By Amy Walker, PEO C3TJune 29, 2015
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (June 29, 2015) -- Supply support for the Army's at-the-halt tactical communications network backbone, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical Increment 1 (WIN-T Inc 1), has been conducted by the original equipment manufacturer for the past decade, but now that the system has matured, the Army is moving to a more traditional, organic Army support process to obtain needed parts for repair.
"With the Satellite Communication (SATCOM) systems within WIN-T Inc 1 now mature, the program is graduating to Standard Army Supply System, which makes it consistent from a supply perspective with most other Army systems," said Lisa Bell, readiness management division chief for Product Manager (PdM) WIN-T Inc 1. "The move will also realize cost savings over time."
For most of the operational Army, WIN-T Inc 1 provides the expeditionary network connectivity, enabling Soldiers at the battalion level and above with at-the-halt, high-speed, high-capacity voice, data and video communications. The Army began rapidly fielding WIN-T Inc 1 in 2004 to support Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, leveraging the Joint Network Node Operational Needs Statement. To support a dynamic and aggressive fielding timeline, the program office utilized an interim contractor support Regional Support Center (RSC) repair concept where Soldiers could go to get parts for repair.
Interim contractor support for WIN-T Inc 1 SATCOM systems provided by General Dynamics (GD) at the GD RSCs is expected to end in late July, by then all stock for Communications-Electronic Command (CECOM) managed components will transfer to the designated wholesale depot. This means Soldiers will be able to requisition replacement parts for their WIN-T Inc 1 SATCOM systems from the Standard Army Supply System instead of relying on contractor-operated RSCs.
"The initial interim contractor support way of doing business was predicated on the fact that we were continuing to enhance WIN-T Increment 1 with incremental upgrades, so it made sense to have the contractor who was developing that equipment provide the sustainment," Bell said. "Now that we have finalized WIN-T Inc 1 Lots 9+ and 10, it is the optimum time to take that standard baseline into a standard supply system."
Even though the GD RSCs are closing out repair support for WIN-T Inc 1, the RSCs will still actively support computer and networking equipment provided under the Common Hardware Systems (CHS) contract based on the CHS warranty. Although most of the WIN-T Inc 1 switches, routers and laptops fall under the CHS contract, the definitive way for a Soldier to know if an item is CHS or not, is simply to check the actual equipment for a CHS sticker. If it is CHS the user can still get replacement parts through the RSC, and if it is not, replacement parts can be obtained through the Standard Army Supply System.
The Standard Army Supply System is often the most efficient and economical process, but the system has to be ready for the transition to that support system. PM WIN-T worked closely with the CECOM Logistics Readiness Center (LRC) to transition the WIN-T Inc 1 spare and repair parts from RSC support to the Standard Army Supply System.
CECOM LRC traditionally takes over the role of sustainer when project management offices have completed fielding new programs. Among other roles, the organization acts as a supply chain manager, buying spare or repair parts and having items on the shelf to fill the requisitions.
"CECOM LRC teamed with Project Manager WIN-T in the early stages of sustainment planning, which set the stage for an easier transition from the RSCs to organic support," said Thomas Keane, chief of the Inc 1 Branch in the CECOM LRC - Command, Control, Communications-Tactical Directorate. "Moving to Standard Army Supply System standardizes the process using the same rules as most other systems managed under CECOM."
Additionally, the program is leveraging existing organic facilities, specifically Defense Logistics Agency depots for supply support activities. It is also increasing efficiencies by using the Enterprise Resource Planning system, known as the Logistics Modernization Program, for supply chain planning.
Further information will continue to be provided via the WIN-T Inc 1 AKO website: https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/296151