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Research Brief

The Air National Guard (ANG) wishes to enhance its support to the Air and Space Expeditionary Force (AEF), a U.S. Air Force concept that allows a quick response to national security needs with a tailored, sustainable force. The ANG's Director of Logistics sponsored RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF) to evaluate options for transforming ANG combat support mission areas that would capitalize on ANG strengths while achieving the desired operational effects. Four mission areas were evaluated.

Change the approach to civil engineering deployment and sustainment capabilities. Opening a forward operating location requires intense civil engineering (CE) support for a short time, then continued CE support for sustainment. Active duty and ANG UTCs fulfill these requirements now. (UTCs, or unit type codes, are computer codes that describe standardized groupings of manpower and/or equipment that provide specific capabilities.) Modifying some ANG CE UTCs and changing the deployment concept might better support short but intense periods of work for establishing a base. Then, the initial UTCs would be replaced by a separate, leaner Sustainment UTC. This concept would reduce costs and active duty deployments and allow ANG personnel to accept more CE tasks.

Use ANG to staff some Centralized Intermediate Repair Facilities (CIRFs). For commodities with adequate inventories, one or at most a few large CIRFs for each commodity would be more efficient than current practices. For commodities that do not have enough inventory to supply multiple maintenance locations or to flow quickly from one location to another, large bases within the United States are logical locations to support mini-CIRFs because they have people and infrastructure already in place. A mini-CIRF would provide maintenance support to the units stationed at the base and to a few other small flying units. These CIRFs could be supported partially or fully by the ANG.

Add a new Force Structure and Cost Estimating Tool (FSCET) capability to GUARDIAN, the ANG resource management system that tracks and controls execution of resource allocation plans and operations. FSCET would enable planners, analysts, and managers to evaluate ANG-unique issues, such as proposed changes in force structure, funding, or other resource allocations, before any new plans were implemented. They could also analyze the ANG fleets' airworthiness, operational suitability, availability, and operations and support costs.

Move some operational and combat support execution planning and control tasks and services back to the continental United States as ANG missions. ANG personnel have been augmenting the Air and Space Operations Center (AOC) by deploying forward and assisting in work processes. Moving specific AOC tasks and services back to one or a few U.S. locations where the ANG could assume responsibility for them would reduce costs and allow the development of deep knowledge and backup.

These are some of the areas in which ANG transformation could support the AEF. All require an ANG champion to develop the concepts and negotiate with the active duty Air Force to determine the extent of ANG participation.

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