UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES: UNDERSTANDING THE EFFECTS OF CHANGING INFANTRY BATTALION FORCE STRUCTURE ON FORCE GENERATION WITH NETWORK OPTIMIZATION
Teska, Christopher J.
Borges, Carlos F.
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This research seeks to understand the balance between Total Force Structure changes and the Force Generation Process. The Marine Corps must adapt its infantry battalion force structure to maintain an advantage in future conflicts. These changes affect not only the number of Marines but also the mix of ranks and specialties required to man deploying units. Traditionally, planners utilized mixed-integer linear programs to forecast the manpower mix to meet structural requirements. The network flow approach used in this research provides a better and faster tool to understand how structural changes will affect the ability to man the service as a whole. The model utilizes manpower projections, Tables of Organization, historical deployment schedules, and mathematical optimization to produce solutions that maximize infantry battalion readiness while minimizing the effect on the supporting establishment. The flexible nature of the model allows decision makers to evaluate current and proposed policy in manpower management with respect to its impact on deploying unit readiness. The increases in efficiency allow planners to quickly estimate the readiness consequences of new policy. Sensitivity analysis on all constraints delivers insight into possible adjustments to recruiting and retention goals, unit staffing goals, and deployment rhythm. The results of this research are both a high-level evaluation of current policy and a set of practical tools to assess proposed changes.
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