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Defense RFID policy.

Your May 2007 article (Tracking Military Supplies No Longer Requires RFID, page 22) contains incorrect information.

This erroneous information is damaging and counterproductive to the Defense Department's efforts to communicate the requirements for the application of RFID.

The title presents an incorrect statement. The use of RFID for tracking military supplies throughout the department remains an ongoing requirement. In fact, the Defense Department is committed to using both passive RFID and active RFID. Your article confuses the two requirements. The details of the policy for passive and active RFID can be found on the website www.dodrfid.org.

The statement "the Defense Department has relaxed an earlier mandate" is incorrect. The requirement to apply RFID remains fully in effect. The department has made the requirement mandatory. The military services and the Defense Logistics Agency are now writing RFID requirements into their contracts.

Each Defense Department supplier must comply with the RFID requirements in his or her respective contract. Dan Mongeon, of Agility, is referring to active RFID tags which, unlike passive, are rarely required to be applied by suppliers themselves.

The Defense Department has consistently maintained that it will use a variety of automatic identification technologies. On July 30, 2004, Michael W. Wynne, then acting undersecretary of defense, stated in his cover letter announcing the final Defense Department RFID policy, "RFID remains part of the larger suite of AIT technologies, and the department will leverage all of these technologies, where appropriate in the supply chain, to improve our ability to support the warfighter. However, an RFID capable supply chain is a critical element of defense transformation and will provide a key enabler for the asset visibility support down to the last tactical mile that is needed by our warfighters."

The reference to the Government Accountability Office report on RFID is misleading. In the example you cite, GAO was referencing active RFID verses the passive RFID you mentioned throughout the article. The requirement for monitoring the use, reuse and loss of tags is entirely tied to active RFID. Passive RFID tags are disposable at the end of a shipment cycle.

Alan F. Estevez

Principal Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of

Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness
COPYRIGHT 2007 National Defense Industrial Association
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Copyright 2007, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:LETTERS
Author:Estevez, Alan F.
Publication:National Defense
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jul 1, 2007
Words:363
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