Logistics Support System for the US Coast Guard

Client: US Coast Guard

Authors/Consultants: Ellis RE

The United States (US) coast guard has started the development of the Integrated Deepwater System, a large-scale system engineering effort to design the next generation system of air, sea, information, and logistics support capabilities for Coast Guard operations. This system will used by the US coast guard to conduct missions in waters more than 50 miles from US shores. Missions include operations in support of US national defense, search and rescue, drug enforcement, alien migrant interdiction and rescue, enforcement of fisheries laws and international treaties, and numerous others.

In the Deepwater program, the Coast Guard chose to think of the resources available to it to perform missions, including persons, assets, infrastructure, and procedures, as a system of systems. Correspondingly, the Coast Guard structured Deepwater to produce the best system of systems for successfully accomplishing its projected range of future missions.

System dynamics played a central role in the systems engineering effort of the Deepwater project. System dynamics modeling and analysis were used at all levels of program management. System dynamics trained analysts were placed in key project positions and the methodology was woven throughout the entire systems engineering effort. The expert team combine system dynamics methodology with agent based modeling. The combination of system dynamics with other methodologies showed especially fruitful for exploring complex systems.

More information on this case can be found via R. Evan Ellis (2001) The Use of System Dynamics in a Large-Scale System Engineering Effort: Case Study of the Deepwater Project. System Dynamics Conference.