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Air Force Spares Campaign. (Up Front: Changing Air Force Logistics).

The Air Force's ability to execute its mission is directly related to the availability of weapon-system spare parts. The Air Force possesses the most advanced forces in the world, but under-funding and a decline in supply support have led to a significant drop in readiness. To rectify this potential hazard, the Air Force is in the process of implementing a major redesign of the spares supply process through a set of initiatives designed to improve support to the warfighter. These initiatives, known as the Spares Campaign, promise a fundamental reshaping of the internal management processes and data systems used on a daily basis to buy, repair, and distribute the thousands of different items needed to maintain weapon systems in a mission-capable (MC) status. This effort is being spearheaded by Brigadier General. Robert E. Mansfield, Jr, Director of the Office of Supply Chain Integration and Logistics Transformation and an implementation team, consisting of civilian and career military personnel with logistical and supply expertise and defense contractors with experience in supply chain management.

The Spares Campaign initiatives are the result of 4 months of intensive review and analysis by five teams representing expertise from every level of the major commands (MAJCOM), Air Staff, air logistics centers, Defense Logistics Agency, and commercial technical experts and consultants, including RAND and KPMG Consulting. Focus was on increasing weapon system availability and MC sorties and ensuring spares support in the expeditionary aerospace force (EAF) operating environment. The teams analyzed the strategic processes to identify disconnects, deficiencies, and areas for improvement:

* Forty-seven process disconnects were identified and then organized into 12 major categories

* One hundred and ninety implementation options were developed and considered to fix these disconnects; ultimately, 86 were deemed viable and considered for implementation.

* These implementation options were aggregated into 20 initiatives. A red team made up of eight senior Air Force logisticians reviewed the work done by the five teams.

* These 20 initiatives were then presented to the MAJCOM logistics commanders, who provided comments and ranked the initiatives.

Given the MAJCOM logistics commanders' priorities, the impact of the initiatives, and the time needed to implement them, General Mansfield selected eight initiatives for immediate action. These eight initiatives provide for a full spares process-improvement campaign.

The eight initiatives are:

* Restructure defense logistics requirements by setting stable prices and allocating costs to the responsible commands.

Improve spares budgeting by establishing a single consolidated budgeting process for spares and consumable items, thereby meeting all spares requirements.

* Improve financial management by tracking execution of weapon-system support against approved requirements and budget. Simply put, determine whether the Air Force is getting a MC rate equivalent to the amount it is spending.

* Improve item demand and repair workload forecasting. This initiative calls for improved methods for calculating the type and timeframe of maintenance needs for the future; that is, commercial technologies like advanced planning and scheduling systems.

* Establish a virtual single inventory control point to centrally prioritize spares and funds allocation, passing the execution phase down to the air logistics centers.

* Align supply chain management to focus more on weapon systems and MC rate goals.

* Standardize and expand the role of regional supply squadrons to support expeditionary operations.

* Adopt improved purchasing and supply management practices, thereby reducing purchasing costs and improving product quality and delivery.

Any one of these initiatives taken by itself will not make a tremendous impact. But together, these initiatives will overhaul the entire spares process by getting spares into the hands of the maintainers and enabling the Air Force to improve weapon system support to meet current and future expeditionary requirements.

The implementation of these eight initiatives is the cornerstone in reshaping Air Force supply in the context of the EAF and readying the sustainment of them in the field.

For more information on the eight initiatives, upcoming events, and the latest implementation milestones, please log onto the Spares Campaign website,

The Air Force is in the process of implementing a major redesign of the spares supply process through a set of initiatives designed to improve support to the warfighter.
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Title Annotation:spare parts
Author:Rukin, Karen L.
Publication:Air Force Journal of Logistics
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 22, 2001
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