Optimizing assignments of strike-fighter squadrons to carrier-airwing deployments
Madson, Rebecca L.
Dell, Robert F.
Otte, Douglas E.
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The Department of the Navy currently has 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVN), which are the centerpiece of carrier strike groups (CSG). The Fleet Response Plan (FRP) dictates CSG deployment and readiness cycles. Based on the FRP, the Navy produces a Master Aviation Plan that assigns 10 carrier-airwings (CVW) to CVNs and carrier-based squadrons to CVWs. At any given time, there are at most 38 strike-fighter squadrons to fill 40 possible assignments. Because there are not enough to fill every possible assignment at one time, strike-fighter squadrons must move between carrier-airwings. Currently, heuristics determine moves using a set of predetermined rules. This thesis presents the Carrier Optimal Strike-fighter Scheduling Tool (COSST), which uses an integer-linear program that optimally assigns strike-fighter squadrons to carrier-airwings over a 10-year period. Assignments minimize moves and ensure sufficient time between deployments. Compared to an existing schedule, our analysis shows that COSST reduces the number of strike-fighter squadron moves from eleven to five in the first four years. Our analysis also examines the impact of reducing strike-fighter squadron availability and transitioning squadrons.
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