Printer Friendly

U.S. Transportation Command News Service (Oct. 6, 2006): TRANSCOM named DoD's lead proponent for RFID and related AIT.

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- In a Sept. 26, 2006, memorandum from the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, U.S. Transportation Command was designated as the lead functional proponent for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and related Automated Identification Technology (AIT) implementation for the Department of Defense supply chain.

As the DPO, USTRANSCOM is responsible for the overall effectiveness, efficiency, and alignment of DoD-wide distribution activities, including force projection, sustainment, and redeployment and retrograde operations.

AIT is a suite of technologies that enables capture of source data, thereby enhancing the ability to identify, track, document, and control material, maintenance processes, deploying and redeploying forces, equipment, personnel, and sustainment cargo. This suite includes Linear Bar Codes, 2-dimensional Symbols, Optical Memory Cards, Satellite-Tracking Systems, Contact Memory Buttons, and RFID tags.

RFID tags (or transponders), which have been around since the 1980s, are small devices that are affixed to objects such as cargo pallets, containers, or individual items and which store information. Readers (or interrogators), both stationary and hand-held, read and write information from and to an embedded chip in the tags. The tags are read remotely when they detect a radio frequency signal from a reader. These readers then display tag information or send it over a network to back-end systems.

Active RFID tags, which contain an internal battery with up to eight years of life, can be read over long ranges (100 feet or more). Active RFID tags contain transportation information and support in-transit visibility.

Passive RFID tags consist of a computer chip attached to small antennae. They contain no battery; the tag "reflects" an ID number back to a reader. They have a shorter range of one to three feet and can be used to support business process enhancements, such as improved materiel receipt.

"We are implementing passive RFID at our aerial ports and are continuing to look at how passive RFID can benefit our business processes," said Air Force Lt. Col. Amy Pappas, chief of the Initiatives Branch of USTRANSCOM's Strategy, Plans, Policy, and Programs Directorate, the office that is the command's lead element for AIT implementation. "We are also exploring how satellite technology can be used to track shipments."

Private industry uses RFID tags--active and especially passive--as well as other AIT extensively to improve the asset visibility and in-transit visibility of their supply chains. Based on the success of these technologies in the commercial sector, the Defense Department, led by USTRANSCOM, has been implementing RFID and other AIT to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its distribution system.

USTRANSCOM is using AIT to achieve better visibility of its shipments. Pappas explained that there is an extensive active RFID infrastructure in place at strategic ports worldwide. This allows USTRANSCOM to know when shipments arrive and depart these ports, and this information is fed to USTRANSCOM's Global Transportation Network, an automated command and control information system that provides an integrated system of intransit visibility information and command and control capabilities.

Mirabella is with U.S. Transportation Command Public Affairs at Scott AFB, Ill.

Maj. G. P. Mirabella, USAF
COPYRIGHT 2007 Defense Acquisition University Press
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:In the News
Author:Mirabella, G.P.
Publication:Defense AT & L
Date:Jan 1, 2007
Words:511
Previous Article:U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command: fiber optics offers new capability at Reagan Test Site.
Next Article:U.S. Transportation Command News Service (Oct. 6, 2006): quantifying risk across the Department of Defense.
Topics:


Related Articles
Evaluation begins on household goods pilot program.
Services need to share logistics information.
American forces press service (March 22, 2004): partnership integrates, improves combat supply system.
American forces press service (Sept. 15, 2004): transportation command continues "to get things done".
Electronic tags: contractors urged to comply with smart-tag policy.
U.S. Joint Forces Command news release (Aug. 23, 2005): commands working to improve joint planning in military deployment and distribution.
U.S. Transportation Command news service (Oct. 20, 2005): cargo tracking technology implementation lets military "see" shipments from factory to...
Orchestrate, integrate, coordinate.
American Forces Press Service (Dec. 4, 2006): "Nothing happens until something moves" illustrates TRANSCOM mission.
Tracking military supplies no longer requires RFID.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters