By Sgt. 1st Class David Archibald, 925th Contracting BattalionJune 11, 2018
FORT DRUM, New York (June 11, 2018) -- Soldiers and civilians from the 925th Contracting Battalion and Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Drum contracting office in New York established their own version of a supervisory control and data acquisition system, or SCADA, used by major industries to monitor its operations.
The SCADA is used by managers to control and monitor industrial processes either locally or at a remote location 24 hours a day.
When referring to an operational picture, senior leaders are often heard saying, "you need to see yourself." The SCADA system is four televisions that act as the human machine interface, which displays the current status of all contract actions, as depicted in the paperless contract file. As divisions, contracting officers and contracting specialists update their files in PCF, so is SCADA, which allows leadership to see a snapshot of all contracting actions as they occur. The system archives the data received, transmits alarms and permits operator control as required.
"As the acquisition workforce continues to move forward with new technology, streamlined contracting actions, and an ever growing workload, it is necessary to reduce the amount of time managers need to review the workload of their team members," said Anthony Sligar, the MICC-Fort Drum deputy director. "The ability to review their overall performance in real-time will help identify trends, both positive and negative, locate issues earlier than later, and maintain situational awareness of workload, throughput, and execution at all echelons within the unit."
The four main functions of the SCADA system are data acquisition, networked data communication, data presentation and control. The advantages of the SCADA system are ever growing. It allows for various formats for a constantly changing atmosphere. With the advanced protocols and application software, the system is also scalable and flexible in adding additional resources.
"Fortunately, with the creation of the Army's Virtual Contracting Enterprise dashboard reports, the software for the SCADA already exists," Sligar said. "This system can be duplicated at any office that utilizes VCE dashboards. The effect this could have in contingency operations and combatant commander support could go a long way with providing the operational contracting support necessary in the timely manner required to complete the missions that challenge the Army every day."
About the MICC:
Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. The command is made up of two contracting support brigades, two field directorates, 30 contracting offices and nine battalions. MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, preparing more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.