• New Name, New Efficiencies

    MEETING THE DEMAND FOR SUPPLY
    Soldiers with 703rd Brigade Support Battalion (BSB), 4th Infantry BCT, 3rd Infantry Division (4-1 ID), sling-load a container to a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, Oct. 15, 2013, on Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Sarah Bailey, 703rd BSB Public Affairs)

    Directorates of logistics become logistics readiness centers for more effective access to services and supply

     

    By Col. Dan J. Reilly

     

    When the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) rebranded the installation directorates of logistics (DOLs) as logistics readiness centers (LRCs) on Oct. 1, 2013, the rebranding not only culminated the formal transfer of 73 DOLs worldwide from the U.S. Army Installation Management Command to AMC, but also established a vision to integrate and optimize AMC capabilities on installations.

    This transformation enables AMC to focus on materiel and services support, allowing installation commanders to focus on managing their installations. It also optimizes the LRCs’ capability and capacity, improves contract management, and enhances quality and visibility of services. The LRCs provide the command additional field maintenance expertise, transportation services and base logistics support. This aids the U.S. Army Sustainment Command (ASC) in its mission to support the Army Force Generation process.

    The LRCs are designed to provide an AMC presence on every installation. Today, the LRCs manage installation supply, maintenance and transportation. This includes food service, ammunition supply, clothing issue facility and initial issue point, hazardous material, bulk fuel, personal property and household goods, passenger travel, nontactical vehicles, rail and garrison equipment maintenance.

    FIREFIGHT
    Members of the U.S. Army Reserve and Air National Guard (ANG) practice extinguishing a fire during Exercise Patriot 13 at Volk Field, Wis., July 17, 2013. The Patriot exercise is a domestic operations scenario to assess the ANG’s ability to assist state and local agencies in response to multiple emergencies. The transition to LRCs postures AMC to support the vision of Defense Support to Civil Authorities, among other doctrine. (U.S. Army photo by Cpt. Dan Marchik, 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary))

    As a result of the transfer of installation DOLs to AMC a year earlier on Oct. 1, 2012, the DOLs became separate activities on their installations. This uniquely identified each DOL as an Army operational unit. The change in the DOLs’ status on the installations required an official name change on authorization documents. It also marked a change in their mission as AMC’s “face to the field,” which necessitated realignment with DA and the renaming from DOL to LRC.

    ASC, as AMC’s operational arm, assumed responsibility for the LRCs during the 2012 transfer. ASC’s mission is to sustain Army and joint forces throughout the world in support of combatant commanders, so this additional mission fit perfectly with its capabilities.

    Upon transfer, AMC did not implement the name change because the focus was on a seamless transition. One year later, AMC believed the timing was right to formally rebrand the DOLs as LRCs.

    SIGN HERE
    Sfc. Joseph Russell, an infantryman with 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, signs a hand-receipt to get an AT-4 anti-tank weapon from unit supply specialist Sgt. Derrick Taylor April 15, 2013, in the unit supply room at Fort Bliss, Texas. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Larry Barnhill, 24th Press Camp Headquarters)

    LONG-TERM VISION
    This transition results in a single entry point to access AMC capabilities. It best postures AMC to support the vision outlined in Globally Responsive Sustainment 2020, Army 2020 and Defense Support to Civil Authorities, setting conditions to optimize AMC capabilities from power projection platforms to forward operating bases.

    Globally Responsive Sustainment 2020 is an approach that seeks to produce a sustainment system that is optimized, integrated, synchronized, affordable and relevant to support unified land operations and the joint warfighter while minimizing redundancy.

    Army 2020 is an initiative to transition the Army to address future security challenges. The sustainment initiative develops and implements the Army 2020 Sustainment Strategy through its ongoing efforts in the area of tactical sustainment force structure.

    ONE LOGISTICAL HUB
    The LRCs are AMC’s single face-to-the-field on installations, through which customers can access, integrate and synchronize AMC capabilities to support senior commanders, installation tenants and units’ priorities. Each LRC acts as the single hub on an installation for customers to access the Army sustainment base, giving Soldiers, commanders and joint partners on Army installations the full power of a globally networked logistics command with responsibility for Soldier services, supply and maintenance support.

    MEALS, READY TO ROLL
    Soldiers deliver Meals, Ready to Eat, water, fuel and other supplies to the 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division during an exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center on Fort Polk, LA, Aug. 23, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Amanda Tucker, 82nd Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)

    Installation-based LRCs, forward-deployed Army field support brigades, ASC and AMC together control the supply chain “from factory to foxhole,” including forward operating bases. LRCs enable AMC to bring its full capabilities to the decisive point on an installation in support of Army power projection platforms, training requirements and no-notice contingency missions, as the Army transitions to a globally deployable force based in the continental United States.

    EAGLE CONTRACT STRATEGY
    In the future, the transition to LRCs will result in efficiencies and increased effectiveness. Before the transition, each installation managed its own contracts. Currently, the Army has more than 250 contracts for the acquisition of LRC installation logistics services. That has resulted in redundant capabilities and excess capacity. In response, ASC developed a contracting strategy called the Enhanced Army Global Logistics Enterprise program (EAGLE), to address inconsistencies in requirements and levels of service.

    TRAINING REELS
    Spc. Gavin Wright, a petroleum supply specialist with 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 1st Infantry Division, unrolls a fuel hose during aviation fuel-operations training Sept. 11, 2013, at Marshall Army Airfield, Fort Riley, Kan.. LRCs manage bulk fuel supply in addition to many other instal­lation supplies and services. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Keven Parry, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division)

    The EAGLE program focuses on material maintenance services, retail and wholesale supply services, and transportation support services. It also executes logistics services and requirements using an innovative strategy designed for flexibility. The EAGLE program fundamentally changes the way that the Army acquires installation logistics services, by increasing competition and small business participation, reducing the number of contracts to award and oversee, and reducing the acquisition timeline by using task order competitions under multiple basic ordering agreements.

    In addition, EAGLE task orders can expand or contract based on funding and requirements—that is, the Army pays only for the services it needs and receives. Currently, 128 contractors, 78 of which are small businesses, are qualified to compete for EAGLE task orders.

    EAGLE can be scaled and adapted as needed, which makes it ideal for the current fiscal environment as well as the overall defense resource strategy. EAGLE contracting strategies align with those of DA and DOD.

    Five EAGLE task orders were awarded in the fourth quarter of FY13. Through contracting strategies such as EAGLE, AMC is expecting at least a 15 to 30 percent savings on contracts. Those five EAGLE task order awards in Q4 of FY13 reflect an 18 percent reduction from previous contracts.

    CONCLUSION
    As the LRC concept matures, it will continue to set the conditions to integrate all AMC capabilities under one roof. Through consolidation of AMC mission command, ASC will increase flexibility, eliminate redundancy, standardize processes, ensure reachback through our life-cycle management commands and other AMC major subordinate commands, and meet the challenges of a constrained fiscal environment, all while continuing to sustain the Army and joint forces worldwide in support of combatant commanders.

    For more information, contact ASC’s executive director for field support at 309-782-4815 or usarmy.ria.asc.list.fs@mail.mil.

    Col. DAN J. REILLY is director of the Installation Logistics Directorate at ASC, Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.. He holds a B.A. in communications from Eastern Illinois University, an M.S. in administration from Central Michigan University and an M.S. in national strategic studies from the U.S. Air Force Air University.



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  • P2E Achieves Full Operational Capability of the Main Communications Facility, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

    MCF, Camp Arifjan
    The PdM P2E team achieved FOC for the MCF three days ahead of schedule and approximately $3 million under budget. (Photos courtesy PdM P2E)

    By Courtney N. Cashdollar

     

    FORT BELVOIR, Va. — The Product Manager Power Projection Enablers (PdM P2E) team, led by Lt. Col Mollie A. Pearson and Art Olson, achieved full operational capability (FOC) of the Main Communications Facility (MCF) on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Dec. 28, 2013, three days ahead of schedule and approximately $3 million under budget.

    PdM P2E initiated the contract on Sept. 14, 2012. The project aimed to increase efficiency, performance, data security and command and control of the information technology (IT) environment on Camp Arifjan. The previous environment, a largely ad-hoc build without coordinated architecture, included a main data processing facility with several data storage sites that provided limited support for the increased volume of Soldiers, a high risk of data loss or corruption, insufficient maintenance support, and a lack of integrated data storage capability. Now, the IT environment is much more efficient, maximizes virtual applications and provides services to joint customers.

    PdM P2E MCF Team at Camp Arifjan
    The P2E team accomplished its mission despite austere working conditions inherent to the SWA region.

    DOD has been working toward a joint information environment (JIE), incorporating the separate networks within the DOD into a shared architecture. Expected to reach full capability between 2016 and 2020, the JIE will enable all DOD personnel to access the network from any approved device, anywhere they are, to get information securely and reliably. The JIE will provide full-spectrum support to the DOD in the operation, procurement, and maintenance of information technology systems.

    “The enhanced and modernized capabilities of the Camp Arifjan MCF provide forward capability to support JIE for the U.S. Central Command,” said Product Manager, Lt. Col Mollie Pearson. “The MCF computing environment provides the ability to deliver a standardized, agile and ubiquitous set of computing capabilities available to all authorized users as part of a services-based information enterprise.”

    MCF also supports strategic continuity of operations (COOP) initiatives for mission command nodes and serves as a prototype model to emulate and capture lessons learned across global strategic networks. It supports strategic diversity between Bahrain, Qatar and Camp Arifjan, and is a global access point in support of Defense Information Systems Administration (DISA) architecture as well.

    MCF Ribbon Cutting at Camp Arifjan
    Douglas Wiltsie, executive officer, PEO EIS, in civilian clothing and wielding scissors, and Brig. Gen. Christopher Kemp hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Jan. 14.

    “Without a doubt, the Camp Arifjan MCF will have a significant impact on laying the foundation for the JIE, as well as being a critical component for all of our future activities in the region,” said Douglas Wiltsie, executive officer, Program Executive Office-Enterprise Information Services (PEO EIS). “JIE is an important vision for DOD and requires seamless teamwork across the services to achieve success. We are already working with our partners across the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and DOD to make the incorporation of separate service networks into a shared architecture a reality, and the MCF is the first step,” he added.

    This $50 million, 20,000 square foot facility will serve as the hub for all voice, data and video-teleconferencing capabilities across Southwest Asia (SWA), including all 19 countries in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. The MCF project, including the migration of an entire communications facility, is the largest and most complex project ever completed by P2E. This important undertaking is critical not only to the region, but to the future DOD communications structure around the world. This project will increase efficiency, performance, data security and the command and control for the IT environment on Camp Arifjan and throughout SWA.

    CHALLENGES OVERCOME
    The heavy lifters of the PdM P2E MCF Team were on-site project lead Pam Warren; Contracting Officer’s Representative Rey Quebral; assistant project managers Maj. Kyle McFarland and Maj. Peter Moore; and PdM P2E SWA Director Mike Moseley. The team accomplished the mission despite austere working conditions inherent to the SWA region; long hours over holidays and weekends; an eight hour time difference from leadership and higher headquarters at Fort Belvoir, Va.; and coordinating across multiple time zones to manage requirements, schedules and approvals from numerous stakeholders, including SWA Cyber Center; the 160th, 54th, and 335th Signal Commands; U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Central Command.

    “The MCF computing environment provides the ability to deliver a standardized, agile and ubiquitous set of computing capabilities available to all authorized users as part of a services-based information enterprise.”

    Additional challenges included a complex contract; a volatile military mission and political landscape in theater; coordination complexities because of multiple stakeholders and business areas; complex dependencies with receipt of equipment; and technical complexities involving power generation, cooling and capacity, services migration, and circuit cut-over from the old facility. Furthermore, six- to nine-month stakeholder rotations in theater, including three transitions in the leadership of the 335th Signal Command (Theater) (Provisional) throughout the life of the project, and the lack of flexibility to hire additional government personnel on the ground in theater challenged the continuity of operations.

    Awards Presentation
    Lt. Col Mollie Pearson, PdM P2E, with award winners Pam Warren, on-site project lead; Rey Quebral contracting officers’ representative, and Douglas Wiltsie, executive officer, PEO EIS at Camp Arifjan, Jan 14.)

    Finally, the team faced unforeseen disruptions including unplanned power outages, changes in policy that required the replacement of two thirds of the batteries for the uninterrupted power supply system before it could be certified, flooding and two fires on Camp Arifjan that detrimentally affected the schedule.

    “We are extremely proud of the challenging, arduous work accomplished by the team, especially by those on the ground in Kuwait,” said Pearson. “This complex project required dedication, the ability to bring teams together, and the ability to think outside the box to accomplish the mission—everyone involved exhibited these traits and I am awed by what they accomplished,” she added.

    MCF represents a significant step in enhancing the capabilities and capacity of IT service provision in SWA. This is also the first time since 1992 that the bulk of IT services emanate out of one facility, providing critical communications capabilities in support of coalition operations in Kuwait. The MCF will now connect thousands of Soldiers across SWA and the globe with increased efficiency, performance, data security and command and control of the information technology (IT) environment on Camp Arifjan.

    TEAM RECOGNITION
    Brig. Gen. Christopher Kemp, commander, 335th Signal Command (Theater) (Provisional), and Douglas Wiltsie, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Jan. 14 where they presented Department of the Army awards and PEO EIS coins to Warren and Quebral for their outstanding achievement throughout the duration of the project.

    “I am really proud of the work that the team did to accomplish this mission,” said Wiltsie.


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  • Crane Army completes GPS testing on vehicles

    Crane Army Ammunition Activity Depot Operations employees work to remove Navy torpedo warheads from storage and transport them to temporary storage before demilitarization. Crews such as this one would benefit from the use of GPS tracking on base which would allow the Operations Center to better track them in case of an emergency. Photo by Thomas Peske

    By Thomas Peske

     

    CRANE, Ind. – Crane Army Ammunition Activity (CAAA) completed a GPS pilot program that will help increase safety and efficiency for ammunition crews while working on the 100-square-mile, heavily-wooded Naval Support Activity Crane base.

    During the 60-day pilot program held under the supervision of the U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command, 20 GPS devices were placed in vehicles and tracked by Crane Army Operations Center. The devices provide 100 percent visibility of all internal movement of munitions, crews and heavy lifting equipment.

    “With CAAA being in the business of receiving, shipping and storing of Class V (conventional ammunition) it is critical we have the ability of knowing the crews locations,” Crane Army Depot Operations Coordinator Steve Cummings said. “In past years we have had some weather incidents, such as snow, ice and tornados, where the command had to account for 100 percent of the personnel. With GPS we can isolate the non-responders’ location to check on their safety. GPS will help us better utilize the crews in a given area by minimizing their relocation time and distance to respond to a given task. It gives us the ability to utilize real time dispatching of crews and equipment.”

    Cummings said that due to the terrain and size of Crane, CAAA needed to perform the test to see if it was able to provide an acceptable level functionality and usability. The testing helps to identify and mitigate dead spots and ensure enough infrastructure is in place to effectively generate the hypothesized benefits.

    This is not the first time that Crane Army utilized GPS in tracking its crews, but a change in logistics-tracking software caused that system to be unsupportable. Cummings said, “This GPS system is similar but has newer technology incorporated. This is also a system that can be embedded into SAVI SmartChain. SAVI is developing technology to be able to link the GPS data to a task.”

    The technology will allow Crane Army planners to study results for efficiencies. According to Justin Farrell, a Joint Munitions Command employee whose role is to guide and facilitate the collaborative integration of GPS at Crane Army, the system will synergize the information about vehicles and tasks going into the operations center.

    Farrell said, “GPS allows managers to have total visibility of resources and infrastructure spread across the depot landscape. Leaning forward, you can capture dwell time, down time, average utilizations, and baseline work standards, while always maintaining real time accountability of infrastructure.”

    The use of technology to maximize efficiencies is seen as a key part of Crane Army’s effort to remain ready and reliant.

    “As the Army begins reshaping itself for the future, we must take extraordinary measures to maintain our best practices,” Crane Army Site Manager for SmartChain Victor Wampler explained. “Using technology is one way that we can help make this happen. By leveraging GPS technology, it will be easier and more efficient for Crane Army to ensure that we are utilizing our workforce and equipment in the most efficient way possible. The use of GPS would allow for the realization of cost savings in the new fiscal climate DOD now must work in.”

    Once the GPS system is worked out, it can be applied to all the government-owned, government-operated ammunition depots across the JMC enterprise. Farrell said, “JMC enterprise will benefit from enhanced force protection during weather/safety events, creating a baseline for time standards for executing logistics functions, and ensuring maximum utilization of precious resources and infrastructure.”

    Safety and funding are still questions that will need to be answered before implementation could happen. If the data from the testing proves successful, a system that is fully integrated with SmartChain could come online in 9-10 months.

    Established Oct. 1977, Crane Army Ammunition Activity maintains ordnance professionals and infrastructure in order to receive, store, ship, produce, renovate and demilitarize conventional ammunition, missiles and related components. Crane Army maintains up to one third of the DOD’s conventional ammunition inventory. The Activity also provides command oversight of Iowa Army Ammunition Plant, Letterkenny Munitions Center, Pa., and Milan Army Ammunition Center, Tenn.


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  • Product Manager Power Projection Enablers support retrograde operations in Southwest Asia

    By Erin E. Rusnak and Aurora V. Speed

     

    A recent DOD report estimates that more than 750,000 major end items, worth in excess of $36 billion remain in Afghanistan, much of which must be brought back to the United States by the end of 2014. The sheer amount and value of equipment make this operation one of the largest retrograde efforts in U.S. military history. Over the past several months, the Power Projection Enablers (P2E) program has been heavily involved in mission support for the return of a portion of that staggering number of end items.

    The proof of success is a recorded increase in lateral transfers for repurposed IT equipment for SWA valued at $53 million.

    Overview for Success
    To meet this demand, P2E organized an integrated logistics support (ILS) team to operate throughout Southwest Asia (SWA). The ILS team inventoried and marked for repurpose approximately $16.8 million worth of IT equipment throughout the region, with the bulk of the equipment consolidated in Afghanistan. The ILS team was chartered to work quickly, and within a six-month period identified, inventoried, loaded, shipped and re-issued myriad serviceable IT equipment sets to the troops in Afghanistan.

    Major IT equipment serving entire installations was arranged for lateral transfer. Most notably, the 335th Signal Command (Theater) (Provisional) at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, employed transferred equipment to support the Theater Enterprise Capabilities (TEC) effort and to provide strategic connectivity throughout SWA.

    The Methodology
    Working in a decentralized manner, the ILS team created detailed property accountability checklists and particularized instructions for warehouse personnel to refine IT equipment maintenance and management accountability. With this resolution of detail, the warehouse personnel can better maintain stored equipment, allowing for faster re-inventory, repurpose and reissue.

    Further, the ILS team worked to improve customer service and continuously refined their training program for everyone from warehouse personnel through to the unit logistics personnel to ensure a shared understanding of the ILS process for re-purposed IT equipment. The ILS team has established a reputation among its customers for good communication that begins with the first phone call and continues through the required customer briefing and process orientation meetings to the training sessions, which often find attendance levels at 100 percent participation. The proof of success is a recorded increase in lateral transfers for repurposed IT equipment for SWA valued at $53 million.

    The Mission Continues
    Continuing its work throughout SWA, the ILS team assists organizations to offset costs by repurposing and, in some cases, salvaging IT equipment. Recently, ILS worked with the U.S. Air Force to provide a large shipment of equipment including computer servers, switches and routers, netting $3.1 million in cost savings.

    The sheer amount and value of equipment make this [retrograde] operation one of the largest retrograde efforts in U.S. military history.

    In Kuwait, the ILS team located 17 large shipping containers filled with surplus IT equipment that was inventoried, updated and then repurposed for use in the Main Control Facility (MCF), a five-year, multimillion dollar P2E project in SWA that will soon be the region’s largest theater hub for voice, data and video services. The work of the ILS team in Kuwait re-purposed $2.5 million worth of equipment for the MCF.

    Postured for Success
    Continuously evolving, the ILS team is enhancing productivity and conducting process improvement checks along the way. The team developed a matrix to identify ILS support to the various directorates, area product managers and their customers. The matrix outlines each area by specialty asset and field management support expert. This document is then provided to the customer so that the organization has a person it can call upon for accountability and support.

    This communication and tracking of goods and services ensures successful repurposing of equipment and cost savings to the customer. The P2E ILS team will continue operating in SWA for the foreseeable future and, following the established Afghanistan drawdown plan, will work to repurpose all surplus IT equipment in theater.


    • Erin E. Rusnak is the initiatives coordinator at Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), PdM P2E, Fort Belvoir, VA. She received her bachelor’s in business administration, from Youngstown State University, OH and is Level 1 certified in Program Management (PM).

      Aurora V. Speed is the chief of integrated logistics support, PEO EIS PdM P2E, at Fort Belvoir, VA. She received her bachelor’s of in business management, from National Louis University, and her master’s in quality systems management, from National Graduate School. She is also Level 2 certified in PM and Level 1 certified in Life Cycle Logistics.


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  • Depot, DLA target excess, dormant material for disposal

    Henry Klimek, rigger worker, DLA Distribution Tobyhanna, checks the readiness condition of military assets held in storage at Tobyhanna Army Depot. (Photo by Kimberly Appel)

    By Jacqueline Boucher

     

    TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. — For years, military assets have moved in and out of Tobyhanna Army Depot at the direction of customers from every branch of the service.

    Tobyhanna has partnered with DLA Distribution Tobyhanna, a tenant organization here, since the early 1990s to receive, store and issue a wide range of military systems. Over time, materiel has accumulated in outside storage areas, resulting in rows of excess equipment and dormant stock taking up space that could be used to store new revenue-generating workload.

    Members of a Lean Six Sigma team, representing the depot and DLA, conducted a rapid improvement event (RIE) and earmarked more than 100 items for disposal — an effort that will clear in excess of 48,000 square feet of space—about the size of a football field.

    Military systems are normally repaired and returned to the customer or placed in storage until needed to meet mission requirements.

    “We’re pleased with the outcome of the event,” said Kimberly Appel, process improvement specialist, Productivity, Improvement, and Innovation Directorate. “We’ve got the support of the services buying in and getting rid of dormant stock.”

    Within three years, the Communications Electronics Command (CECOM) has reduced stock stored here by nearly 40 percent, according to Bryant Anderson, CECOM Field Office chief.

    “This was a long overdue event,” Anderson said. “Accurate property accountability records are vitally important in order to make appropriate disposition decisions.”

    He explained that some of the assets targeted by the team were not on record, which made it more difficult to determine disposition.
    The removal of items from the installation is a complex and lengthy process, and it could take up to 18 months to complete. Part of the process even includes other services bidding on the items before disposal.

    Item managers direct the disposition of materiel by submitting a disposal requisition, which DLA Distribution Tobyhanna and DLA Disposition will execute upon receipt. Tobyhanna manages special handling requirements, i.e. hazardous materiel and demilitarization (DEMIL) efforts. All funding is provided by the customer, according to Appel.

    Anderson pointed out that despite everything involved in divesting assets, eliminating unneeded stock from storage is a relatively easy way to avoid extraneous costs.

    Officials here have provided written requests for disposition instructions to individual item managers, along with photographs showing the condition of the assets. Included in the correspondence is a report listing projected storage costs for the next 10 years, estimated costs of disposal, plus the amount of money already spent on storage fees.

    “We’re hoping the customers will agree with what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Arlene Scutt, distribution facility specialist for warehousing for DLA. She noted that the assets identified for disposal are considered major end items — shelters, humvees, vans and cargo trailers.

    The goal of the RIE was to reduce dormant stock and assets found on the installation by 25 percent. The team identified assets for disposal, resulting in a cost avoidance of $255,509.

    “CECOM and DLA Disposition were immediately able to dispose of 7,699 square feet during the Lean event,” Appel said.

    DLA uses supply condition codes to classify materiel in terms of readiness for issue and use, or to identify actions underway to change the status of materiel. When materiel is determined by DLA to be in excess of approved stock levels or no longer serviceable, it uses supply condition codes A (issuable to all customers without limitation or restriction) through H (not serviceable and to be destroyed) and S (not serviceable and to be scrapped) to reflect materiel condition prior to turn-in to DLA Disposition.

    In addition, DEMIL codes are assigned to an item by the item manager when all military presence or function needs be removed from a system.

    “It was great to see the partnership of the two agencies working hard to provide better support to the warfighter,” said Keith Weinschenk, lead process improvement specialist. “Problems were identified as a team and solved as a team.”

    Tobyhanna Army Depot is DOD’s largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna’s missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.

    About 3,500 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of CECOM. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., the command’s mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.

    For more information, go to http://www.tobyhanna.army.mil.


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  • A New Efficiency in Pine Bluff

    PBA is upgrading bomb storage buildings, constructed in 1942, which house ammunition and ammunition components. At the same time, processes for moving ammunition and equipment have been improved to allow the scheduling of work, crews, and equipment and production of reports, with information stored in one central area. (U.S. Army photos by Rachel C. Newton)

    Rachel C. Newton

    Of the several different projects on which the Directorate of Material Management (MM) at Pine Bluff Arsenal (PBA), AR, has been working over the past few months, none is more important than the Ammunition Operations Center (AOC) Task Manager Module.

    “Basically what the program allows us to do is to be more efficient in our standard depot operation functions,” said Lavara Henry, Chief of the directorate’s Storage Division. The AOC for ammunition and equipment movement allows the scheduling of work, crews, and equipment and produces reports, storing the information in one central area.

    “So at the end of the day, I can go in and ask for a report in terms of the crews. It will tell me who is responsible for a particular task and how much time it took to accomplish it. It will also tell me where the lag time is, so we can improve efficiencies,” Henry said.

    Enhancing Accountability
    Henry said the system, which PBA introduced in August 2011, allows for accountability at all levels. “The key players with this particular operation include all of MM and the Directorate of Logistics [DOL]. DOL is involved because they handle all the forklift movements,” he said. “This has really been a great tool.”

    The AOC is used at this time only for Class V ammunition movements. Other sites using the process include Crane Army Ammunition Activity, IN; McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, OK; Blue Grass Army Depot, KY; Anniston Army Depot, AL; Tooele Army Depot, UT; Hawthorne Army Depot, NV; and Letterkenny Army Depot, PA.

    “At the end of the day, I can go in and ask for a report in terms of the crews. It will tell me who is responsible for a particular task and how much time it took to accomplish it. It will also tell me where the lag time is, so we can improve efficiencies.”

    This project has high visibility and support within the U.S. Army Material Command and Joint Munitions Command (JMC), said Henry. Over the long term, he said, the project could be replicated for the chemical-biological defense (CBD) products that PBA produces.

    “In our major buildings, we have everything set up with the monitors. At this time, though, the system is not designed to handle the CBD element,” he said. “Our Quality Assurance people use it, Transportation uses it, Inventory uses it, and DOL inputs into it for the forklift information.”

    Harnessing Technology
    MM is also using the new SmartChain automatic identification technology (AIT). “SmartChain is basically for Class V ammunition and allows the PBA worker to process receipts, bin-to-bin [movements] and rewarehousing by using scanners,” Henry said. “In times past, we had to do all of that by hand with a pencil and paper. It allows us to be more efficient with what we are doing.”

    The scanned information is downloaded twice a day and flowed into the Logistics Modernization Program (LMP), he said. If there are disconnects in the information, the reconciler goes into the SmartChain and/or LMP systems.

    PBA has purchased 14 laptops for the AIT effort, which are mounted in the trucks, so as material is moved, the data are uploaded in near-real time.

    “MM has tried to be very proactive with the new technology,” Henry said.

     


    • RACHEL C. NEWTON is a Public Affairs Specialist and Editor of the Arsenal Sentinel, the post newspaper,
      at PBA. She holds a B.A. in communications from Drury University and is working toward an M.A. in journalism at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Newton is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society.

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  • Small SDDC Branch Provides Big Cost Savings for DOD

    The SRB helps DOD shippers make special transportation arrangements and find the best rates for high-volume or specialized cargo movements, which has saved shippers millions, said SRB Chief Dora Elias, shown here with Richard Cody (left), lead Traffic Management Specialist for the SRB, and Ed Lilly, Traffic Management Specialist, at Scott Air Force Base, IL. (Photos by Mitch Chandran, SDDC Public Affairs)

    Mitch Chandran

    For DOD shippers who need to move specialized and
    large-volume cargo domestically, the Special Requirements Branch (SRB) of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) is a one-stop shop for finding the right rate and transportation mode.

    The branch, part of SDDC’s Strategic Business Directorate, wants DOD shippers with special requirements to know that not all rates are equal and that they will help find cost-efficient transportation solutions. The branch specializes in arranging transportation for oversize, overweight, and high-volume cargo movements.

    Dora Elias, SRB Chief, and her team of 11 transportation experts partner with commercial industry’s truck, rail, barge, and pipeline carriers daily on behalf of shippers to secure special rates for an array of agencies including the Defense Contract Management Agency, U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Life Cycle Management Command, Defense Logistics Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and White House Communications Agency.

    “As an example,” Elias said, “Defense Contract Management Agency would come to us with a volume move of a few dozen Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. We, in turn, have the avenues and would find the best domestic rates to accommodate their move, which in the long run helps them save money.”

    “As long as we can find out our shipper’s requirements a little in advance, then we can start scheduling transportation to meet their needs. Also, we can set up long-term options and provide consistent rates to our customers.”

    “We make the process really simple for shippers,” said Richard Cody, lead Traffic Management Specialist. “A shipper calls us and gives us their requirements: delivery date, weight, dimensions, volume, etc. We’ll draw up the request letters and send them to various carriers. detailing a shipper’s requirements, to obtain their rates. Once we get responses back, we’ll offer our recommendations back to the shippers and go from there.”

    Expanding Options
    Elias said the branch is exploring more commercial rail options to offer shippers.

    SDDC owns more than 2,000 flatcars and special-purpose railcars of varying lengths and weight capacities to accommodate almost any cargo the department needs to move. The DODX-marked railcars make up the command’s Defense Freight Railway Interchange Fleet. Here, military vehicles loaded onto DODX and commercial flatcars await transport from Fort Hood to multiple locations.

    “So far, within the last five months, our branch has helped DOD shippers save $4.6 million by using rail for a majority of domestic movements,” she said. “We deal with a lot of the volume move requests, and across-the-board savings really add up quick. If more organizations came to us for help with their transportation needs, I’m confident we would realize even more cost savings.

    “We can help local transportation offices to help themselves in meeting customer requirements. Likewise, we’re challenging some of our industry partners for more competitive rates.”

    Commercial freight cars are always an option for moving cargo, but the industry has weight and size limitations. When DOD shipping requirements exceed commercial freight car limits, SDDC has an in-house solution.

    “So far, within the last five months, our branch has helped DOD shippers save $4.6 million by using rail for a majority of domestic movements.”

    The command’s Defense Freight Railway Interchange Fleet comprises more than 2,000 DODX-marked flat and special-purpose railcars of varying lengths and weight capacities to accommodate almost any cargo the department needs to move. The fleet includes chemical tank, refrigerated, and boxcars along with heavy-duty flatcars with a capacity of up to 300 tons.

    “Owning this rail fleet provides DOD with immediate accessibility for moving volume and overweight cargo,” said George Gounley, Chief of SDDC’s Rail Fleet Management Branch.

    A Satisfied Customer
    In July, the SRB was involved in arranging transportation for a large volume of oversize vehicles, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and M-1 Abrams tanks from Fort Hood, TX, to multiple locations around the country. SDDC used both commercial and DODX rail cars to move all the vehicles.

    Renee Roper, Transportation Assistant for the Fort Hood Transportation Office, worked through the SRB to arrange this movement.

    “It makes more sense anytime we can get two huge vehicles onto one railcar,” Roper said. “Arranging the transportation for all these vehicles is very easy for us. We simply fill out the paperwork with the details, send it to SDDC, and they pretty much arrange the rest and make it work. It’s really painless for us.”

    Roper added that by using technology to streamline the shipper’s request process, she can devote more time to other aspects of her job.

    “As long as we can find out our shipper’s requirements a little in advance, then we can start scheduling transportation to meet their needs,” Elias said. “Also, we can set up long-term options and provide consistent rates to our customers.”

    For more information, contact SRB General Service at 618-220-4513.

     


    • MITCH CHANDRAN, a DA civilian employee, is a Public Affairs Specialist for Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. He holds a B.B.A. in business management from the University of Central Oklahoma.

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  • Army Fielding New Joint Medical Logistics Tool

    SSG Stephonee Payne of the 325th Combat Support Hospital processes medical supply orders for the U.S. Military Hospital Kuwait July 25, using the DMLSS 3.1.2 Prime Vendor GEN IV software. (Photo courtesy of MC4)

    Army medical logistics processes are receiving long-awaited improvements with the Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support (DMLSS) 3.1.2 Prime Vendor Generation IV (GEN IV) application upgrade. The new software will reduce errors, improve customer service, and make processing, ordering, and delivery of supplies more efficient through enhanced capabilities for medical logisticians. The upgrades will affect all echelons, to include Army medical treatment facilities, medical logistics companies, and combat support hospitals.

    “We are on the cusp of achieving an Army Medical Department [AMEDD] strategic goal of a joint medical logistics enterprise solution from foxhole to sustaining base,” said Dana Baker, Chief of the Medical Logistics Informatics Division in the Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG)/Medical Command, who assisted with the DMLSS upgrade. “Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine units in theater and medical treatment facilities will now share the same automated medical system.”

    DMLSS is an automated information system enabling the management of inventory, ordering of supplies, and the tracking and maintenance of medical equipment. Army medical personnel using the Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) system to electronically manage medical supplies (class VIII) will soon experience new DMLSS capabilities that include price validation and catalog management.

    The DMLSS upgrades will be fielded to 61 Army units and more than 5,000 users in eight countries: the United States, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Korea, and Japan. About 150 MC4 users in five locations will gain use of the new medical supply interface this fall.

    Universal Training
    Training for DMLSS and other U.S. Army Medical Logistics tools will be made universal. A similar design framework was used for DMLSS and the DMLSS Customer Assistance Module, another application for managing class VIII supplies, for which MC4 users are set to receive updates later this year. Using this similar look and feel reduces the learning curve and streamlines crossover among applications, among other enhancements.

    “Improved catalog data, synchronized to an authoritative data source and providing one-stop shopping for complete, accurate, and up-to-date vendor catalog data is the major enhancement for GEN IV users,” Baker said. “The ultimate goal is to reduce pricing errors. These enhancements are a result of feedback from users, inefficiencies, and corrupted data that we [OTSG] identified.”

    Moving forward, the catalog will look the same on every computer and will connect to a medical master catalog authoritative source. This improvement will reduce the cost of goods, improve the identity and accessibility of items, and facilitate medical-surgical standardization efforts.

    “We are on the cusp of achieving an Army Medical Department [AMEDD] strategic goal of a joint medical logistics enterprise solution from foxhole to sustaining base. Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine units in theater and medical treatment facilities will now share the same automated medical system.”

    The three-year project to upgrade DMLSS to 3.1.2 will be implemented by August 2013; at that time, the Army will turn off a legacy system, the Theater Army Medical Materiel Information System, a medical supply app dating to the 1990s. No longer will Soldiers have to work with green screens and function keys to manage medical supply orders, because DMLSS has a graphic user interface that provides a modern look and feel.

    “Migrating to a joint medical logistics enterprise system positions us to embrace shared services and data,” Baker said. “The Army won’t have to support and resource an AMEDD-unique medical logistics system anymore.”

    About MC4
    MC4 integrates, fields, and supports a comprehensive medical information system, enabling lifelong electronic medical records, streamlined medical logistics, and enhanced situational awareness for Army operational forces. The Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems, Fort Belvoir, VA, oversees the MC4 Product Management Office at Fort Detrick, MD.

    Since 2003, MC4 has enabled the capture of more than 17 million electronic patient encounters in the combat zone. MC4 has also trained 64,000 medical staff and commanders, and fielded 51,000 systems to 2,400 units with medical personnel, to include Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, and active units in 15 countries.

    For more information on MC4, visit www.mc4.army.mil.

     


    • —MC4 Public Affairs

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  • From Stock Cars to MRAPs: Glass Laminate Cover Adapted to Protect Combat Vehicle Windows

    Tony D’Elia

    An employee of Clear Defense LLC, in Greensboro, NC, applies a laminate coating to a window on a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. (Photo courtesy of Clear Defense LLC.)

    A technology used by stock car racers and adapted six years ago by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) for military use is now available for use on Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles in Afghanistan.

    NASCAR has been using tear-away film on race car windshields since 1997, and DLA Aviation—then Defense Supply Center Richmond—adapted the material six years ago for use on Black Hawk helicopters and other systems, at the suggestion of two Army National Guard mechanics from Virginia. Now DLA Land and Maritime supplies a similar laminate, Cold Lava, to protect the expensive ballistic glass on MRAPs in Afghanistan.

    Use of the laminate has saved thousands of dollars. In the case of an aircraft application, the Army saves nearly $14,000 every time it can avoid a windshield replacement, officials said.

    With the average piece of MRAP ballistic glass costing $2,000 plus labor, officials estimate the government could save as much as $75 million annually by using the laminate.

    For years, NASCAR officials have required drivers to use Lexan, a clear tough plastic, for car windshields to protect drivers from flying debris. Since Lexan tends to chip and scratch after several hundred miles of racing, the windshields can become nearly impossible to see through. The polycarbonate/glass material used on shatterproof aviation windshields has similar weaknesses that are solved by the laminate, which Soldiers apply using a simple tool kit.

    “The MRAP Cougar uses a five-layer sheet protection on the exterior windshield glass to allow sheets to be removed as they become worn and damaged, which in turn keeps occupant visibility optimal,” said Scotty Achatz, Readiness Support Lead in DLA Land and Maritime’s Land Readiness Room.

    “We often use a nomenclature of ‘transparent armor,’” added Brent Watson, a Weapon System Support Manager for DLA Land and Maritime.

    With the average piece of MRAP ballistic glass costing $2,000 plus labor, officials estimate the government could save as much as $75 million annually by using the laminate.

    Scratches, cracks from rock strikes, sand abrasion, and delamination that impairs the vision of the occupants are the primary reasons for replacing MRAP glass, Watson said.

    Introducing the laminate wasn’t a simple matter of taking the NASCAR version and fitting it on military vehicles, however. Modifications were necessary to allow use of night vision equipment. Also, the filmlike material has a tendency to retain electrostatic energy, a problem that had to be fixed. This was accomplished by adding a layer of material.

    The materials now used for the MRAP are quite different from the product used for NASCAR, officials said.

    As a DoD combat support agency, DLA sources and provides nearly all of the consumable items that the U.S. Armed Forces need to operate, including food, fuel and energy, uniforms, medical supplies, and construction and barrier equipment. DLA also supplies more than 80 percent of the military’s spare parts. For more information about DLA, go to www.dla.mil, www.facebook.com/dla.mil, or http://twitter.com/dlamil.


    • TONY D’ELIA is a Public Affairs Specialist with DLA Land and Maritime in Columbus, OH.

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  • Army Agency Completes Mission to Destroy Chemical Weapons

    Workers move the last two ton containers of lewisite blister agent into the Area 10 Liquid Incinerator for destruction Jan. 17. The small stockpile of lewisite at Deseret Chemical Depot (DCD) was the only stockpile in the United States. This movement of munitions was the last for DCD, marking the end of nearly 70 years of storing chemical weapons.

    The U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) completed destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile at Deseret Chemical Depot (DCD), UT, on Jan. 21.

    With the elimination of the Utah chemical weapons stockpile, CMA has safely destroyed nearly 90 percent of the Nation’s stockpile of chemical agent and has successfully completed its mission to destroy all chemical agent munitions and items declared at entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and assigned to CMA for destruction. The CWC, an international treaty ratified by the United States in April 1997, required the complete destruction of the Nation’s chemical weapons stockpile by April 2007. The United States was granted a five-year extension to April 2012, as allowed by the treaty.

    “Completing destruction of this stockpile mission is a worthy and important accomplishment,” said Secretary of the Army John McHugh. “This demonstrates our commitment to the elimination of chemical weapons, enhancing safety and security for our workforce, our communities, and the nation.”

    The safe destruction of 27,473.65 U.S. tons of nerve and blister agents represents 89.75 percent of the Nation’s chemical agent stockpile and is the culmination of more than 20 years of work by thousands of men and women at seven chemical demilitarization facilities around the Nation.

    “CMA’s workforce—government and contractor—has shown the utmost dedication to our mission,” said CMA Director Conrad Whyne. “Many of them have committed their professional lives to chemical weapons disposal. It was only through their dedication and expertise that CMA and the Army were able to complete this mission.”

    The completion of CMA’s chemical stockpile elimination mission was accomplished at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF) at DCD. The TOCDF was CMA’s last operating chemical demilitarization facility. CMA’s previously completed chemical agent destruction operations are:

    • 2000— Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System, South Pacific (closed).
    • 2005—Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, MD (closed).
    • 2008—Newport Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, IN (closed).
    • 2010—Pine Bluff Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, AR (closure in progress).
    • 2011—Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, AL (closure in progress).
    • 2011—Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, OR (closure in progress).

    On Jan. 11, DCD workers delivered the last of the mustard munitions to the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF) at DCD for destruction. Here, TOCDF workers guide the forklift operator as he unloads the last overpacked 155mm mustard projectiles from the transport truck to place them onto the facility’s conveyor system. The crated projectiles will make their way through the disposal process, which will represent complete destruction of DCD’s mustard stockpile.

    “The safe destruction of more than 2.2 million chemical nerve and blister agent munitions and bulk containers at seven demilitarization facilities is a remarkable accomplishment for the CMA workforce at each site and systems contractors who operated each facility,” said Heidi Shyu, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology. “It also is a tribute to the cooperative spirit of the local officials, regulators, and communities. Reaching this milestone has been a team effort—a team I’m proud to be part of.”

    CMA continues to provide ongoing assessment and destruction of recovered chemical warfare materiel through its Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel Project.

    CMA also retains the mission to safely and securely store the chemical agent stockpiles at Richmond, KY, and Pueblo, CO. Those stockpiles will be destroyed by the U.S. Army Element Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA), a separate DoD program. CMA will continue its partnership with ACWA to share the lessons learned from its successful chemical stockpile elimination program. CMA will also continue to manage the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program, a joint Army/Federal Emergency Management Agency effort that provides emergency preparedness assistance to the communities surrounding chemical weapon stockpiles.

    For more information, including video and audio clips, visit http://www.cma.army.mil/cse_end_of_ops.aspx.

    —CMA Public Affairs Office

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