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Purpose — Aircraft fail to meet mission capable rate goals due to a lack of supply of aircraft parts in inventory where the aircraft breaks. This triggers an order at the repair location. To maximize mission capable rate, the time from order to delivery needs to be minimized. The purpose of this research is to examine the case of three airfields for the order to delivery time of mission critical aircraft parts for a specific aircraft type. Design/methodology/approach — This research captured data from three information systems to assess the order fulfillment process. The data were analyzed to determine the performance in fiscal year 2020. Using the model of that performance, the cost of reducing transportation times using publicly available commercial cost estimates was assessed against the impact on aircraft availability. Findings — The results indicate that paying the costs for expedited shipping would have increased aircraft availability by 1.09 times the average annual aircraft flying hours for the three cases. The cost for the equivalent of an additional aircraft for the year was a third of the annual straight-line depreciation for that aircraft type. Research limitations/implications — This research assumed that the transportation time service levels publicly posted could be achieved. The weight of each mission critical part was not available, so the weight was selected from a probability distribution of mission critical part weights that was retrieved from prior research. This research provides options to enhance aircraft availability and identifies the associated costs. Practical implications — Adjusting the contract with transportation providers to reduce the transportation times of mission critical parts could have a large impact on aircraft availability at relatively little cost. Social implications — This research could enhance aircraft readiness in service of the common defense. Originality/value — This research provides an effective methodology for enhancing military readiness through contract adjustments with commercial partners. The value of this research is that it will serve to adjust the value proposition of mission critical parts inside the United States Transportation Command’s Next Generation Delivery Service contract.


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Journal of Defense Analytics and Logistics