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Navy reserve launches improved Item Tracking System.

Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB) Fort Worth completed implementation of the Base Level Item Tracking System (BLITS) Version 3 on May 19, 2006. The Navy Automatic Identification Technology Program Office (AIT PO) at Naval Supply Systems Command funded this enhancement to BLITS.

Commander Naval Air Forces Reserve (CNAFR) conducted the project through the Navy AIT Engineering Support Center (ESC) at Stennis Space Center, Miss. The Navy AIT ESC, as the technical arm of the Navy AIT PO, conducts focused AIT implementations and provides Navy AIT end user support in accordance with the Navy Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Implementation Plan.

CNAFR originally developed BLITS in 2001 to track custody of repairable aviation components inducted into the Intermediate Maintenance Activity (IMA) repair cycle. BLITS enables users to easily take custody of an item using a mobile computer bar code scanner. Additionally, users can perform searches to show current location of an item, expected end location of an item, and an item's delivery history. BLITS received Navy-Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) certification in June 2005.

NAS JRB Fort Worth uses BLITS for more than just tracking parts inducted into the IMA repair cycle. Shipping and receiving personnel use BLITS to scan incoming stock requisitions and parts sent to other IMAs for repair and return. BLITS also tracks all warehouse issues to fill aircraft squadrons' direct turnover requisitions.

According to Jim Carpenter, NAS JRB Fort Worth Senior Supply Analyst, "BLITS provides the capability to see the process from start to finish. In addition, you can see all the steps in the process and evaluate each individually to pinpoint potential restrictions."

Three components make up BLITS:

* BLITS_Net: A web application with access available using any standard Web browser software, such as Internet Explorer.

* BLITS Mobile Scanner: Software on a cordless One Dimensional/Two Dimensional (1D/2D) Mobile Computer bar code scanner that runs the Windows CE Operating System.

* BLITS Web Service: Software that resides on the Web server that allows for the bar code scanner to synchronize and transfer collected records from the mobile scanner to the BLITS database.

Personnel at the Aviation Support Division (ASD) and the IMA utilize BLITS mobile scanners to scan the DD Form 1348-1A Single Line Item Release Document as the item transfers custody between work centers or when delivered to the customer. Users then synchronize the scanners at an NMCI work station to update the BLITS database Web server. Personnel can then log onto the BLITS Web service to monitor the status of the scanned components.

BLITS v. 3 expands item tracking capability with improved software and scanning device. The new BLITS mobile software runs on an Intermec Mobile Computer bar code scanner which can read 1D/2D bar codes on the DD Form 1348-1A. The device also has a full alpha numeric keyboard for manual data entry. With additional attachments, the scanner can also read RFID tags and allow users to digitally sign for custody transfers with their Common Access Cards.

A major improvement with BLITS v. 3 is the ability to export batch files from BLITS to the Relational Supply (R-Supply) inventory management system to process both stock and direct turnover requisition receipts. This feature eliminates the need for duplicate receipt scanning with the Integrated Barcode System (IBS) scanners to update R-Supply records.

CNAFR has initiated the process with Naval Network Warfare Command to obtain a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) waiver for the NAS JRB Fort Worth ASD and Receiving warehouses. With the WLAN in place, the BLITS mobile scanners will update the BLITS Web Service in near real-time without having to synchronize the scanners at an NMCI workstation cradle. "Once wireless is in operation, the customers will have visibility of their material from the time it gets to receiving until the material delivery unit leaves for delivery via the web," stated Carpenter.

NAS JRB New Orleans will be the next site to receive BLITS v. 3. New Orleans was originally scheduled to prototype BLITS v. 3, however, Hurricane Katrina forced the shift to Fort Worth to minimize delays in the Navy AIT Office project time line. New Orleans currently uses BLITS v. 2 to track material issues and items sent to Fort Worth for repair and return. CNAFR plans to field BLITS v. 3 at NAS Atlanta, Ga.; NAS JRB Willow Grove, Pa.; and NAF Washington, D.C., by May 2007.

For more information on BLITS, please contact LCDR Christopher Stevens at Christopher.M.Steve2@ navy.mil.

By LCDR Christopher M. Stevens, SC, USN

Director of Aviation Logistics (N41), Navy Reserve Forces Command

LCDR Christopher Stevens received his commission via the NROTC program at Boston University. He serves in the Navy Reserve Supply Corps Full Time Support community. His previous tours include Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, Commander Naval Air Forces Navy Reserve Supply Unit 0189, USS Thorn (DD 988), Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1, and USS Bunker Hill (CG 52).
COPYRIGHT 2006 U.S. Department of the Navy, Supply Systems Command
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Base Level Item Tracking System
Author:Stevens, Christopher M.
Publication:Navy Supply Corps Newsletter
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:819
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