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DoD PSM’s Role in Planning for Support Equipment

Support Equipment (SE), which consists of mobile and fixed equipment required to support the operation and maintenance of a system, includes generators, air conditioners, servicing carts, wash carts…

DoD PSM’s Role in Planning for Support Equipment

DoD PSM’s Role in Planning for Support Equipment
Shawn Harrison

Support Equipment (SE), which consists of mobile and fixed equipment required to support the operation and maintenance of a system, includes generators, air conditioners, servicing carts, wash carts, testers, materiel handling equipment, and myriad other items utilized by DoD maintainers to keep weapon systems in top operating condition. During system development, the Product Support Manager (PSM) is focused on: identification of required SE; design, development, and testing of new or modified SE; and procuring and fielding SE using MIL-HDBK-2097 and command-specific guidance. Generally considered as end items themselves, SE procurement also requires data for SE provisioning, cataloging, and sparing activities; maintenance manuals; and other elements of product support. The PSM typically appoints an SE Manager to lead this effort and assemble an SE IPT (or sub-IPT) including stakeholders from the combat developer and Warfighter, Common SE and Automated Test System/Equipment (ATS/ATE) program office(s), provisioners, equipment specialists, etc.

The PSM should ensure the development contract Request for Proposal (RFP) includes appropriate requirements for the identification, design, development, test, and (where applicable) delivery of SE. One of the primary goals of DoD is to reduce proliferation of “peculiar” (e.g., unique) SE (PSE), and RFPs typically specify a hierarchy of SE selection which includes Service or DoD common SE (CSE), commercial SE, modified common or commercial, and finally PSE as a last resort. Employing a Digital Product Support approach, the PSM may require a Support Equipment Recommendation Data (SERD) contract data requirements list (CDRL) item in 3D PDF (iPDF) format to assist the SE IPT in evaluating new and modified designs through the use of embedded models. In addition, verification and testing can be informed by including a model-based Human Engineering Design Approach Document-Maintenance (HEDAD-M) CDRL.

One important check the SE IPT will perform is to evaluate any proposed CSE or commercial SE for obsolescence or planned replacement, which could require reconsideration, or at a minimum, ongoing collaboration with the PM or item manager. For example, if a PSM is planning to procure a CSE engine removal and installation trailer that is slated for a fleet-wide replacement, the PSM or SE Manager should work with the owning PM to ensure all needed features for their weapon system will be included in the new trailer design, or at least be of modular design to accept peculiar adapters, etc. SE deployability requirements such as limitations on weight, footprint, “ruggedized design,” and transportability features may also figure prominently for combat systems. Lastly, the PSM should be aware of and advocate for any long-lead SE that may need to be ordered prior to the production decision to ensure needed equipment is on-hand for Low Rate Initial Production or prototype fielding (if not included as contractor-furnished equipment in the Original Equipment Manufacturer contract).

To learn more, check out LOG 0540 Support Equipment Fundamentals online training course and CLCL 015 Product Support Infrastructure Credential, as well as the Integrated Product Support Element Guidebook and the IPS Element – Support Equipment ACQuipedia article.