IAC, ACT recognize military's asset-tracking initiative

RICHMOND, Va. -- Paul Allred and his staff at the U.S. Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and Transportation Engineering Agency were told that building a real-time global asset tracking system couldn’t be done. So they did it anyway.

Allred spent about $40,000 in 1999 and hired GeoDecisions to test his group’s theory on 400 miles of road. Finding success in the pilot test, Allred, the program’s manager, and his staff expanded and improved the system, known as IRRIS. The system will be the common operating picture for U.S. Transportation Command, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Navy, Pennsylvania and others are also using it.

For the group’s success, innovation and ability to share their technology with others, IRRIS received one of the 2007 Intergovernmental Solutions Awards presented June 4 at the 27th annual Management of Change conference here, sponsored by the Industry Advisory Council and the American Council for Technology.

“We will follow everything the Defense Department moves, what we are moving and where it is going,” Allred said. “We currently track 500,000 DOD containers worldwide and [are] adding air shipments.”

IRRIS was one of eight projects to receive the Intergovernmental Solutions Awards that were selected from 25 finalists and more than 100 entrants.

IAC and ACT honor projects that use technology to deliver results, collaborate among all sectors of government, change the organizational business processes, save money or time and can and are easily replicated by others.

IRRIS had about 150 data layers that include all roads, ports and railroads, and provide real-time weather and traffic information to the military. The system also allows users to track their shipments worldwide.

In all, Allred said his office has spent about $15 million to $20 million in the past seven years to improve IRRIS.

In addition to IRRIS, the other winners included:

  • The Army’s Army Knowledge Online portal.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s e-Rulemaking.
  • Kentucky’s Certificate of Birth, Hearing, Immunization and Lab Data system.
  • Michigan’s Information Technology and Department of Human Services’ Using Decision Support and Advanced Analytics for Innovative Fraud Detection.
  • The Social Security Administration’s E-Death Registration system.
  • The Virginia Department of Aging’s No Wrong Door initiative.
  • Washington State’s Justice Information Network’s Possible Criminal History and Case and Criminal History system.

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