27 Oct 17. U.S., Coalition Forces Refine Amphibious Capabilities. Marines, sailors and coalition forces are working as one to demonstrate and increase combined arms operational proficiency during the naval amphibious exercise Bold Alligator 17 here.
Bold Alligator 17, held Oct. 18 through Oct. 30, is a multinational exercise that focuses on combined training of multiple forces executing complex shaping, amphibious and sea basing operations to improve U.S. and coalition ship-to-shore capabilities.
In addition to U.S. sailors and Marines, military members from Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Mexico, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom are participating in the exercise or observing it from different command elements in the Camp Lejeune area.
“What we’re doing is onloading and offloading gear from U.S. ships,” said Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Codi Mullen, the officer in charge of the beach operations group with 2nd Transportation Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group. “That will facilitate the exercise that is going on today, which is offloading the gear, then going off to conduct further operations for Bold Alligator.”
The purpose of the exercise was to focus on training side-by-side with allied nations to increase proficiency in combined operations, loading and unloading gear from amphibious vehicles.
Learning a New Perspective
Marine Corps Cpl. Rayquane D. Forte, the staging line noncommissioned officer of the beach operations group with 2nd TSB, 2nd MLG, said that working with foreign countries allows the Marines to see things from a different perspective and find different ways to combine efforts to complete an operation.
Performance can only improve with practice and it’s better to overcome challenging obstacles during training versus a real scenario.
“The critical level of our role is to ensure everything is properly offloaded,” Forte said. “If we don’t send it down correctly, it’ll have to get sent back up [and] restaged, and that just holds up the operation and could result in mission failure.”
By combining efforts to achieve the same goals, the service members used their ability to adapt and overcome to complete the mission.
“It was a great exercise to learn how they work and also they get to know how we work,” Mullen said. “It’s a great initial understanding of how everything will flow once we go from ship to shore.”
(Source: US DoD)
26 Oct 17. F-35 Aircraft Sustainment: DOD Needs to Address Challenges Affecting Readiness and Cost Transparency. The Department of Defense (DOD) is sustaining over 250 F-35 aircraft (F-35) and plans to triple the fleet by the end of 2021, but is facing sustainment challenges that are affecting warfighter readiness (see table). These challenges are largely the result of sustainment plans that do not fully include key requirements or aligned (timely and sufficient) funding.
DOD is taking steps to address some challenges, but without more comprehensive plans and aligned funding, DOD risks being unable to fully leverage the F-35’s capabilities and sustain a rapidly expanding fleet.
DOD’s plan to enter into multi-year, performance-based F-35 sustainment contracts with the prime contractor has the potential to produce costs savings and other benefits, but DOD may not be well positioned to enter into such contracts by 2020. To date, DOD has not yet achieved its desired aircraft performance under pilot (i.e., trial) performance-based agreements with the prime contractor. In addition, the level of performance DOD has contracted for is generally below what the services desire (see figure 2 for Marine Corps example).
Also, the three performance metrics DOD is using to incentivize the contractor under these pilot agreements may not be the appropriate metrics to achieve desired outcomes, in part because they are not fully reflective of processes for which the contractor has control. This can make it difficult for DOD to hold the contractor accountable. Further, due to system immat