I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you today. You might have noticed in my title, what I normally deal with are things that deal with command and control and integration. And what we’re going to talk about this morning, in my area, is the place where command and control and logistics come together.
We’re responsible for the Global Combat Support System – Army. And what that is is a federated system that we have worked on with the Army as a partner for a decade in order to link together both their financial and logistics systems so that once it’s fully deployed, the Army will have total and complete asset visibility of every asset it has, where it is, every spare part, where it is in the system. And have complete auditability of that capability at any given time in the process.
The program has been extraordinarily successful. It is taking a web-based solution and proven SAP principles, applying it to a whole service, both the active component and the reserve component. And just two weeks ago, was recognized by the Government Information Technology Executive Council, as was one of four outstanding programs in 2014. So a great achievement on the part of the Army and one we’re very proud of, obviously.
It’s necessary for a lot of reasons. If I can digress as an old soldier and give one World War story. I deployed on Desert Storm back in the early 90’s as a S3 of a combat brigade supporting the 18th Airborne Corps. We went over in September. By the end of October we were still at around 90% availability of our equipment, but we had nothing left with respect to the spare parts we brought with us. And we knew we had combat operations coming out in the relatively near future.
We were given a grid. I took 15 trucks, empty ones, drove 200 miles south. Came over a rise. And in a vision right out of Raiders of the Lost Ark, here was about a hundred acres of crates piled up as far as you could see with lanes through them and across them. A pup tent out front, two Warrant officers and a rather desperate looking staff sergeant.
Our requisition consisted of a legal pad with probably 20 pages of stuff we needed, ranging from engines and transmissions to hoses and belts. His management system of that hundred acres of that iron mountain consisted of shoe boxes with 4x6 cards in it saying that the engine to one 55 millimeter howitzer could be found on row 8, lane 7, stack number 23. And we drove trucks through there and lifted that stuff on it and carried it back out to the field and all.
To this day I suspect the Army never did fully understand how much it had moved over there, what happened to it, how it was deployed and how it was used. In this day and age one of budgets, it’s obviously not a very appropriate methodology to move equipment into the theatre. Secondly, it’s not very effective either. Because again here you had a combat unit forced to go find its own supplies somewhere in a country the size of Saudi Arabia. And then haul it themselves back up to the front where it needed them.
And in the future as this is deployed, the system will actually track the unit, where it is at any given moment, we can re-task, organize and put that battalion with a different brigade, or with a different division or a different task force. The spares, the logistics system will follow that unit and be there. And as we move into the next generation of combat vehicles, which we will be able to actually do self-diagnostics, we will be able to actually have that equipment on the way before the vehicle even breaks down.
So an enormous revolution for the Army and the way it manages its systems we began deploying about two years ago in 2012. We’ve already done places like Ft. Bragg and Ft. Hood, so those of you who are covering the Army know the enormous complexity of those bases and what’s deployed there. We have just done our first units in Europe, and shortly we’ll be going to Korea.
A great success story, great for management of equipment end items, material, great for managing the money that supports them, but most importantly it will help guarantee that that future brigade S3 as they cross the LD knows that that equipment will be ready when it needs to go, will be combat ready, and we’re going to have a lot more folks coming home because of it. So something we in the Army are very proud of. Great achievement. And I look forward to answering any questions you might have about it.