This book was prepared at the Air Power Studies Centre a s a Chief of Air Staffs Air Power Fellowship in 1993. The fellowship scheme commenced in 1990, and aims to develop awareness and foster understanding of air power in the Australian context. The aim of this fellowship was to identify opportunities to improve RAAF preparedness through Repairable Item (RI) management, and to recommend means of pursuing these opportunities. The author has researched the development of the RI system,and investigated the process of preparedness assessment. Starting with fundamental concepts of logistics, RI management, and preparedness doctrine, the book proceeds to examine analysis of RI requirements undertaken in recent preparedness studies. Flaws in study methodologies are identified, particularly with regard to sustainability and logistics analysis.

An altered approach to preparedness assessment has been recommended, based on improved understanding of both the operational environment, particularly in contingency, and logistics support systems. Central to this approach is the teaming of operational staff and logisticians to jointly develop an understanding of the contingency environment and its implications for logistics. A further theme is the need to complement the calculation of preparedness resource requirements with ongoing development of the RI system. Systems thinking is recommended a s an appropriate philosophical basis for ongoing RI system review and development. Systems thinking perspectives are applied to provide insight to the analytical weaknesses of past RI system studies, and the potential contribution of the system dynamics methodology to facilitate a systems thinking approach to RI management is examined. A series of opportunities are identified to improve RAAF preparedness through RI management, and specific recommendations made for the pursuit of these opportunities.

Recommendations have implications for directorates at Headquarters Logistics Command, Weapon System Logistics Management Squadrons, and the Directorate of Logistics Policy at Air Force Office. Additionally, they are relevant to the cooperation of Headquarters Logistics Command and Air Headquarters Australia, and subordinate FEGs/units, in preparedness assessment activity.