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life cycle logistics

Touring Product Support, Element By Element (Part 11)

Okay horse-racing fans, we’ve rounded the far turn and are heading for home in our extended “Tour of Product Support, Element by Element”. Today’s DAU LOG Blog post marks the eleventh in this soon-to…

Touring Product Support, Element By Element (Part 11)


  1. Home
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  3. Touring Product Support, Element By Element (Part 11)
Touring Product Support, Element By Element (Part 11)
Bill Kobren
Okay horse-racing fans, we’ve rounded the far turn and are heading for home in our extended “Tour of Product Support, Element by Element”. Today’s DAU LOG Blog post marks the eleventh in this soon-to-be-completed 12-part series taking an in-depth look at each of the twelve Integrated Product Support (IPS) Elements. Thus far this tour has visited ten of the twelve elements:

Today we take a closer look at number eleven on our list, yet another in a series of critically important interdisciplinary elements of DoD product support, namely Facilities and Infrastructure. Like our earlier look at the Manpower & Personnel element, let’s make sure we understand the differences between the terms facilities and infrastructure, which to the casual observer may at first glance appear to be synonymous, and while they are complimentary. Facilities generally include real property such as buildings and structures required to support a system, while infrastructure generally relates to capabilities that support the operational utility of those facilities such as power, HVAC systems, internet access, and so forth.

So is this element the life cycle logistician’s or product support manager’s domain? To some degree, yes, however not exclusively. Like several of the preceding elements we examined, success again entails a range of multi-functional defense acquisition workforce professionals, including life cycle logisticians, systems and sustaining engineers, facilities engineers, program managers, as well as civil engineers, electricians, HVAC technicians, security and cybersecurity professionals, and other specialists both inside and outside of the acquisition community. Key activities include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Facilities Plan Management
  • Facilities and facility improvement studies design and execution for every IPS Element (i.e., Maintenance Planning and Management, Information Technology (IT) Systems Continuous Support, Training & Training Support, etc.)
  • Location selection
  • Space requirements determination
  • Environmental requirements determination
  • Security requirements determination
  • Utilities requirements determination
  • Storage requirements determination
  • Equipment requirements determination
  • Existing versus new facilities determination
  • Site activation

According to Appendix A of the DoD Product Support Manager (PSM) Guidebook, the objective of the Facilities & Infrastructure IPS element is to “…identify, plan, resource, and acquire facilities to enable training, maintenance and storage to maximize effectiveness of system operation and the logistic support system at the lowest TOC. Identify and prepare plans for the acquisition of facilities to enable responsive support for the Warfighter.”

The PSM Guidebook goes on to describe the Facilities & Infrastructure IPS element as including the “….permanent and semi-permanent real property assets required to support a system, including studies to define types of facilities or facility improvements, location, space needs, environmental and security requirements, and equipment. It includes facilities for training, equipment storage, maintenance, supply storage, ammunition storage, and so forth.”

Longtime life cycle logistics practitioners will yet again – as you have throughout this “virtual IPS Element tour” -- recognize the critical nature of the Facilities & Infrastructure element in the years since the issuance of the seminal November 2009 DoD Weapon System Acquisition Reform: Product Support Assessment report. The reason is simple: facilities, infrastructure, and military construction (MILCON) decisions and requirements have significant impacts on life cycle costs.

Longtime practitioners also recognize just how interconnected this particular element is with each of the others. As I’ve shared many times during this series, not only the did the integrated nature of all of these elements accelerate the transition from Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) to Integrated Product Support (IPS), it also highlighted their interconnected nature as key enablers of wider life-cycle management and product support requirements outlined in 10 U.S.C. 2337. Bottom line: Facilities and Infrastructure, like each of the other IPS Elements we’ve previously examined during this tour, serves a key enabler of affordable readiness!

As I’ve also reiterated at each stop in this 12-part DAU LOG Blog series, the operative word for every one of these 12 IPS Elements is “integrated.” Decisions made in or for one element routinely have major – and occasionally unintentional -- implications across each of the others. As I’d also shared previously, this critically important product support element (like each of the others) transcends functional communities. Facilities & Infrastructure decisions directly impact each of the other eleven elements, and in so doing, each element aligns, integrates, and addresses key “ilities” including reliability, availability, maintainability, supportability, affordability, sustainability, suitability, habitability, and transportability, among others. As I also previously shared, the term “ilities” is so ubiquitous and so pervasive in the acquisition arena that it actually has its own definition in the DAU Glossary!

Finally, at each stop on this extended 12-part IPS Element tour, it’s worth remembering that your DoD and DAU life cycle logistics colleagues offer a myriad of references, resources, training and tools to assist you in better understanding the nuances of these elements, (and the integrated nature of product support) including but by no means limited to:

Next up, last stop on the tour: Information Technology Systems Continuous Support!