Improving Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) offloads using modeling and simulation
Thomas, Brandon K.
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The Marine Corps' Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) marries fly-in troops to their gear in an expeditionary environment. The arrival and assembly operation underneath this larger umbrella of MPF Operations proves itself a somewhat chaotic, definitively complex and dynamic logistics operation. From the moment the offload of the ship or ships begins when equipment and rolling stock exit the ships, until it ends as using units sign for their intended equipment, all personnel involved in this process--drivers, assistant drivers, heavy equipment handlers, crane operators, equipment managers--and all equipment involved present a flurry of activity that must be effectively managed, tracked, and optimized. Modeling, Virtual Environments, and Simulation, or MOVES, tools, aid in providing such capability. The creation of a Discrete Event Simulation (DES) using the open-source tool Viskit enables MPF planning, training, and analysis in its ability to portray the effects that size, amount of personnel support, and time have on the operation. Scenario Authoring and Visualization for Advanced Graphical Environments (Savage) comprises an archive of extensible three dimensional (3D) models that, when tied to the DES in an Extensible 3D (X3D) Graphics environment, enable the animation of the simulation, and when connected to real-world tracking data of the offload, allow for real-time visual tracking of this logistics process, creating a Common Operating Picture (COP) for the Arrival and Assembly Operations Group (AAOG).
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