A comparative analysis of key business community characteristics of weapon system sustainment programs and implications for future weapon system programs
Marshall, Juan M.
Paleo, Robert H.
Cohn, James M.
Rendon, Rene G.
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The operation and support phase of a major weapon system is one of the most costly phases in the life cycle of a program. During this phase, the key stakeholders must build a long-term sustainment strategy to make sure the program is affordable, and that the weapon system is reliable and maintainable. The ultimate objective in this effort is to ensure all support providers, either organic or contractor, have mission readiness, translated into warfighter capability, as their long-term overarching priority. To this end, the business community (financial management and contracting) must develop a strategy that complements and satisfies the warfighters objective(s). The purpose of this research project was to examine critical sustainment program characteristics from a business community perspective for applicability in future weapon system sustainment efforts. The characteristics were identified to fall within three broad categories: (1) Reporting Mechanisms (developing and controlling the requirement); (2) Financial Management Perspective (understanding the funding process); and Contracting Perspective (arranging for the requirement). Using the Sustainment Business Model, the research team conducted a comparative analysis of two programs: The F-16 Falcon and C-17 Globemaster. The research concluded with the identification of good practices and suggested recommendations.
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