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Advances in Operations Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 1285406, 20 pages
Research Article

Determining Reliable Networks of Prepositioning Materiel Warehouses for Public-Sector Rapid Response Supplies

1LMI, 7940 Jones Branch Drive, Tysons, VA 22102, USA
2Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri, E3437 Lafferre Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

Received 23 May 2016; Revised 9 August 2016; Accepted 22 August 2016

Academic Editor: Konstantina Skouri

Copyright © 2016 Thomas E. Lang and Ronald G. McGarvey. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Events such as natural disasters or combat operations require a rapid response capability from humanitarian service providers and military organizations. Such organizations can decrease their response times through the prepositioning of materiel in forward warehouses, reducing the time needed to transport items to the site of need. A particular challenge to the development of networks of prepositioning warehouses is that the warehouses themselves may be impacted by the very disruptions that drive demands for prepositioned materials. The objective of this research is to identify a reliable network posture, which is a set of utilized facility locations and an allocation of materiel to those locations, that can satisfy time-sensitive delivery requirements to potential locations around the globe, ensuring that demands can be satisfied even in the event of loss of access to a subset of storage sites (along with said sites’ materiel), all at minimum total cost. We develop new optimization formulations to account for differing levels of network reliability, all reflecting the time-sensitive environment faced by rapid response operations. We demonstrate an application of this methodology using rapid response material prepositioned by the US Air Force.