Aircraft Availability, Readiness Increases at Three Bases Thanks to New Methodology

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Source:  U.S. Air Force,
Source: U.S. Air Force,

October 27, 2020 | Originally published by U.S. Air Force on October 15, 2020

WASHINGTON (AFNS) —The U.S. Air Force is seeing success in new sustainment initiatives, resulting in increased aircraft availability and readiness across three of its bases.

These sustainment initiatives are the result of the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s 2019 direction to develop a sustainment strategy framework to improve the readiness of weapon systems and improve sustainment operations.

“We developed a team to institute the Theory of Constraints on several flight lines across the service in an effort to enhance our maintenance processes,” said Brig. Gen. Linda Hurry, Director of Logistics, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering, and Force Protection. “In just six months, we were already seeing results at Fairchild, Ellsworth, and Shaw Air Force Bases.”

The Theory of Constraints is a methodology in which limitations in mission processes are identified and addressed to improve throughput of the system. At these three bases, constraints in the flow of broken-to-fixed aircraft were identified and remediated to improve readiness. 

“We’ve seen this model work incredibly well at depots where you do heavy maintenance repair and overhaul on the airplanes, but it can work just as well at the tactical flight line, particularly for scheduled maintenance activities,” said Lt. Gen. Warren Berry, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering, and Force Protection.  “That’s what we’re doing today; we’re taking that whole idea and pushing it to the field level and testing it.”

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