Optimizing training event schedules at Naval Air Station Fallon
Slye, Robert J.
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Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon, located in Northwestern Nevada, is best known for one of its resident training schools, the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School, popularly known as Topgun. Fallon training range airspace overlays 10,200 square miles and contains ground ranges for bombing and electronic warfare. In addition to servicing the flight training requirements of its resident programs, NAS Fallon provides airspace, land, and logistical support for dozens of outside commands, ranging from carrier airwing detachments to special operations forces. It follows that scheduling training events at NAS Fallon is heavily constrained due to large demands on limited training airspace and aircraft availability. This thesis constructs, implements, and produces sample results using the Scheduling Assistance Tool (SAT), a mixed integer program designed as an aid to the operations department at NAS Fallon. SAT optimizes allocation of range space, subject to limited resources such as operational field hours, equipment, and event turnaround times. The primary output is a deconflicted daily flight schedule that includes unit, event, day, start time, and range assignment. We test SAT with 323 real-world event requests over a one-month period. SAT’s baseline test results in 86% of events being scheduled. By giving optional ranges and start times to the unscheduled events, SAT is able to schedule 99% of the same events. Several additional excursions from the baseline scenario demonstrate how SAT can improve event schedules.
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