Under fire--and water

Two years ago, when Hurricane Floyd was ravaging parts of the southeastern United States, the Coast Guard was able to award a task order for roof repair in North Carolina in a matter of minutes. The limited turnaround time ensured that the damaged facilities would be fixed quickly and allowed the crew to move onto other storm-related duties.

Had the storm struck just a few days earlier, the task order process would have taken the Coast Guard at least a day, keeping employees from working on other tasks. But thanks to a document management system that had been installed just 48 hours prior to Floyd's arrival, the Coast Guard got a chance to test its new technology under fire — and water.

"It was nice to be up to speed and have a usable system in place with Floyd," said Paul Herold, chief of the Coast Guard's Civil Engineering Technology Center. "It would have taken a day or so before, but we were done in about five minutes."

The center's duties run the gamut of construction engineering and maintenance tasks, including repairing air station hangars, dredging channels, repairing crewmembers' residential homes and rehabilitating lighthouses.

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