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Life Cycle Logistics

Similar Terms are not Necessarily Synonymous (Part 2)

Similar Terms are not Necessarily Synonymous (Part 2)

Bill Kobren
Back in November 2020, I authored a DAU LOG Blog post entitled “Similar Terms are not Necessarily Synonymous” in which I highlighted the differences between four key terms that were frequently (and often incorrectly) used interchangeably, namely:
  • Operations & Support (O&S) life cycle phase
  • Operating & Support (O&S) life cycle cost category
  • Operations & Sustainment (O&S) AAF term
  • Operation & Maintenance (O&M) appropriation

As I indicated previously, similar sounding terms and acronyms are often at risk of being inadvertently co-mingled or misused. As a public service, permit me to once again differentiate between seemingly similar terms that are at risk of incorrectly being used interchangeably:

  • Capability Modification - Alters the form, fit, function, or interface (F3I) in a manner that requires a change to the existing system, performance, or technical specification of the asset. Such modifications are accomplished to add a new capability or function to a system or component, or to enhance existing technical performance or operational effectiveness. (Source: DAU Glossary)
  • Capital Improvements/Enhancements - Capital improvements/enhancements for general equipment are often referred to as modifications, modernizations, upgrades and improvements. (Source: DoD 7000.14-R, Financial Management Regulation (FMR))
  • Equipment Reset - Equipment deployed to a theater of operations must be periodically refurbished to meet current theater requirements. Equipment reset is a critical activity that restores a unit to a desired level of combat capability commensurate with its future mission. Equipment reset encompasses maintenance and supply activities that restore, reconstitute, and enhance the combat capability of unit and prepositioned equipment that has been destroyed, damaged, stressed, or worn out beyond economic repair due to operations. Equipment reset repairs or rebuilds the equipment to specified standards. When appropriate, it enhances existing equipment by inserting new technologies, restoring selected equipment to meet current or future operational demands, and/or procuring replacement equipment. Equipment reset is accomplished by both depot-level and field level maintenance activities that perform major repairs, overhauls, and recapitalization (rebuilds or upgrade). Equipment reset is normally initiated with the rotation/return of equipment from an area of responsibility. It may also be performed in theater when practical. Equipment reset of systems common to two or more Services may be performed under inter-Service arrangements when advantageous in terms of cost, logistics footprint, or operational readiness. (Source: DAU Glossary)
  • Major Change (Class I) - An engineering change proposal (ECP) proposing a change to approved configuration documentation for which the Government is the current document change authority (CDCA) or that has been included in the contractor SOW by the tasking activity and: a. Affects any physical or functional requirement in approved functional or allocated configuration documentation. b. Affects any approved functional, allocated, or product configuration documentation and cost, warranties or contract milestones, or affects approved product configuration documentation. (Source: MIL-HDBK-61B Configuration Management Guidance)
  • Minor Change (Class II) An ECP proposing a change to approved configuration documentation for which the Government is the CDCA or that has been included in the contractor SOW by the tasking activity and which is not a Class I. (Source: MIL-HDBK-61B Configuration Management Guidance)
  • Modernization - a process of upgrading and modifying (a system) with a focus on adding new capabilities. (GAO-14-425 Report)
  • Modification - A configuration change to the form, fit, function, or interface (F3I) of an in-service, configuration-managed or produced Configuration Item (CI). Modifications are defined by their purpose. (Source: DAU Glossary)
  • Overhaul - ​Returning an unserviceable item of equipment to serviceable condition by restoring most or all internal tolerances to “like new” specification. Overhaul is synonymous with “rework” and “rebuild.” (Source: DAU Glossary)
  • Reset - ​A set of actions to restore equipment to a desired level of combat capability commensurate with a unit’s future mission. (Source: DAU Glossary)
  • Retrofit - A modification of a configuration item (CI) to incorporate changes made in later production items. (Source: DAU Glossary); The incorporation of new design parts or software code, resulting from an approved engineering change to a product’s current approved PCD and into products already delivered to and accepted by customers. (Source: MIL-HDBK-61B Configuration Management Guidance); A modification of a configuration item (CI) to incorporate changes made in later production items. (Source: DAU Glossary)
  • Rework – Any corrections of defective work, either before, during, or after inspection. (Source: DAU Glossary)
  • Service Life Extension - Modification(s) to fielded systems undertaken to extend the life of the system beyond what was previously planned. (Source: DAU Glossary)
  • Sustainment Modification - Alters the form, fit, function, or interface (F3I) of an asset in a manner that does not change the existing system, performance, or technical specification of the asset. Sustainment modifications may improve the reliability, availability, maintainability, or supportability reduce its ownership costs. (Source: DAU Glossary)
  • System & Block Upgrades - improving the maintainability and suitability of the fielded system, while reducing life cycle cost. (Source: DAU Glossary)
  • Technology Modernization - The coupling of modernization with the implementation of advanced manufacturing technology by providing incentives for contractor (and subcontractor) capitalization. (Source: DAU Glossary)
  • Technology Refresh – Tech(nology) refresh is the intentional, incremental insertion of newer technology to improve reliability, improve maintainability, reduce cost, and/or add minor performance enhancement, typically in conjunction with depot or field level maintenance. The insertion of such technology into end items as part of maintenance is funded by the operation and maintenance appropriations. However, tech refresh that significantly changes the performance envelope of the end item is considered a modification and, therefore, an investment. (Source: DoD 7000.14-R, Financial Management Regulation (FMR))

For additional information, several related references include: