Air Force looks for commercial logistics software

The Air Force in January will start a $1 billion program to consolidate and improve its logistics systems.

ELog21 aims to streamline more than 600 Air Force logistics systems using mostly proprietary software into about 25 systems operating commercial applications, said Grover Dunn, the Air Force's deputy chief of staff for installations and logistics, speaking at the annual Air Force Information Technology Conference. The Northern Virginia chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, an industry trade and lobby group located in Falls Church, Va., sponsors the annual event.

The Air Force in the past could not make commercial, off-the-shelf software work in logistics, Dunn said. Off-the-shelf programs require ruthless determination, said Dunn, who also is the Air Force's director of innovation and transformation.

But top service leaders want commercial software implemented easily and successfully in the supply chain, he said.

Air Force officials expect to finish by late December mapping the logistics architecture and a review of commercial software that works with the Global Command and Control System that lets commanders manage forces, weapons and equipment, Dunn said. The service plans to form the ELog21 management team in January, he said.

The Air Force must spend time and money to convince and train service logistics business process managers that commercial applications work better than proprietary software, Dunn said.

"This is about business process change," Dunn said. "Business process managers can only change this. This is not about buying IT."

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