Army moves to modernize logistics

Ever since pallets piled up on the sands during Operation Desert Storm, the military has been searching for a better way to manage, monitor and deliver supplies to warfighters. This week, the Army took one step closer to realizing its vision.

The Army created a new program office for the Single Army Logistics Enterprise (SALE) July 25. SALE will create a “factory to foxhole” management system to organize all Army supply movements in the next decade and beyond.

“SALE is both a vision and an architecture, the vision being that there be one single logistics enterprise, end to end,” said Kevin Carroll, the Army's program executive officer in the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO-EIS).

“All the logistics systems go against that architecture to determine if they play or not,” he said. “We’re trying to reduce systems and logistics. If it doesn’t fit within the SALE, it’s either going to be killed or tagged to be killed somewhere down the line. So the importance of the SALE to logistics is critical.”

Catherine Doolos will be the first program manager in charge of SALE. She also serves as deputy PEO-EIS in charge of logistics.

By using SALE, soldiers on the battlefield will be able to find out if and where a needed supply is available. “This will be in a matter of seconds or minutes rather than hours or days.… The soldiers today just don’t have that visibility,” Doolos said.

SALE is composed of three major logistics programs: the Logistics Modernization Program (LMP), Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-A) and Product Lifecycle Management Plus (PLM+). This week marks the first time all three parts of SALE will be under the same manager.

GCSS-A supports soldiers in the field and plans to have 160,000 users. It will provide real-time nonstop status reports on all supplies going to them. GCSS-A will use enterprise resource planning and SAP software to create a Web-based interface.

LMP will manage supply, demand and asset availability at the national level. It is already deployed to the headquarters of Army Material Command, the Tobyhanna Army Depot, and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. LMP currently handles 1.6 million transactions a day.

PLM+ will be the technical enabler between GCSS-A and LMP. This program will implement the technology necessary for open communications and also manage the huge amounts of data that SALE will accumulate. PLM+ will also be the point of entry for interaction with other organizations, inside and outside DOD.

SALE is set to be fully operational by 2010 or 2011, Doolos said. But as with many Army initiatives, “One of our biggest challenges is the austere funding environment,” she added.

LMP is based in Fort Monmouth, N.J. GCSS-A operates out of Fort Lee, Va. PLM+ is housed at Fort Belvoir, Va. Computer Sciences Corp. is the prime contractor for LMP and PLM+. GCSS-A is contracted to Northrop Grumman.

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