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life cycle logistics

Sustainment Technology Considerations for PSMs

DoD Product Support Managers (PSMs) have many responsibilities in statute (10 USC 4324) and policy (DoDI 5000.91) associated with delivering effective and affordable weapon system support. Today’s…

Sustainment Technology Considerations for PSMs

Artificial Intelligence - an example of sustainment technology
Shawn Harrison

DoD Product Support Managers (PSMs) have many responsibilities in statute (10 USC 4324) and policy (DoDI 5000.91) associated with delivering effective and affordable weapon system support. Today’s blog explores the PSM’s role regarding sustainment technologies.

The DoD PSM Guidebook, paragraph 1.4, “Major Tasks of the PSM,” identifies two important responsibilities in this area:

  • Seek to use Additive Manufacturing (AM) to support joint force commanders and combatant command theater requirements, transform operations and supply chains, increase logistics resiliency, and improve self-sustainment and readiness IAW DoDI 5000.93, Use of AM in the DoD
  • Leverage investments in sustainment technology to improve weapon system materiel availability and reduce life cycle costs IAW DoDI 5000.92, Innovation and Technology to Sustain Materiel Readiness

The PSM Guidebook (paragraph 3.4) also emphasizes evaluation of “innovations in digital product support, Condition-Based Maintenance Plus (CBM+), data analytics, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, AM, etc. to leverage investments in product support technologies.”

PSMs are also encouraged to consider maintenance technologies early in the life cycle (e.g., the Materiel Solutions Analysis (MSA) and Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) phases of the Major Capability Acquisition (MCA) pathway), when the cost to implement is lowest and potential to impact Life Cycle Costs is greatest.

Later in the life cycle, PSMs identify sustainment technology requirements to support “sustainment operations, re-manufacturing, system upgrades, production line restart, and depot activation” (paragraph 5.6.4.13).

Finally, a potential best practice is to budget for investment funds to perform up-front analysis to determine sustainment technology needs for high-return on investment (high-demand and/or high-value) parts and then budget for depot repair capability technology needs such as AM and cold spray facilitization.  Once systems are fielded, PSMs should advocate with their Lead Commands and product support providers (such as organic depots) to expand technology capabilities as new repair needs arise.