Marines ‘Confident’ F-35 Logistics System Is Deployable Despite GAO Report

Inside Defense // May 09, 2016

The Marine Corps remains "confident" in the Joint Strike Fighter's logistics system's ability to deploy and support a full range of military operations although the Government Accountability Office in a recent report discovered that pilots, maintainers and administrators are concerned the system may not be deployable.

The service notes the Autonomic Logistics Information System is not fully mature, but in the configuration that is fielded the Marine Corps has proven its capability both aboard an amphibious ship and at an expeditionary airfield in Twentynine Palms, CA, Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Sarah Burns wrote in a May 6 email to Inside the Navy.

The GAO conducted 17 focus groups at five F-35 operational or testing sites while preparing its latest report that was released April 14. Pilots, maintainers and administrators at three of the five sites GAO visited expressed concern about ALIS' ability to deploy and function in forward locations.

"For example, users are concerned about the large server size and connectivity requirements, and whether the system's infrastructure can maintain power and withstand a high-temperature environment," the GAO report reads. "The Marine Corps, which often deploys to austere locations did not conduct deployability tests prior to declaring initial operational capability in July 2015."

The concerns with ALIS connectivity and high temperatures are no different than they are for the Marine Corps' legacy systems, Burns wrote.

"As with any large IT system, the ALIS system will require power, ventilation and cooling," she continued. "We have taken ALIS to locations to challenge those requirements and we are glad to report that the system performed just as it does in garrison."

ALIS servers were reconfigured to disassemble into man-portable sections, which the service uses as its primary system in the operational squadron. The Marine Corps tested this method in the field during an exercise at Twentynine Palms, Burns wrote.

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