Simulating sustainment for an Unmanned Logistics System concept of operation in support of distributed operations
Ekman, Elle M.
Sanchez, Susan M.
MacKinnon, Douglas J.
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Marine Corps logistics always seeks to remain responsive, flexible, and sustainable to successfully support highly maneuverable units dispersed over large operational areas. The variety of Marine Corps battlespaces and the constant evolution of enemy weapons and tactics, however, makes logistic support increasingly difficult. Unmanned logistics systems (ULS) show potential to reduce Marine personnel risk and workload, and increase throughput, efficiency, and flexibility. To assist in the development of ULS operational concept and platform employment, this thesis uses discrete event simulation and a designed experiment to model and explore a ship-to-shore logistics process supporting dispersed units via three types of ULSs, which vary primarily in size. Major findings from the analysis illustrate the importance of the type of logistics method used in predicting successful re-supply and risk effects to the system. The hub-and-spoke re-supply method is less variable, returns higher ratios of delivered supplies, and performs better independent of risk when compared to the linear method. The observed method affects increase with the distance a unit is from the main logistics node. Small ULSs should be used for just-in-time re-supply, medium ULSs should be used for throughput, and all systems should be survivable to minimize risk.
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