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C h a p t e r 5 Logistics Support for the AC-119G/K Gunships T o fully understand the nuances of the production program, we must examine the complete story of the various aspects of the project. Having recounted the financial and contractual aspects of the program in the preceding chapter, this chapter focuses on the events surrounding the logistics support provided for the AC-119G/Ks. The story of logistical support for the AC-119G/K Gunship III program is thoroughly interwoven with that of the AC-130 Gunship II program. The fact that the component systems and sensors used on both projects were practically identical meant that program managers had to conduct joint discussions with the contractors and vendors to iron out problems and establish procedures for both programs. The primary goal of the USAF leaders was to prevent competition between the two programs for these items. This was especially true since most of these components were scarce, and there were few companies that manufactured or were able to modify them. From the outset of these two second-generation gunship efforts, many issues arose involving logistics support procedures. For example, officials needed to know whether item managers would immediately support the aircraft. Was there an advantage to having contractor 98 Shadow and stinger support? What repercussion might decisions in Washington have on logistics support practices and policies? How would the using command, TAC, view and handle these processes once they were in place? Most important, how would WRAMA managers answer these questions and meet these challenges? The process of working to answer these questions soon became the basis for the logistics support practices and procedures that USAF and contractor officials formulated. WRAMA and Logistics Support Subsequent to Secretary Brown’s approval of the AC-119 gunship program, Warner Robins management enacted plans to create formal USAF logistics support for the AC-119s “by the most expeditious means available using all authorized short cut procedures.” Plans called for this support to consist of spare parts, aerospace ground equipment, and technical data. From the beginning, the planners at WRAMA intended to assume full management responsibilities for the AC-119 modification project at the earliest date legally possible. Concurrently, the Warner Robins program experts also conceived an alternate scheme to contract logistics support if sufficient USAF resources were not available. They determined that this contract support should cover the first operational year of the program.1 During a Gunship II/III conference held at Robins AFB during the week of 22 April 1968, representatives from Air Force Logistics Command and the U.S. Air Force opposed the contract support backup plan. Also present at this meeting were delegates from other air materiel areas in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (OCAMA); San Antonio, Texas, (SAAMA); and Ogden, Utah (OOAMA), as well as attendees from the 2802d Calibration Group, Pacific Air Forces, Tactical Air Command, Continental Air Command, Electro Optical Systems Inc., Fairchild-Hiller Inc., and General Electric Corporation. At this gathering, senior officials selected Warner Robins to provide supply and field maintenance assistance through the normal USAF supply system. They agreed to allow the initial depot maintenance to be performed through contract with a private company. Attending officials from Headquarters Air Force directed the operational command representatives to take responsibility for procuring the necessary contractor technical support (CTS).2 logistics support 99 In spite of these directives and further follow-up messages in May, the Robins leaders were not convinced that such an arrangement was the most effective plan. As a result, they formally repudiated the normal support concept. Since they had spent much time evaluating their capacity to provide normal USAF supply and field maintenance support, this was not an arbitrary decision. Based on a detailed data analysis they had previously prepared, Robins personnel maintained that it was organically impossible to take on these responsibilities. Their official response focused on several factors, including the urgency of the activation and deployment dates. Originally, the TAC unit activation date for the Gunship II aircraft had been June 1968, with its deployment to PACAF scheduled for August 1968. For the Gunship III program, unit activation had been scheduled for June and deployment to the Pacific theater for July. Plans called for WRAMA to “provision” the Gunship II aircraft in October. Based on this timetable, the contractor had made plans to provide the necessary logistics items. This, they argued, made it impossible to gather the necessary data to identify, catalog, and procure sufficient spares and...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781603445078
Print ISBN
9781585445776
MARC Record
OCLC
608512477
Pages
352
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
N
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