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Air armament center public affairs (July 29, 2005): JDAM one of first Air Force efforts with unique identification.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Through the years, the Joint Direct Attack Munition has made headlines as the warfighter's weapon of choice for its accuracy, reliability, and low cost. Now JDAM is making headlines for a different reason. In March it became one of the first weapons in the Air Force inventory to comply with the Department of Defense's mandate for all of its acquisition items to be marked by a tracking system called Unique Identification, or UID. The system is a new program that will make it easier for the DoD to access information about its possessions as well as make acquisition, repair, and deployment faster and more efficient.

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The Air-to-Ground Munitions Systems Wing manages the JDAM program.

"It makes the team very proud to be the forerunner of this new policy and the first Air-to-Ground Munitions Systems Wing weapon to comply," said Mike Luna, JDAM Squadron. "As we move further into the 21st century, we realize that our processes have to be more precise and accurate than ever before. The world continues to shrink with regard to information as it becomes increasingly accessible. We must be part of that process if we want to stay on the front line."

Not only does each JDAM tail kit include UID when it rolls off the assembly line at Boeing's Weapons Enterprise Capability Center in St. Charles, Mo., but its shipping container does, as well. The company is almost a year ahead of the scheduled DoD mandate.

"We constantly strive to be customer-focused on the JDAM program," said Karl Bloomberg, JDAM production manager for Boeing. "UID is an enhanced capability which we felt we had the opportunity to implement relatively easily and offer to the customer as soon as possible."

Ideally, the identification system will lower the cost of item management, improve item availability, increase asset visibility and traceability, help achieve clean audit opinions, and improve long-term inventory management and strategic purchasing for the DoD.

"The DoD goal is not only to have the capability at the maintainer's level and every bomb dump, but to track all assets within the DoD supply system. The Air Force and Navy ammunition tracking systems are different; therefore, the unique identifier was modified so both agencies would be able to track without making modifications to existing databases." Luna said.

Upon delivery, each JDAM's UID is submitted to a registry maintained by the Defense Logistics Information Service.

The DLIS stores detailed information regarding the custody, location, condition, and value of an item. The information is then processed through Wide Area Work Flow, a DoD-wide application designed to eliminate paper from the invoice, receipt, and acceptance phases in the contracting process.

It is estimated that over the life of the program more than 125,000 JDAMs will be given a UID.

Hansen is with the Air Armament Center Public Affairs Office at Eglin AFB, Fla.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Hansen, USAF
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Title Annotation:Joint Direct Attack Munition
Author:Hansen, Ryan
Publication:Defense AT & L
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2005
Words:485
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