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Life Cycle Logistics

A Deeper Dive into Recent Military Readiness Report

A Deeper Dive into Recent Military Readiness Report

A Deeper Dive into Recent Military Readiness Report
Bill Kobren

Following up on yesterday’s DAU LOG Blog post on the new GAO-23-106673 Military Readiness: Improvement in Some Areas, but Sustainment and Other Challenges Persist”, a few thoughts. My sense is DoD cycle logisticians and product support managers would be well served to read through this report and consider the implications of the GAO findings for our own programs. Mission capability readiness ratings have trended downward, and military readiness implications are of concern, particularly findings such as:

  • Maintenance and supply challenges limit availability of aging aircraft
  • mission capable rates for most aircraft decreased from fiscal years 2011 through 2021.
  • Ship sustainment challenges have worsened, with maintenance backlog estimated at $1.8 billion
  • Poor condition of infrastructure at the Navy’s public shipyards
  • Shortfalls in Army rail support and training for operating in contested mobility environments
  • In recent years has increasingly deferred maintenance on critical systems or canceled depot-level maintenance periods altogether

In addition, Figure 8, entitled “Sustainment Challenges Affecting Selected Navy Ship Classes” should serve as an “all hands-on deck” (so to speak) for life cycle logisticians, product support mangers, program managers, and systems engineers across the department to redouble their life cycle management, designing for reliability, availability, maintainability, supportability, and product support across the system life cycle:

  • Service life longer than anticipated
  • Unexpected replacement of parts and repairs
  • Access to technical data
  • Delays in depot maintenance
  • Delays in intermediate maintenance
  • Shortage of trained maintenance personnel
  • Unscheduled maintenance
  • Diminishing manufacturing sources (DMSMS)
  • Parts obsolescence

These issues are not new, but they are important. My challenge to you is ask yourself not just how did we get here, but more importantly, ‘what am I and my teammates doing to proactively tackle (or head off) these issues on my program’? What lessons can we learn from these challenges? What initiaitves, innovations, and creative solutions can my team bring to bear to address them? Our warfighters, our military readiness, and or nation's combat capability may be impacted by your answers more than you may realize.