• November 27, 2014

Fort Hood prepares for new logistics system

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Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013 4:30 am

FORT HOOD — Warehouses on post are preparing for an overhaul to improve accountability.

The Army recently began a transition from a decades-old logistics computer system to the new Global Combat Support System, known as G-Army. While Fort Hood units won’t go live with the system until Nov. 12, training, data preparation and rehearsal drills are underway to mitigate issues after the launch, logistics officials said.

“The push for this is so they can see the money flowing all the way down to the lowest level, so we can look at where every single dollar is going and how we are spending our resources more effectively,” said Brig. Gen. Clark W. LeMasters Jr., commander of 13th Sustainment Command.

He’s taking the lead of the post initiative, which converts six warehouses that support six brigades.

The second wave of implementation, about a year to 18 months away, will involve those brigades’ motor pools.

Lt. Col. Bradley Swift, commander of the 115th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, is responsible for one of the warehouses, where about 25 soldiers work daily.

At the tactical level, he said G-Army allows for accountability and better utilization of resources, because each purchase must be authorized.

“We can say, ‘I understand you need this item, but this other item is more important,’” Swift said. “In the environment we live in now, that may be more important. ... It allows us to see ourselves more financially now and hold ourselves more accountable.”

LeMasters began hosting bi-weekly meetings to centralize implementation among the various units. Officials discussed many of the lessons learned by the system launch at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., and with a brigade at Fort Bliss and most recently at Fort Bragg, N.C.

“We’re looking at fieldings at all other locations, learning from them, and trying to improve on it and make it better,” LeMasters said.

“We are talking about it earlier and trying to educate everybody as early as we possibly can. Our centralized lockstep approach is a little bit different. I think it’s going to help us sort through some of the problems.”

Swift compared the switch to a person converting from an Android smartphone to an iPhone.

“The user interface is different. The graphics are different. The commands are different,” Swift said. “So at the tactical level, it is part of the larger transition. ... It is a wholesale change to the software and hardware that we use.”

Schoolhouses just began teaching G-Army at the start of the fiscal year.

“It’s going to be real easy for the young folks coming in because they didn’t learn the old stuff,” LeMasters said. “But for us old dogs, it’ll be a little bit harder to learn.”

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