Humanitarian Supply Chain – Syria Evacuation (CIV and MIL Supply Chains)

SITUATION REPORT:  Imagine there is suddenly a real opportunity to stop the fighting in Syria. The UN Security Council has approved the Munich Security Conference recommendation previously endorsed by the 17-nation International Syria Support Group. In this UN Security Council resolution, a Chapter VII Peace Enforcement mission is authorized with participant nations committing Peace Keeping (PK) forces as part of the approved Peace Support Operation (PSO). The mission has been assigned the code name “Inherent Rescue”.

Since the mobilization of the aforementioned PK units will take 90 to 120 days from implementation, the President of the United States (POTUS) has directed the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF), in concert with the Secretary of State (SECSTATE) to map out the requirements to: (1) begin de-escalation of combat operations within specified corridors of the contested areas within Syria to allow the safe migration of refugees; (2) allow for the safe passage and transit of NGO (Non-Governmental Organizations) and medical support as part of the Humanitarian efforts within the contested zones; (3) set up ‘safe haven’ areas for up to 500,000 refugees to be housed, clothed, fed and medically supported in a secure environment; and (4) act as advance logistics support force for the pending arrival of the UN Chapter VII PSO.

This mission is illustrated in the two concept of operations (ConOps) diagrams shown below.

screenshot-2016-12-06-at-9-51-38-am-edited(click for larger image)

The diagram above shows where the mission facilities will be located and the functions each facility will support. The diagram below shows the personnel that will be stationed at each facility to carry out the functions assigned to each facility.

conops2 (click for larger image)

The SECDEF has ordered the Commander, US Central Command (COMCENTCOM) to immediately begin planning and implementation of the POTUS directive.  Initial forces are to be enroute to the revised CENTCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR) within 48 hours. Forces will operate under the command structure of Joint Task Force 51 (JTF-51)

What would you do?

What if you were the person responsible for planning the logistics and managing the supply chains that will enable this mission? You might feel completely overwhelmed at the size of the task, and all the complexity, and the seemingly impossible challenge of being ready to go in 48 hours. But nobody wants to hear your excuses… so you have to do something.

build-sc-model (click screenshot for larger image)

You decide to use an approach that combines a commercial off-the-shelf, cloud-based modeling and simulation application with a concise five-step mission and operations planning (M&OP) process as described in the video above. You use the resulting capability to explore options and make good decisions in a timely manner. You go with the best plan you can devise with the time and information available. Then you implement that plan and continue to monitor the situation and explore new options as the situation evolves.

run-sim3 (click screenshot for larger image)

It’s a far better thing to make the best decisions you can in a timely manner (when it really counts), rather than trying to make perfect decisions later (when it’s too late anyway). The five-step M&OP process combined with supply chain simulations makes it possible.

Apply the 5-Step Mission and Operations Planning (M&OP) Process

Mission and operations planning (M&OP), is based on the sales and operations planning (S&OP) process used in commercial supply chains. The video below illustrates how to apply the five steps of the M&OP process to create the supply chain model for this humanitarian mission and then use simulations to reconcile the supply plan with the demand plane to generate the overall supply chain operating plan. It also shows how to enable inclusion and effective collaboration between all parties in this supply chain – military, governmental, non-governmental, and commercial.

After you watch this video, download a short report to learn more about the five-step M&OP process. Here’s the link to that report “Modeling and Simulating Humanitarian Supply Chains” –

The five-step M&OP process is summarized in a 14-slide presentation you can see and download from SlideShare here –

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After watching the video and reading the report, get started with this case study by loading the “Operation Inherent Rescue – Syria Evacuation” supply chain into your account from the online library. When you open this supply chain model in the Edit screen you will see that it is actually composed of two supply chains. One is a civilian supply chain to support the refugees, and the other is a military supply chain to support the troops who protect the humanitarian operation.

The initial supply chain you load from the library will run for five days and then problems start to happen. You need to respond to those problems and figure out how to get this supply chain to run for 15 days. Do what you feel you need to do, but also try to manage operating costs and inventory levels as best you can. These kind of joint military-civilian humanitarian missions are expensive. And demand for such missions is increasing.

Once you have a supply chain model that runs for 15 days, and after you have taken actions to reduce operating costs and inventory levels, put together a briefing for the commander of Joint Task Force 51. Present your recommendations for how to organize the supply chain that will support this mission. Include the following in your brief:

  • ConOps showing operating facilities to be used and personnel located at each facility
  • Demand Plan based on ConOps showing demand for different categories of products at each facility
  • Supply Plan showing vehicles and routes to deliver products to facilities to meet demand
  • Simulation Results with operating costs and inventory levels at each facility over the first 15 days of the mission

Then begin planning for the next development in this mission. Assume a decision is made to evacuate refugees to two facilities on the island of Cyprus, as shown in the screenshot below.

scn-4 (click on screenshot for larger image)

One facility is the British RAF base at Akrotiri, and the other is the city of Famagusta on the Turkish side of the island. Assume 50,000 refugees will go to Akrotiri, 150,000 will go to Famagusta, and 300,000 refugees will remain in the Homs safe haven in Syria.

We live in a world where joint military-civilian humanitarian missions are called for with increasing frequency. So we need to get better at them. Working through this case study will give you strong insights into what is required to support humanitarian and military operations. The supply chain structure and techniques that you find work well in this case study will also work well in a real humanitarian mission.


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