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What is Sustainment?

Sustainment is everything. All core logistics capabilities, from operation-level performance to depot-level maintenance, and it accounts for a majority of DOD yearly operating costs. Most of the money is spent on solely ensuring things continue to work properly. Sustainment is the art and science of achieving and maintaining this military readiness.

DoD Budget

Adapted from: https://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/FY2024/FY2024_Budget_Request.pdf

Most of the DOD budget is spent on the day-to-day tasks of simply making sure that every system we already have continues to work properly. The federal government spends more than $400B per year on operations, maintenance, and the military personnel necessary to ensure that DOD weapons systems are combat ready and mission capable. While the DOD has a large budget dedicated to research and development of next generation, state-of-the-art technologies, this is only a small portion of the pie.

Operations

When we talk about sustainment, we are talking about the art and science of achieving and maintaining military readiness. Sustainment is everything: every part of the logistics ecosystem that works to ensure the “readiness” of each platform to perform their mission. It encompasses the provision of logistics and personnel services to maintain operations until mission accomplishment and redeployment of the force. Sustainment includes training, system testing, upgrades and parts-procurement.