Evaluating the Combat Payoff of Alternative Logistics Structures for High-Technology Subsystems

by Morton B. Berman, Douglas W. McIver, Marc Robbins, John F. Schank


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This report identifies and evaluates alternative logistics structures that better support high-technology subsystems used by major U.S. Army weapon systems. It uses a new methodology to examine combat logistics structures. The report begins with a base case in which one set of M-1 tank test equipment is located in each Forward Support Battalion. It uses RAND's Dyna-METRIC model to assess the costs and benefits of alternative logistics structures relative to this base case. The alternative logistics structures were selected to examine the influence of different structural characteristics: (1) consolidating test equipment and personnel at higher echelons to increase responsiveness to variations in demand at lower echelons; (2) decentralizing test equipment and personnel to maneuver battalions to increase battalion unity of command; (3) varying the amounts of test equipment and personnel to examine the effect on repair queues; and (4) increasing the spare parts distribution system's responsiveness. The authors conclude that the Army must either increase the responsiveness of its logistics structures or invest inordinate amounts in inventories to prevent losses in combat capability.

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