The Marine Corps Flying Hour Program at MARFORLANT
Gardiner, Edward C.
Jones, Lawrence R.
Shu S. Liao
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The goal of this thesis is to determine the best way to manage the Flying Hour program (FHP) from the perspective of the U.S. Marine Forces Atlantic (MAPFORLANT) Aviation Budget Officer. The thesis has two main objectives. The first objective is to describe the organization and current financial management issues related to the FHP at the Department of the Navy (DON) and MARFORLANT levels. An historical overview of the FHP, an analysis of federal and defense budgeting dynamics, and an impact analysis of the Marine Aviation Campaign Plan are provided. The second objective is to conduct quantitative analysis of selected MARFORLANT data to better understand FHP cost behavior. Regression results are compared with previous DON research to determine the suitability of Cost Per Hour as the most reliable FHP metric. Analysis confirmed that there is a direct relationship between fuel and flight hours, but showed virtually no correlation between flight hours and aviation maintenance costs. These findings indicate that regression models show too much variability for them to be used to displace the DON OP-20 model as the primary means for budget forecasting for the FHP. The thesis concludes that the Aviation Budget Officer must continue to rely on qualitative budgeting skills to maximize the financial condition of MARFORLANT Aviation
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