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Subject: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Policy.



WASHINGTON, D.C. 20301-3010

July 30, 2004


SUBJECT: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Policy

In my capacity as the Defense Logistics Executive (DLE), this memorandum issues the policy for implementing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) across the Department of Defense (DoD). This policy finalizes the business rules for the use of high data capacity active RFID (Attachment 1) and finalizes the business rules for the implementation of passive RFID and the use of Electronic Product Code[TM] (EPC) interoperable tags and equipment (EPC Technology) within the DoD supply chain (Attachment 2). Attachment 3 prescribes the implementation approach for DoD suppliers/vendors to apply passive RFID tags. This policy memorandum applies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD); the Military Departments, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff; the Combatant Commands; the Inspector General of the Department of Defense; the Defense Agencies; and the DoD Field Activities (hereafter referred to collectively as the "DoD Components"). An internal implementation strategy for DoD Components to read and apply passive RFID tags will be issued in a separate Defense Logistics Executive (DLE) decision memorandum. This policy supersedes two previous issuances of policy dated October 23, 2003, and February 20, 2004.

DoD Components will immediately resource and implement the use of high data capacity active RFID in the DoD operational environment. Attachment 1 outlines the detailed guidance on active tagging. DoD Components must ensure that all consolidated shipments moving to, from, or between overseas locations are tagged, including retrograde, and must expand the active RFID infrastructure to provide global intransit visibility. In order to take advantage of global RFID infrastructure not within DoD's control, the DoD Logistics Automatic Identification Technology Office will assess the ability to leverage any compatible active RFID commercial infrastructure that commercial entities may establish. This should not be viewed as direction to commercial carriers and port operators to establish an active RFID infrastructure.

Attachment 2 contains the detailed guidance on implementation of passive RFID capability within the DoD supply chain as well as the data constructs for the tags. DoD will use and require its suppliers to use EPC Class 0 and Class 1 tags, readers and complementary devices. DoD will migrate to the next generation tag (UHF Gen 2) and supporting technology. When the specification for UHF Gen 2 is finalized, the Department will announce a transition plan to this technology, but we expect use of EPC Class 0 and Class 1 technology for approximately two years.

Radio Frequency Identification will be a mandatory DoD requirement on solicitations issued on or after October 1, 2004, for delivery of materiel on or after January 1, 2005, in accordance with the supplier implementation plan at Attachment 3. Contracts with DoD shall require that passive RFID tags be applied to the case, pallet and item packaging for unique identification (UID) items in accordance with Attachment 3. The Defense Logistics Board (DLB) will review the internal implementation plan, benefits, compliance requirements, and requisite budget requirements annually based on an assessment of the implementation to date. This review will include an updated analysis of implementation success as well as provide guidance for expansion of RFID capabilities into additional applications and supply chain functional processes. A DLE decision memorandum will provide funding guidance for DoD Component implementation.

In order for the DoD Components to meet the requirements of this policy, we have developed a Department-wide RFID Concept of Operations (CONOPS) to outline the transformational role of RFID technology in DoD logistics and to articulate the specific uses of both active and passive RFID throughout the DoD supply chain. Components will prepare a supporting RFID implementation plan that encompasses both active and passive RFID technology in a cohesive environment to support the DoD vision. Active RFID implementation plans are already due and an update to include passive RFID implementations is due to the ADUSD (SCI) by October 29, 2004, to ensure total interoperability and standardized implementation throughout the Department.

To support the purchase of passive RFID technology and leverage the purchasing power of the Department, the Army's Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) continues development of a multi-vendor contract mechanism to procure EPC technology. This contract will include competitive vendors providing RFID equipment/infrastructure in accordance with current published EPC specifications (Class 0 and Class 1) and, when published, specifications for UHF Gen 2.

To institutionalize RFID as a standard way of doing business, this policy will be incorporated into the next update of the DoD Supply Chain Materiel Management Regulation (DoD 4140.1-R), the Defense Transportation Regulation (DoD 4500.9-R) and the Military Standard 129. Likewise, DoD Components will incorporate this policy into Service/Agency-level publications as well as Component strategies to achieve compliance with the DoD Business Enterprise Architecture-Logistics (BEA-LOG).

The following policy also applies to take full advantage of the inherent life cycle management efficiencies of this technology: Beginning in FY 2007 and beyond--only RFID-capable AIT peripherals (e.g., optical scanners, printers used for shipping labels) will be acquired when these peripherals support RFID-capable business processes. Beginning in FY 2007 and beyond--logistics automated information systems (AIS) involved in receiving, shipping and inventory management will use RFID to perform business transactions, where appropriate, and AIS funding will hinge on compliance with this policy. Managers of all major logistics systems modernization programs will update appropriate program documentation to include the requirement for RFID capabilities as part of the system operational deployment in conformance with the business rules and initial timeline set forth in this policy. Managers of major acquisition programs will update programs as required to include the requirement for RFID capabilities where applicable. The DLB will review these requirements prior to FY 2007 implementation.

We will continue to partner with your staffs as well as our suppliers on this critical initiative. 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 DoD 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. Your continued efforts are vital to our success in meeting this requirement. For further information, please refer to our website at <>.


As stated

Editor's note: To view the distribution and attachments to this memorandum, go to <>.

Michael W. Wynne

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Author:Wynne, Michael W.
Publication:Defense AT & L
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2004
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