Decision Support Evolution—the NST Difference
Since 2013 our Decision Support process has accurately modeled and forecasted complex supply and demand requirements for large enterprises. At the heart of our process is the Naval Synchronization Toolset, or NST. We originally designed this enterprise planning capability to help the US Navy manage the F/A-18 and EA-18G fleet and its Service Life Extension Program. The Navy now also uses the NST process to help manage the E-2D platform and ALQ-99 assets. We have introduced NST to the F-35 program as well, performing initial fleet management work.
NST’s fundamental approach is not limited to modeling and forecasting equipment inventory issues. Through our support for the Navy’s Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education (MPTE) enterprise, the NST modeling approach is also being applied to complex human capital resourcing requirements.
Given NST’s versatility, we expect that the “naval” in the title may someday not fully describe its applications. A useful way to define NST is a software-assisted enterprise planning tool, for any customer needing complex logistical decision support.
The toolset synchronizes planning processes using authoritative data and quantitatively links supply and demand requirements. The NST process is deterministic, generates repeatable outcomes, and can be applied to nearly any large enterprise. The software is fully accredited.
Using the Navy’s F/A-18 fleet as the example, NST projects the future availability of each airframe and forecasts the future readiness of each squadron. The forecast is a function of (1) enterprise utilization demands and operational schedules; (2) resource management decisions; and (3) airframe depot maintenance requirements and service-life limits.
Alternatively, the fleet response to resource constraints (funding to less than full requirement) is expressed in terms of changes to the airframe assignment and depot schedules, directly linking each resource constraint to a unit-level readiness outcome.
Commander, Naval Air Forces uses the NST process to build the Master Aviation Plan, projecting F/A-18 inventory and the authoritative baselines that inform Department of Navy deployment planning. Twice annually, in conjunction with the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution process, NST-derived plans and forecasts are provided to support OPNAV, HQMC, and NAVAIR force structure planning for the BES and PB. It is important to note that NST-derived baselines represent the true requirement for inventory and depot-level maintenance and modifications, a quantum leap forward in the development of credible and defensible requirements.
Augmented Uses of NST
Veracity frequently augments the NST process by providing excursions (“what if” investigations) at the customer’s request. Excursions are based on the authoritative baselines and explore alternate procurement, deployment, and logistics management strategies for additional insight into future considerations. Veracity has also developed a queuing model to improve the fidelity of depot event completion times and overall forecasts of F/A-18 availability.