New Air Force personnel system to be in portal

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Even as Air Force officials prepare to flip the switch on the world's largest personnel management system, they have even bigger plans in mind — transforming it into a Web-based system and integrating it with the service's portal.

The service will begin using a new personnel system, known as Military Modernization (MilMod), on May 1. It will replace the Personnel Data System, which uses 1970s technology. The $60 million MilMod has been in production for more than five years, and Air Force officials say they have been working 80-hour weeks during the past two months to meet the launch date.

The new system will support all life-cycle personnel management functions, including recruiting, job assignment and separation from service or retirement, said Lt. Col. Ed Oliver, MilMod program manager at the Air Force Personnel Center, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

"It will provide real-time updating and reporting capabilities that are not available in today's personnel data system," he said.

All records — including those for National Guard, Reserve and active-duty personnel — will be based at Randolph and serviced from the field. MilMod will allow more than 15,000 users immediate access to the Air Force's personnel database of 1.7 million records, and it will eliminate duplicate data entry that, under the existing system, can cause major delays in completing a single personnel action.

"Under the current system, it takes seven to 10 days for an assignment to flow from headquarters down to the base level," said Lt. Col. Rick Treasure, chief of the systems requirements division at the personnel center. "Now the base level will have immediate access to it."

After MilMod becomes operational, Air Force officials plan to "Web-enable" it and integrate it with the Air Force Web portal. The portal is an ambitious attempt to put all service information on one site — from dental records to battlefield command and control data.

Lt. Col. Chris Cruzcosa, chief of the personnel center's operations division, said the service plans to Web-enable MilMod within 12 months. The schedule for tying it to the Air Force portal will be closely linked to that, but Cruzcosa said the service has no precise schedule in place for either.

Despite the May 1 transition to MilMod, the Air Force will not turn off its predecessor until June, allowing time to complete transitional activities such as installing upgraded personal computers, training MilMod users and resolving isolated communications issues.

"We are extending the turn-off date to allow a longer and more graceful transition to the new system," said Lt. Gen. Donald Peterson, Air Force deputy chief of staff for personnel, in a written statement. n

What is MilMod?

MilMod replaces the outdated Personnel Data System and uses client/server and relational database management technologies. Oracle Corp. provides the host software. Personnel actions placed under MilMod come instantly to the Air Force Personnel Center, where em-ployees find the record needed on the database, perform the requested action and then respond to its success or failure. Up to 15,000 users across the Air Force can access MilMod's database.


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