General document | A Review of Software Tools to Support Analysis of Army Readiness and Sustainability
This report contains reviews of software tools, developed by allied countries, that support analysis of Army readiness and sustainability. A requirements framework has been developed to support an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each tool; it is made up of 15 high-level requirements that are underpinned by 37 questions. The framework is based on a description of Army’s detailed functional requirements for a modernisation decision support environment that was developed previously. Six tools were reviewed, MARS (Managed Readiness Simulator), Tyche, A-SMART (Army Sustainability Modelling Analysis and Reporting Tool), Futura, AST (ARFORGEN Synchronisation Tool) and Marathon; however due to the quality of information procured only the first three tools were reviewed in detail. A description of each tool and an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses is provided.
This report has reviews of software tools, developed by allied countries, which support analysis of Army readiness and sustainability. A requirements framework has been developed to support an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each tool; it is made up of 15 high-level requirements that are underpinned by 37 questions. The framework is based on a description of Army’s detailed functional requirements for a modernisation decision support environment that was developed previously. The quality of information available has influenced the level of detail at which each system can be reviewed. Consequently, three tools have been reviewed in detail (MARS, Tyche and A-SMART) along with a limited review of three other tools (Futura, AST and Marathon). For each tool, we have provided a description of the modelling approach taken. Each tool’s functional roles and capabilities, the interface design, inputs and outputs and the underlying algorithms were then reviewed against the criteria defined in the requirements framework and the applicable strengths and weaknesses were summarised. No previous work could be identified which has examined the potential use of many of the tools in this report. These tools can provide support and justification/validation for decision makers, as well as potential costcutting analysis, and a number have unique functional attributes. The only UK system reviewed in this report is Futura. Futura provides a modelling capability to forecast population levels and costs, primarily for the personnel, major systems and facilities Fundamental Inputs to Capability (FICs), and focuses on analysing the roll-out/de-commissioning of fleets rather than Force Generation (FORGEN)/Operational sustainability. A primary strength of Futura is its consideration of multiple FIC and cross-FIC impacts. The Canadian systems, Tyche and MARS (Managed Army Readiness Simulator), have key strengths in terms of their detailed modelling of force structure sustainability from a whole-of-force perspective; MARS provides significant flexibility to model any type of impact or demand placed on the force and Tyche’s strengths include algorithms that allocate capabilities to operational requirements and analysis of any shortfalls or excess capability areas. Marathon, a tool developed by the US Center for Army Analysis, has similar strengths and its functionality appears to have been incorporated into the tool suite of the AST (Army Force Generation Synchronization Tool). The AST supports the management of the US Army’s Force and Operations Generation both in terms of managing the current force and in terms of forecasting options for its deployment. The AST’s key strength is its integration of numerous tools with outputs designed specifically to support planning and decision-making processes. It is recommended that demonstrations of the AST capabilities be sought via Australia- US Defence diplomatic channels to assess its capabilities more thoroughly to determine the suitability and availability of the AST or a similar capability to support the Australian Army.