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AMIS Continues Retrograde Operations in Afghanistan

By Solina Mao, AMIS Senior Systems Analyst


Retrograde operations in Afghanistan have steadily picked up as U.S. forces continue to drawdown in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  With over ten years of support, there are large volumes of equipment to move out of the country prior to the end of 2015.  Transportation Coordinators’ – Automated Information for Movements System II (TC-AIMS II) supports retrograde operations in Afghanistan and throughout Southwest Asia (SWA) by providing Soldiers a system that manages the movement planning of equipment from the Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) to its final destination, such as unit home stations or depots.

Kandahar Airfield, being a major hub, deals with large quantities of retrograde equipment which needs to be processed.  Recently, Kandahar has expanded their retrograde efforts by increasing and expanding their Redistribution Property Accountability Team (RPAT) yard operations. The Automated Movement and Identification Solutions (AMIS) SWA team, consisting of TC-AIMS II and Radio Frequency In-Transit Visibility (RF-ITV) Field Service Engineers (FSEs), was requested to assist logistics operations by increasing the number of TC-AIMS II and active In-Transit Visibility (ITV) read sites at the new RPAT yards. AMIS FSEs were able to assist the RPAT yard personnel with meeting their operational needs by maximizing TC-AIMS II and RF-ITV usage.

TC-AIMS II also supports logisticians by providing users the ability to write active Radio Frequency Identification (aRFID) tags via Total Asset Visibility In-Processing Station (TIPS) write software. This information feeds into the RF-ITV Tracking Portal and allows users to query tag data. Automated Movement Flow Tracking In-Transit Visibility (AMFT-ITV) system is another tool SWA users are employing for their tracking needs.  AMIS’ AMFT-ITV system provides near real-time data taken from the RF-ITV Tracking Portal and displays the data in a meaningful graphical form.

As AMIS continues to support the drawdown efforts, demand for TC-AIMS II and RF-ITV continues to increase due to the support, operations, and information both systems provide to the Soldiers in support of mission critical needs.

Posted July 24, 2013

LMP Embarks on BPR for Increment 2

By Christine McMahon, LMP Public Affairs


The 2010 and 2012 National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA) introduced a new requirement for Defense Business System (DBS) investments that exceed $1 million – like the Logistics Modernization Program (LMP) Increment 2 modernization to incorporate Business Process Reengineering (BPR) into the Business Capability Lifecycle (BCL) process.  As part of the Department of Defense (DoD) investment review, certification, and Milestone Decision approval processes, the investment’s Product Management Office (PMO) must provide the Office of the Secretary Defense (OSD) “objective evidence,” proving that appropriate BPR has been undertaken and the business processes supported by the DBS are streamlined and efficient.

Although LMP has always focused on providing the best tools and resources to support and enhance operations across the Army’s industrial base, a renewed focus on business process effectiveness and efficiency emerged with the LMP Increment 2.  As part of the LMP Increment 2 design phase, the PMO, with support from the Lead Army Materiel Command (AMC) Integration Support Office (LAISO) and the Lead System Integrator (LSI), worked with members of the AMC business community to identify over 300 BPR opportunities.

LMP has collaborated with the AMC Chief Information Office (CIO)/G-6 (the command’s BPR lead) to develop and submit an integrated BPR Plan and a formal BPR Assessment to OSD. The integrated BPR plan details the process taken to engage the business community in the LMP Increment 2 design with a focus on BPR, and lays the groundwork to enable the reengineered business processes alignment with the applicable DoD End to End (E2E) business processes. The BPR also ensures that these are properly implemented and members of the business community are well trained on new processes and procedures. The BPR Assessment is a required investment review deliverable that asks complex and dynamic questions of the program’s BPR efforts.  AMC and LMP are collaborating closely to answer the questions and provide objective evidence for each and every response.

With a successful MS B decision in June 2013, AMC will accelerate engagements with leaders from its major subordinate commands, depots, plants, arsenals, and other key stakeholders on strategies to implement reengineered business processes that align with the work already completed.

Conducting appropriate BPR is critical to improving the performance of our nation’s defense business systems. It’s not just a requirement from DoD and the Army, it’s a commitment LMP and AMC are making to ensure delivery of a standard enterprise solution at best value while continuously improving business processes and serving customers’ needs.

Posted July 24, 2013

IPPS-A Gets Closer to Fielding Increment I and Developing Increment II

By Alan Morales, IPPS-A staff

Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army Project Manager COL Robert McVay explains the system’s benefit to Adjutant General subject matter experts.
Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army Project Manager COL Robert McVay explains the system’s benefit to Adjutant General subject matter experts.

The IPPS-A team continued to make a great deal of progress over the last few months in developing and testing IPPS-A Increment I. In March, the IPPS-A team held an Increment I design In-Progress Review (IPR) which brought together key players to ensure development of Increment I was on track before beginning system integrator product level testing. As a result, IPPS-A anticipates an Increment I Milestone C Decision in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013.

The IPPS-A team also launched an outreach campaign in early March to raise awareness about IPPS-A and its cornerstone product the Soldier Record Brief (SRB). The SRB is a multi-component report which will standardize Army record briefs and eventually replace the Officer and Enlisted Record Briefs (ORB and ERB). The campaign resulted in placements in over one million copies of magazines, article placements, and distributed emails.

The IPPS-A team also continued to work on the system’s Increment II Milestone B Decision, which is projected to occur in calendar year 2013. The team already released an Increment II system integrated services RFP to vendors in mid-February and plans to award a contract after an Increment II Milestone B Decision is granted.

Posted July 24, 2013

GCSS-Army Is Granted Full Deployment Decision

By GCSS-Army Public Affairs


On December 23, 2012, the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics granted a Full Deployment Decision to the Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-Army). GCSS-Army replaces several aging stove-piped logistics and financial management systems with a single, web-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that will provide commanders with near real-time logistics information for managing supply, property book, maintenance, and associated financial management functions.

In January 2013, the Army Test and Evaluation Command conducted the Lead Site Verification Tests (LSVT) to evaluate GCSS-Army’s effectiveness, suitability, and survivability for use by the Army National Guard, Army Reserve, and Logistics Readiness Centers, formerly installation Directorates of Logistics. The initial results of the LSVT look positive as GCSS-Army moves into fielding the Wave 1 solution which includes supply and associated financial management functions.  Since kicking off the aggressive fielding effort, GCSS-Army has conducted successful implementations at the Active Army’s Forts Lee, Va., A.P. Hill, Va., and Myer, Va.; at National Guard locations in Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Iowa; and the Army Reserves’ 85th and 87th Divisions and 335th Theater Signal Command. These implementations are just the start to the massive fielding of GCSS-Army.

These fielding efforts move the Army closer to its strategic goal of total asset visibility, which facilitates reductions of stockpiles of materiel and enables the “factory to foxhole” distribution that reduces costs, avoids waste and improves readiness throughout the Army.  For more information on GCSS-Army and to see a real time fielding map of the system, please visit the GCSS-Army website: www.gcss.army.mil.

Posted July 24, 2013

Final Consolidated Buy of the Fiscal Year Is Underway

By Michael Dorsey, CHESS Public Affairs


The purchasing period is open through September 30 for Consolidated Buy 17, the final of fiscal year 13. Consolidated Buy periods, or CBs, are a great opportunity for contracting officers worldwide to procure hardware and software products via the Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS) IT e-mart.

The IT e-mart provides side-by-side comparison views for best market research on specifications and prices. The CB periods offer flexibility in satisfying supportability, maintainability, and sustainability requirements, while also providing the Army a total cost avoidance of over $450 million across all CB periods.

Among the products offered in the latest CB are laptops, desktops, notebooks, printer, monitors and peripherals, with typical model upgrades for many of the products. Tablet and slates will remain available. Printers, available since CB 12, can be procured in monochrome or color multi-function format.

For more information or to purchase equipment, please visit the IT e-mart on the CHESS website. https://chess.army.mil

Posted July 10, 2013

P2E Leads IT Infrastructure Modernization at USAREUR

By P2E Public Affairs

Ribbon cutting ceremony Mar. 14 at the new General John Shalikashvili Mission Command Center, Weisbaden, Germany.
Ribbon cutting ceremony Mar. 14 at the new General John Shalikashvili Mission Command Center, Weisbaden, Germany.

Under the leadership of Product Manager (PM) LTC Mollie A. Pearson and Deputy PM Art Olson, the Power Projection Enablers (P2E) team recently completed a world class $19.7 million IT project with Blackbox Network Services at U.S. Army Europe’s (USAREUR) Mission Command Center (MCC) in Wiesbaden, Germany. The center, also known as the “Shali Center”, was named in honor of the late General John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The center was relocated from the former USAREUR headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, to Wiesbaden in a move designed to increase operating efficiencies, which will result in millions of dollars in cost benefits to USAREUR as the Army’s footprint in Germany is consolidated.

The MCC facility is a 285,000 square-foot building with over 1,300 workstations and a Combined Operations Intelligence Center (COIC) equipped with a Visual Display Wall (VisWall) comprised of 48, 70-inch flat panel monitors providing theater-size viewing to 130 individual workstations arranged in amphitheater fashion. The scope of the project required the installation of NIPR/SIPR data switches, VTC suites, a satellite TV system, and a global broadcast system.

The Shalikashvili Center interior
The MCC project executed a build out of five separate data networks, extensive VTC and a Theater-wide core VoIP solution. Commander’s VTC Room overlooking the COIC, Mission Command Center, Weisbaden, Germany.

Unclassified VoIP service has been available since February, and the first theater status update from the MCC was conducted in March by the USAREUR Deputy Commanding General and the Deputy Chief of Staff, G3, with units in Belgium, Germany, and Italy.

P2E continues to deliver capabilities for a globally connected Army, providing the full spectrum of network and information services so that Soldiers, commands and supporting organizations can access, process and act upon information, anytime, anywhere.

Posted July 10, 2013

RCAS Upgrades Bring New Capabilities to Support the Army Reserve and National Guard

By Pete Van Schagen, RCAS Public Affairs

RCAS’ Mobile Distance Learning Classroom (MDLC) in Wellesley, Mass.
RCAS’ Mobile Distance Learning Classroom (MDLC) in Wellesley, Mass.

After two years of development and testing, the Army has released a new version of the Reserve Component Automation Systems (RCAS) program, which provides IT services to the Army National Guard (ARNG) and U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) components.

A 25-year-old acquisition program currently under the U.S. Army Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), RCAS supplies both hardware and software for more than 100,000 full-time military staff supporting the nation’s citizen-Soldiers.

The primary objective of the new version is to evolve RCAS to keep up with the latest in information technology. The new release also provides an updated look to all of the RCAS applications, as well as giving users a secure, modern platform.

The system is comprised of 19 applications for the day-to-day operations of the ARNG and USAR, including mobilization, safety recording, personnel actions and force authorizations, and the network components supporting the backbone host for the applications. Benefits include improved decision-making and better information management through increased accessibility, flexibility and knowledge-sharing that the system provides. This stable, reliable and responsive architecture supports the USAR’s needs and improves mission effectiveness, interoperability and operational readiness of IT systems, as well as enhanced visibility of unit availability and readiness to the Army Forces Command.

Mr. Ralph Ocasio, RCAS project director, explained the latest upgrades: “Just recently, we undertook a huge modernization effort, and the result was RCAS 7.0, which we started deploying in May. We will hit all 50 states and three territories and the District of Columbia for the National Guard and three sites for the Army Reserve. The modernization includes updating our integrated database, moving to Oracle 11gR2.”

All applications were modernized as far as the code base, standardizing within a Microsoft .NET 4.0 framework. In addition, RCAS upgraded infrastructure, deploying new storage area network devices to all ARNG states and territories and the USAR.  Ocasio continued, “We also took advantage while we were in there to secure the system to ensure that we minimized our vulnerabilities, and closed a couple that existed,” he continued. “We’ve run different scans across the code base and mitigated any findings. What we’re deploying to the field today is a much more secure and modern system that is able to scale up as we move into the future.”

In addition to the details of completing and delivering RCAS 7.0, RCAS has been hard at work supporting the infrastructure refresh for both the ARNG and the USAR. The last increment of this equipment and system modernization is now complete and RCAS has processed the acquisition and delivery of over 29,000 pieces of mission critical equipment across the U.S. and its territories.

RCAS has also delivered, on behalf of the ARNG G3 Training Division, 17 Mobile Distributed Learning Classrooms (MDLC) to replace the aging brick and mortar facilities. And finally, RCAS has refurbished in excess of 80 USAR facilities, and in the process, provided current state of the art information technology capabilities.

Looking ahead, Ocasio hopes to continue changes that will make the system more responsive to evolving needs, following the concept of agile software sustainment being explored by a variety of Army organizations. “One of the big challenges has been sustaining and deploying software pieces fast,” he explained. “We’re getting requirements, analyzing and breaking them down, doing the development, checking it, and then finally deploying. It was a time-consuming, inefficient process.

RCAS is introducing a new approach that facilitates faster software deployment and sustainment.  A more agile methodology that brings together the project office, stakeholders and developers will ensure that we are building and deploying software at a much quicker rate and while it is still relevant.” The entire PD team will continue to support ARNG and USAR Soldiers with the highest quality of service they have come to expect from RCAS.

Posted July 10, 2013

LMP Increment 2 Gets Milestone B “Stamp” of Approval

By Christine McMahon, LMP Public Affairs


In June 2013, the LogisticsModernization Program (LMP) Increment 2 was approved for its Milestone B.  To achieve this status, LMP properly submitted and received approval on key documentation and successfully completed preliminary design review to further outline system requirements, allowing LMP Increment 2 to move into the Engineering Development Phase of the acquisition lifecycle.

The next LMP increment will deliver new and expanded capabilities to achieve Army business council strategy and Department of Defense (DoD) Enterprise transition plan objectives, as well as address strategic business transformation elements for the Army and DoD directive for item unique identification.

In the acquisition world, Milestone B initiates the Engineering Development Phase (EDP), in which a system is developed, technologies and capabilities are fully integrated, and preparations are made for implementation.  To enter this phase, a program must have mature technology, approved requirements, full funding, and have successfully passed Milestone B. For programs like LMP which use the Business Capability Lifecycle (BCL), the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) must, among other things, approve the business case and the acquisition program baseline in order to pass Milestone B in the acquisition lifecycle.

The LMP team put in a monumental effort to reach this milestone. The team conducted briefings and meeting coordination, researched, authored and edited dozens of BCL documents, and kept leadership apprised of all developments with the LMP Increment 2 and its support to the Soldiers, providing nothing less than a stellar effort resulting in this success.

Congratulations to the entire LMP team on reaching Increment 2 Milestone B!

Posted July 10, 2013

GCSS-Army Is Approved for Full Deployment Decision

By LTC Timothy Domke, Product Manager, Global Combat Support System-Army

Cal Jones, Preston Johnson, James Rawls and Ed Porter lead several members of the XVIII Airborne Corps in their Advanced Lead User Training.  This program provides key personnel in every Army unit receiving GCSS-Army with the knowledge they need to “champion
Cal Jones, Preston Johnson, James Rawls and Ed Porter lead several members of the XVIII Airborne Corps in their Advanced Lead User Training. This program provides key personnel in every Army unit receiving GCSS-Army with the knowledge they need to “champion" the transition to GCSS-Army back at their home station.

On December 23, 2012, the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics granted a Full Deployment Decision to the Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-Army). GCSS-Army replaces several aging stove-piped logistics and financial management systems with a single, web-based Enterprise Resource Planning solution that will provide commanders with near real-time logistics information that manages supply, property book, maintenance, and associated financial management functions.

In January 2013 the Army Test and Evaluation Command conducted the Lead Site Verification Tests (LSVT) to evaluate GCSS-Army’s effectiveness, suitability, and survivability for use by the Army National Guard, Army Reserves, and Logistics Readiness Centers (formerly installation Directorates of Logistics). The initial results of the LSVT look positive as GCSS-Army moves into the fielding its Wave 1 solution which includes supply and associated financial management functions. Since kicking off the aggressive fielding effort, GCSS-Army has conducted successful implementations at the Active Army’s Forts Lee, A.P. Hill, and Myer; The National Guard’s states of Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Iowa; and the Army Reserves’ 85th and 87th Divisions and 335th Theater Signal Command. These implementations are just the start to the massive fielding of GCSS-Army.

These fielding efforts move the Army closer to its strategic goal of total asset visibility, which permits reductions of stockpiles of materiel and enables the “factory to foxhole” distribution that reduces costs, avoids waste and improves readiness throughout the Army. For more information on GCSS-Army and to see a real time fielding map of the system, please visit our website: www.gcss.army.mil.

Posted July 02, 2013