Optimization of a Marine Corps artillery battalion supply distribution network
Heisinger, Ryan R.
Alderson, David L.
Carlyle, W. Matthew
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Currently, the Marine Corps does not have a process or system to distribute supplies in support of combat operations in an optimal manner. We consider the problem of re-supplying a forward-deployed United States Marine Corps artillery battalion. Specifically, we model a supply distribution network of roads between the battalion supply area, the firing batteries, and the headquarters battery. Our objective is to develop a decision support tool to help a logistics officer build efficient supply convoys that deliver all demanded supplies to the requesting units in the shortest convoy route. The supply distribution network consists of a set of locations connected by roads of known length. A small number of these nodes are logistics nodes that either supply or demand the commodities in our model, while the majority of the nodes are transshipment nodes. We use Dijkstra's algorithm to calculate the associated shortest travel distance between each pair of logistics nodes and then enumerate all possible tours through the logistics nodes. From this list of potential convoy routes, we determine the best combination of vehicles and supplies to assign to each in a manner that satisfies operational constraints and meets the mission objectives. The decision the logistics officer has to make is to determine the convoy(s) that will deliver the demanded supplies in the shortest convoy route with the number of available vehicles to support the convoy. This model provides insight to the logistics officer about how to build convoys to distribute supplies optimally within the network.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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