By Mr. William B King (2nd Signal Brigade)June 22, 2017
WIESBADEN, Germany -- Maintenance, finance, supply and support personnel assigned to 2nd Theater Signal Brigade wrapped up four weeks of training on the Global Combat Support System - Army, or GCSS-Army, June 22, 2017 in Wiesbaden.
GCSS-Army is a web-based, Enterprise Resource Planning system that contains the functionality associated with the business areas of supply, maintenance, property and finance. GCSS-Army replaces outdated Standard Army Management Information Systems (STAMIS) that are not financially compliant and integrate about 40,000 local supply and logistics databases into a single, enterprise-wide authoritative system.
Cleveland Witherspoon, 2nd Theater Signal Bde. maintenance officer, said tying everyone into GCSS-Army will streamline the unit's logistical support process and provide users with greater situational awareness and detail.
"Now our finance folks can assist us faster because they can see the same screens that we see. It allows us to be able to purchase parts faster and to support missions better," Witherspoon said.
Jerry Luhring, a Department of the Army Civilian assigned to the 39th Strategic Signal Battalion, said after taking the training one of the biggest advantages he sees is the ability for near real-time updates.
"This new way is different, but if I need to do purchases on orders it's a lot easier now. I'll just be able to order things real time," Luhring said.
A team of U.S. Army and civilian contract instructors based in the U.S. and in Europe came together to provide the GCSS-Army training for personnel from across 2nd Theater Signal Bde. Company commanders, property book managers, budget managers, logisticians and other support personnel all participated in the training.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Roger Murphy, a GCSS-Army instructor, said one of the biggest challenges for new users is bridging the gaps between the language of the legacy systems to that of GCSS-Army.
"Our biggest goal was to get them acclimated to the functionality and the maintenance business area to conduct their day-to-day operations, such as work orders, deficiencies, dispatching, picking up parts, processing their services," Murphy said.
He called GCSS-Army a "game changer" for Army logistics that will allow users to manage readiness from anywhere.
"This is the biggest paradigm shift in Army logistics that we're going to see. It's complete and total transparency and auditability," Murphy said.
GCSS-Army allows units to track supplies, spare parts and organizational equipment, as well as unit maintenance, total cost of ownership and other financial transactions related to logistics for all Army units.
Cassandra Fuller, a GCSS-Army property book instructor, said, "The process of doing supply hasn't changed, it's just a totally different software, names and terminology."
Fuller said while there may be a learning curve for users at the beginning, she believes over time GCSS-Army is a good system for the Army as a whole.
Efren Bugay, 2nd Theater Signal Bde. property book officer, said the GCSS-Army system allows users to see far more detail about individual pieces of equipment than before.
"I like GCSS-Army because it can pull up a lot of data information, you just have to know the system," Bugay said.
With the training complete, GCSS-Army is now online and fully operational across 2nd Theater Signal Bde.
2nd Theater Signal Brigade conducts Department of Defense Information Network operations to enable mission command in support of U.S. Army, Joint and multinational operations throughout the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of operation.