enhancing processes, force development, doctrine, information systems, and organization across the command that can be sustained over time and through many leadership changes. The authors illustrate the implementation and benefits using specific systems and units, some of which have already demonstrated elements of this philosophy.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Analytic Approach and the Strategies-to-Tasks Framework

  • Chapter Three

    Space-System Sustainment Philosophy and Process: AS-IS Shortfalls and TO-BE Improvement Options

  • Chapter Four

    Force Development, Doctrine, and Information Systems and Tools

  • Chapter Five

    Space-System Sustainment AS-IS Organizational Structure and TO-BE Improvement Options

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Appendix A

    The Strategies-to-Tasks Framework

  • Appendix B

    Sustainment Organization Structure Options for HQ AFSPC and the 21st, 30th, and 460th Space Wings

  • Appendix C

    Manpower Analysis

  • Appendix D

    Summary of Air Force Space Command Range Service-Support Contracts

  • Appendix E

    Comparison of Air Combat Command and Air Force Space Command Range Service-Support Contracts

  • Appendix F

    Reliability-Centered Maintenance Prioritization Process

  • Appendix G

    21st Maintenance Group

  • Appendix H

    Evolution of Space Wing Maintenance

Research conducted by

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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