Army pilots automated logistics system

The Army is testing a wireless, automated logistics network to streamline the service’s maintenance and supply processes.

The Maintainer’s Remote Logistics Network gathers data from sensors on Stryker infantry carrier vehicles to watch for problems that need to be repaired and to gauge fuel and ammunition needs, according to a statement from IBM, which provided systems integration services on the project.

Data is transmitted automatically via satellite to a central system, where it is available simultaneously to soldiers in the field and to repair and logistics personnel in headquarters. If a problem arises, a colored icon appears, so a supervisor can decide whether to proceed with the mission or to work with the maintenance team to diagnose the problem and automatically order parts. The system also keeps a repair history on all the vehicles.

IBM’s Global Services business unit based on IBM’s WebSphere Portal and DB2 information management software.

“Transforming a labor intensive, and sometimes dangerous manual process, to an automated process can improve operational efficiency, cut costs, and keep the troops out of harms way when we can,” said Catherine Jackson, a TACOM official.

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