Framework for Augmenting Current Fleet with Commercially Available Assets for Logistics Support in Contested Environment
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China believes logistics in the contested environment is an Achilles’s heel for the U.S. Navy (USN). It is therefore critical that we explore ways to develop capabilities to replenish potential combating forces in the Pacific through Next Generation Logistics Ships (NGLSs). In this research, we offer a framework using mathematical models to refuel, rearm, and resupply for future logistics in such contested environments to support the potential combat operations of the USN. In this research, we first analyze the capabilities for the current fleet and describe the framework used in existing literature. We study various ship platforms and their capabilities. The earlier analysis suggested ships that are most capable for HADR efforts. Bearing in mind the differences between contested and humanitarian environments, we analyze the capabilities of the ship platforms as the background for this research. We then develop the framework for augmenting the current fleet with NGLSs for support in contested logistics. The objective is to study and analyze options for rearming, refueling, and resupplying in the contested and distributed environment. Feedback from the SME helped us gain insight into the complexity of the problem and its vast scope. We used this input to refine our scenarios. We developed mathematical models based on these scenarios. The top-level requirements of the vessels under consideration, as we understood, incorporate capability of a vessel on certain route based on speed, platform, and capacity. The fuel storage tanks are separate from the storage for ammunition and supplies. Hence, we kept these two commodities separate. Fuel has its own issues, and so do ammunition and supplies. Note that the separate trips for these two commodities could be combined when trying to operationalize these results into a schedule, involving a particular number of ships. The sponsor did not wish us to model an objective of minimizing costs (which were not available) or the number of ships required to deliver commodities within a certain deadline of under a certain schedule (because deadlines and schedules change based on operational priorities). Measuring the number of deliveries required allowed us to determine a mix of NGLS vessels without addressing cost, deadline, or scheduling restrictions. We would like to point out that number of deliveries are the deliveries made by a specific vessel, from a supply node to a demand node, on a specific route for a specific commodity. Deliveries, as described in the report, can be interpreted in many ways. The framework created is flexible in terms of the scenarios. The demand nodes can be modified using amount of demand. They can also be expanded as per the requirement of number of demand nodes. The summary of our results and analysis suggests certain recommendations. We recommend that to negotiate battlespace constraints, the time constraint for PSV (Platform Supply Vessel) engaging with SAG (Surface Action Group) in WEZ should be investigated, since that is the binding constraint on capacity to transfer. The capacity of PSV for carrying fuels is much larger than that, and the same is true for transferring the pallets of ammunition and supplies. It will be necessary to increase the rate of transfer if the time spent in the WEZ (Weapons Engagement Zone) cannot be altered. We also recommend that acquisition of LAWs (Light Amphibious Warship) is preferred to FSVs (Fast Supply Vessel), since it may be prohibitively expensive to maintain a separate maintenance support infrastructure for FSVs, when their range of usefulness is relatively narrow. Finally, we would like to point out that the scenarios we were given excluded a need to replenish water to a DDG (Guided Missile Destroyer), or to replenish a PSV in the WEZ. If these were to be included, we might have gotten a very different answer
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
NPS Report NumberNPS-LM-20-155
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Framework for Augmenting Current Fleet with Commercially Available Assets for Logistics Support in Contested Environment Apte, Aruna; Apte, Uday; Doerr, Ken (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2021-05-10); SYM-AM-21-062China believes logistics in the contested environment is an Achilles's heel for the U.S. Navy. It istherefore critical that we explore ways to develop capabilities to replenish potential combating forces through Next ...
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