JACKS - a single knowledge center for the CBRN community
September 11, 2008
The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense equipment plays a vital role in the Department of Defense's mission to defend the nation and Warfighters against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. Through the procurement of CBRN detection, analytical and protective equipment and training this mission is accomplished.
To facilitate distribution of current and relevant CBRN equipment information, a powerful tool has been created.
The JPEO-CBD Director for Knowledge Management, Brenda Besore, and Lead for Web-Based Systems, Patricia Estep, established the Joint Acquisition Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Knowledge System, also known as JACKS, in support of DoD's mission. JACKS is a Web-based knowledge management system that provides information for the CBRN defense community, regardless of the agency, equipment manager or data owner.
The Edgewood Chemical Biological Center Information & Technology Solutions Team at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., developed and maintains JACKS.
The DoD employs a large number of CBRN-supporting Web sites, systems and databases, typically aligned with an organization or office. A key characteristic of JACKS is that it accesses these multiple DoD databases and systems, pulling CBRN-oriented information into one focused resource to support the CBRN community. This is commonly referred to as a data federation.
JACKS' overarching concept
JACKS is a key repository of CBRN-oriented data sets. For example, it serves as an information source to such systems as the CBRN Research Development Acquisition Detector database effort between Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. These modules provide users clear, accurate and maintained sources of CBRN information in one easy to navigate system.
Unlike many unofficial systems that do not receive the maintenance and updating necessary to be reliable, JACKS uses official System of Record data sources. For example, the Federal Logistics Information System is accessed weekly to update information on more than 100,000 National Stock Numbers. The DoD Demilitarization Program database is the source for demilitarization code "F" instructions that JACKS uses.
JACKS' CBRN Shelf Life Information System is an example of both a CBRN data repository and an official system of record. This JACKS system hosts and displays CBRN Shelf Life expiration, extension and condemnation information by NSN and lot number, as well as other required surveillance information. CBRN Shelf Life extending and condemning actions are the responsibility of the technical expert engineering agencies that have the authority to make such decisions.
An archive of CBRN-oriented advisory messages is maintained within JACKS. Multiple maintenance, logistical, supply, safety of use and other advisory messages are included in the archive, regardless of the agency or command that originated the message. If a message is CBRN-oriented and targeted to the DoD community, it will be archived into JACKS.
The Joint Equipment Assessment Program utilizes JACKS to provide current and accurate shelf life information and updates. This close relationship between JEAP and JACKS ensures essential information is available and accessible. Several agencies provide background database connections and data feeds to maintain current data updates directly into JACKS. Regardless of the agency that is responsible for data, it is available in JACKS for Warfighters and other consumers to use at their discretion.
The information within JACKS is unclassified, but considered sensitive. While JACKS provides anyone who can access the site with 24/7 CBD support, major parts of the system are accessible only to DoD personnel with a Public Key Infrastructure digital identity certificate or an Army Knowledge Online or Defense Knowledge Online account. Support for multiple levels of permissions is a useful tool many users of JACKS utilize.
Complete access control exists within the system, allowing the user to grant access to entire areas or just certain sections. This function permits the exchange of information while also maintaining permission control. This is usually associated with a Common Access Card or Army Knowledge Online account. JACKS is accessible to more than 90 percent of DoD's military and civilian personnel worldwide.
Various functions within JACKS are access-controlled; and are managed via permissions based upon the specific function and the user's need to know. For example, customers attempting to go to the CBRN Shelf Life update area log into the same JACKS Web site that all users access. Since certain personnel are identified as members of the technical community and have been given additional permissions with their CAC PKI certificate, they have access to additional links and options in JACKS that provide access to the shelf life update forms.
The capabilities and functions of JACKS are expanding based on user feedback and CBRN community information requirements. It is an evolutionary system that is constantly being improved to meet the demands of the CBRN community.
Points-of-contact for recommendations, suggestions and questions can be accessed on JACKS. Widely available and a highly valuable CBRN information resource, JACKS adds value to the Warfighter and the CBRN community. As the system continues to develop and evolve, even more data marts or doorways of information will be shared with Warfighters and the CBRN community. JACKS has been developed under an ISO 9001-2000 certified quality management system that promotes, facilitates and enables consistency and continual improvements.
JACKS can be accessed at https://jacks.jpeocbd.osd.mil. Users are encouraged to submit suggestions for improvement. The JPEO-CBD goals of focusing less on organizational structure and more on supporting the CBRN defense community and warfighters continue to be the primary focus of JACKS. By providing portals to the vast amounts of critical information, JACKS brings the CBRN community closer together.
For more information on JACKS or inquiries regarding information technology support, contact the Knowledge Management Division of JPEO-CBD: commercial 703-681-9600, DSN: 761-9600, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or the CBRN Information Resource Center, 800-831-4408 or e-mail email@example.com.