JPAV helps officials tap services' personnel databases

As part of Operation Joint Endeavor - and as a preview of the Global Command and Control System (GCCS) - the Defense Department this week will deploy a new application that extends the concept of asset visibility from supplies to personnel.

Like supply-oriented systems, the Joint Personnel Asset Visibility (JPAV) system, developed by Systems Research and Applications Corp., gives DOD officials a way to access existing personnel databases from the different services and come up with an integrated picture.

"This system is designed to provide a joint task force commander with visibility of all forces assigned to his area of operations for a contingency," a joint staff official said. The same information is available to theater commanders and the services headquarters.

While supply tracking became a standard operating procedure in the years since Operation Desert Storm, Joint Endeavor has spurred similar efforts with personnel. Already, DOD has fielded a personnel tracking system as part of medical operations.

As is the case with supply systems, JPAV is necessary because DOD operations increasingly are being run in a joint environment, but the databases from the different services are not compatible.

Eventually JPAV, along with the Joint Total Asset Visibility system, will be part of the GCCS environment as well as the Global Combat Support System (GCSS), according to DOD. At the moment, JPAV is accessible through DOD's Secret Protocol Router Network.

European Test Run

The JPAV database server is being installed at the European Community Headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. It is based on an Oracle Corp. database running on a Sun Microsystems Inc. SPARCstation 20 workstation. Information can be pulled from the different services onto a local database.

Additionally, JPAV taps into data at the Manpower Data Center, which stores demographic information on various military personnel. That information might include data on language skills, occupations and other variables that might be relevant to an operation. Not only will DOD commanders know who is en route - via the services' databases - they can "peel back the onion on those individuals and find out what capabilities they possess," the joint staff official said.

However, DOD expects to bring more functionality to JPAV over the next nine months. In particular, DOD wants connectivity to a number of other resources, including the Global Transport Network, other logistics systems and a medical-evacuation database.

"The intent is to be able to pull the information out of different resources that are also resident on GCCS and GCSS," the joint staff official said.

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