Background. In 2017, Veracity assisted the E-2 Hawkeye Program Office (NAVAIR PMA-231) for 5 months with modification planning for the E-2D aircraft. The E-2 Program Office was on the cusp of several E-2D capability upgrades and aerial refueling (AR) structural modifications. Fleet resource providers at Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) faced multiple challenges: maintain adequate availability while managing time-critical modification inductions; resource deploying squadrons; and stand up new E-2D squadrons. Because NAVAIR and CNAF planners faced competing demands, the PMA requested Veracity’s services to analyze the planning data, develop automated planning rules, and assist with optimizing this complex availability problem.
Supply and Demand Imbalance. Preexisting conditions and fleet operational directives limited the availability of aircraft (the supply) to support modification installation and fleet fielding requirements (the demand):
- The E-2D procurement quantity profile was stretched over several years, with slight reductions in numbers of aircraft procured per year. This resulted in reduced Backup Aircraft Inventory (BAI) beyond the planned force structure requirements.
- Force structure timelines for transitioning E-2C to E-2D were maintained, despite lagging procurement quantities.
Together, these conditions pressurized the BAI, stretching the Primary Aircraft Inventory (PAI) to absorb some of the modification demand.
Groundwork for Solution. Veracity’s data scientists assisted the E-2 Program Office planning team in consolidating data input formats from multiple product teams. Since data varies widely in its quality and assumptions, cleaning and organizing it is an essential initial task. Veracity also supported the CNAF staff in updating modification plans, both in response to deployment changes and to aircraft reassignment across squadrons. We employed a high level of automation for efficiency and to minimize human input error.
Benefits of Decision Aid. Ultimately, Veracity built a man-in-the-loop software decision aid to capture major modification installation data and operational plans. Our technical experts supported PMA and CNAF resource managers in using the decision aid to schedule modifications and achieve optimal flow of aircraft to depot and contractor mod facilities. Veracity’s services extended the planning horizon to beyond 24 months for CNAF. The decision aid enabled planners to maintain availability and to schedule an additional, critical AR mod in FY19. The ability to schedule an additional AR mod would not have been recognized without the rigorous analysis the decision aid provides. In short, greatly enhanced planning fidelity reduced near-term scheduling changes and ensured that 100% of required AR aircraft were available for planned deployments.
Contracting Outcome. Through the use of Veracity’s services, the E-2 Program Office met its procurement financial goals and ensured that CNAF could fully resource fleet squadrons. The Program Office contracted with us to continue supporting the E-2 program with more advanced modeling of its entire inventory and to continue planning services for the remainder of CY18.