Tech

February 25, 2013

Academy cadet’s research could save Air Force $4.9 billion

Tags:
Don Branum
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Air Force Academy Cadet 1st Class Chris Kirk developed a method that would let the Air Force purchase Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles and extended range Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles at significantly lower prices, saving more than $4 billion over five years. Kirk is a management major and native of Burlington, Iowa.

An Air Force Academy cadet’s research into how the Air Force buys missiles could save the service as much as $4.9 billion over five years while increasing the Air Force’s inventory.

Cadet 1st Class Chris Kirk found that the Air Force can buy some of the missiles regularly used in combat operations using economy of scale, much like large retailers do to buy products at substantial discounts, according to a briefing the cadet presented to Air Force Chief Scientist Dr. Mark Maybury here Feb. 1.

“Simply put, Cadet Kirk’s research promises more munitions for less money,” Maybury said. “Even my boss (Secretary of the Air Force Mike Donley) would pay attention to that.”

Kirk, who is majoring in management, spent several weeks at the Pentagon working with officials at the Air Force Acquisitions Directorate as part of the Academy’s Cadet Summer Research Project, which sends cadets to installations across the Air Force each summer as interns to conduct research on operational Air Force issues.

Kirk’s research examined three procurement methods the Air Force could use to reach inventory levels of 100 percent for its missiles. The first, called the minimum sustainment rate, purchases munitions at the lowest level possible without jeopardizing the supply pipeline. The second, called the economic order quantity, offers an ideal quantity for both the Air Force and the contractor. Finally, the maximum rate determines the contractor’s overall production capacity.

Anyone who’s been to the commissary knows the value of purchasing at wholesale cost: commissaries generally save customers an average of 30 percent on grocery purchases, according to the Defense Commissary Agency website.

The same concept applies to Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles, or AMRAAMS, and to extended-range Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles, or JASSM-ERs, according to Kirk’s research. The procurement changes would cut AMRAAM procurement costs by $1.5 billion and JASSM-ER procurement costs by $2.6 billion.

“Proposals for reducing the costs of new procurements are very important to defense planners,” said Col. David Chelen, chief of the Global Power Programs Directorate’s Weapons Division and an ’89 Academy graduate.

Uncertainty about future defense spending due to the threat of sequestration has kept the Pentagon from implementing Kirk’s proposals, Chelen said, “but his suggestions and the research that drove those ideas will remain useful into the future.”

Maj. Daniel White, an instructor in the Academy’s Management Department, called Kirk an outstanding student for the quality of his work and his proactive attitude.

“What impresses me the most about his missile procurement research is his ability to get a handle on such a large amount of information in such a short period of time and bring useful conclusions from it,” White said. “He’s also very good at thinking on his feet in front of very distinguished audiences.”

Kirk, who saved the life of a civilian involved in an accident June 9, 2012, on Interstate 495, called his chance to conduct research at the Pentagon and his time in Washington an “awesome” experience.

“It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve been able to do, just being in the Pentagon, working on this project, and taking trips all over D.C.,” he said. “There’s so much going on.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 21, 2014

News: IDF releases Iron Dome interception rate - Israel’s Iron Dome system has successfully intercepted 86 percent of the Palestinian rockets that it has engaged during Operation ‘Protective Edge’, according to the Israel Defense Forces.   Business: The turnaround of France’s defense giant Thales - Within seconds of meeting Jean-Bernard Levy it becomes apparent that h...
 
 

News Briefs July 21, 2014

Corruption investigated in Kansas National Guard The Kansas Adjutant General’s office says federal authorities are investigating possible corruption involving outside medical companies’ contracts with the Kansas Army National Guard. Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the adjutant general’s office, confirmed the investigation Friday to The Lawrence Journal-World but declined to rel...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

B61 undergoes testing in AEDC wind tunnel

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend Arnold Engineering Development Complex engineers recently joined researchers with Sandia National Laboratories to perform a wind tunnel test on a full-scale mock-up B61. Pictured with the...
 

 
Army photograph by Charles Kennedy

New CT scanner finds diverse, important uses for researchers

Army photograph by Charles Kennedy Turning a now-standard tool for medical diagnostics and therapeutics to a host of new applications, the U. S. Army Research Laboratory’s Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate rece...
 
 

Ingalls Shipbuilding awarded $23.5 million LHA 8 affordability contract

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been awarded an affordability design contract for $23.5 million for early industry involvement to reduce the construction and life-cycle cost for the amphibious assault ship LHA 8. “Ingalls Shipbuilding has been constructing large-deck amphibious ships for nearly 50 years, and this contract will build on our company...
 
 
Marine Corps photograph

DOD identifies missing World War II Marine

Marine Corps photograph Marines wounded during the landing on Tarawa in November 1943 are towed out on rubber boats to larger vessels that will take them to base hospitals. The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>