Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Sharon G. Heilmann, PhD.


The Air Force's end strength has drawn down from 530,000 to just over 332,000 in the past 20 years. All indications are that resources will continue to become more restricted in the future, including manpower. Meanwhile, studies indicate that the Air Force will likely continue to withdraw permanently stationed forces overseas and rely increasingly on the Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) construct for rapid mobility and force projection. With the AEF and efficient manpower utilization projected to become increasingly important, this study provides the first examination of the AEF as an overarching process for improvement opportunities. It proposes that the concept of AEF requirement fulfillment is actually a supply chain designed to supply Combatant Commanders with equipment and warfighters. It focuses on the fulfillment of manpower requirements, identifying them as a Class 0 Supply Item, and uses Supply Chain and Logistics Management principles to conduct an initial examination of the process to identify overarching relationships and process flow. Using the information gathered, it then maps the conceptual relationships and develops a statistical probability model to aid leaders and future researchers in analyzing expected costs and benefits of various targeted changes within the current construct. The study proposes new methods for managing AEF manpower capabilities and a new application of SCM principles. It also hopes to be a solid platform for a multi-phase study aimed at reengineering the AEF, from force reporting to sourcing in an effort to maximize manpower utilization and provide senior leadership and the planning community with more accurate force accountability.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number