Optimal aircraft carrier deployment scheduling
Schauppner, Craig T.
Rosenthal, Richard E.
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The Navy's peacetime mission is 'to conduct forward presence operations to help shape the strategic environment by deterring conflict, building interoperability, and by responding, as necessary, to fast breaking crises with the demonstration and application of credible combat power. 'To meet this mission, the Navy deploys aircraft carriers to forward positions throughout the world. A new nuclear powered aircraft carrier costs over $3.4 billion dollars and when deployed carries over 6,000 personnel onboard. Considering the cost and the man hours involved in carrier operations judicious and effective use of these valuable assets is imperative. The CINCPACFLT Operations Department maintains a five year deployment plan for the six carriers assigned to the Pacific Fleet. Currently, the deployment schedule is produced manually. A feasible five year plan typically takes the carrier scheduling officer one week to generate. This thesis presents an optimization based tool to assist in constructing deployment schedules that maximize the forward presence of Pacific Fleet carriers. The underlying optimization model is different from those in the literature. Instead of using a set covering approach, the problem is formulated as a shortest path problem with side constraints. This formulation allows the problem to be solved more rapidly, thus allowing more opportunities for sensitivity and trade-off analyses.
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