Defense Maintenance: Multiplication Effect #AWADTAR


If the Department of Defense simply has single-digital cuts due to sequestration, why is the department making drastic cuts? John Johns, deputy assistant secretary of defense for maintenance policy and programs, answered that question today at Aviation Week's DTAR conference outside of Washington.

In short, the military's problem can be summed up by math. The DOD's maintenance budget already had fundamental shortfalls, operations in Afghanistan and removal of equipment is substantially higher than planned, and compounded by sequestration, on top of the billions already cut last year--and having all those cuts in 6 months opposed to a year--multiplies the cuts. 

Because the DOD has run out of money, many aircraft and engines will not be inducted for maintenance in the government's third and fourth quarters (through October). Yet, it cannot cut its military personnel, so its costs are high and product lines could go silent, which causes a whole host of other huge expenses to restart them. This all translates to the DOD facing charges in 2014 and 2015 for having a negative net operating result in 2013, which again compounds the problem. 

Like Johns said, "restarting lines is not just like flipping a switch" and everything restarts. 

Deferred maintenance has big ripple effects that are more like a tsunami, and could take a decade to recover, such as in the case of aircraft carriers. 

But the department simply can't stop--it needs to focus its resources on the highest priority maintenance items to minimize the disruption, said Johns. 

This is no small task. 

Please or Register to post comments.

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.


Jan 31, 2016

Tupolev 104: Harsh Proof Of Rapid Soviet Progress (1956) 18

Since little detail was available of the Russian design and built Tupolev 104, a profile was compiled for Aviation Week, based entirely on observations from photographs, experts such as engineers knowledgeable in typical Russian aircraft design and of its landing at London Airport....More
Jan 28, 2016

A Near View Of French Aviators (1917) 2

Some of the largest battles of the First World War were taking place in France when Aviation Week was first published....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×