The U.S. Air Force needed a single authoritative system to manage safety, security reliability, maintenance, availability and accountability of a $25B conventional munitions stockpile due to decreased readiness, labor-intensive manual workarounds, and increased risk acceptance to perform missions.
Asset visibility and tracking is paramount for military organizations. The Air Force requires information systems that maintain uninterrupted, real-time munitions and item accountability and serviceability data supporting end-to-end Lifecycle Management (LCM).
Historically, military logisticians have struggled to keep the Logistics Enterprise operational using antiquated legacy systems, sometimes as old as 1984, using data that was stovepiped affording very little, if any, interoperability. It resulted in increased weapon system downtime, cost, and excessive expenditure of resources to provide the “workarounds” required to maintain operational readiness.
Some specific system problems included:
- Sustainment costs of legacy systems increase each year, offering no modernization and increasing the risk of operation, creating an information technology (IT) environment of “perpetual legacy”.
- Integration challenges across the multiple stovepipe legacy and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. Legacy systems historically provided no standard method of integration, further exasperating the problem in both time and cost.
- Lengthy implementation timelines caused projects/programs to lag behind, oftentimes losing the opportunity to effectively leverage capabilities delivered on previous programs.
- Lack of financial improvement and audit readiness (FIAR) compliance, with some legacy systems unable to meet these mandates.
- Inability to support logistics modernization strategy across the Logistics IT portfolio.
Over the last 10 years, the lack of prioritized funding and challenges encountered during previous modernization approaches resulted in gaps and deficiencies that did not allow for timely and accurate Total Asset Visibility (TAV). An urgent need existed for legacy systems to evolve. With 200 sites globally, 8,000-10,000 users and $25B in inventory, the Air Force was in dire need of a risk reduction system.
The solution has come from a CTMA demonstration initiative with collaboration between the Air Force and industry. Hosted in a Department of Defense (DOD) approved cloud-based environment, the Air Force focused on Item Master Logistics and Class V munitions.
The Air Force has been pleased with the results of this collaborative initiative and has “flipped the switch”. The system is now live through achieving an Authority to Operate on their networks. A comprehensive training campaign is currently underway on this new platform.
Currently, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are evaluating this technology in a disconnected environment with the U.S. Coast Guard keenly observing. With the solution being developed in the cloud, the ability to apply the same across other organization’s architectures using Platform as a Service and Software as a Service (PaaS/SaaS) it can be realized, with minimal effort and cost. This collaboration truly represents the CTMA advantage and capability as a vehicle for transitioning technologies across organizations, both in industry and in the government arena.