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(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command is dedicated to providing munitions to American service members worldwide. As the entity responsible for providing conventional munitions to the entire armed forces, JMC continuously upgrades its operations to better deliver ammunition to warfighters wherever and whenever needed.

The two most important initiatives in this modernization: leveraging artificial intelligence and converging ammunition management systems.

JMC is revolutionizing its business systems and information technology infrastructure by integrating Artificial Intelligence tools such as Robotic Process Automation. This commercial, off-the-shelf software automates highly repetitive processes such as vast amounts of data input and is commonly referred to as a “bot” or digital worker.

“Leveraging AI to improve business processes and mission effectiveness has been a goal at JMC for several years,” said Marc Dalmasso, JMC chief of systems and sustainment. “However, there have been cybersecurity roadblocks and a lack of ‘shovel-ready’ tools.”

JMC worked closely with the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command to mitigate the cybersecurity certification and accreditation obstacles that prevented the command from implementing RPA. After gaining the required approvals, JMC team members developed and deployed the digital workers that could perform highly repetitive tasks previously done by human employees.

Not only does this process increase the efficiency of these tasks and reduce redundancies, it allows the human counterparts to focus on analysis and real-world decision-making projects that require human direction and understanding.

“By eliminating system redundancies and leveraging RPA for highly repetitive tasks, JMC can better maximize our civilian workforce to accomplish more,” Dalmasso said. “We’re able to achieve a great deal more with the same number of employees because of these bots. Due to the recent implementation, we don’t have the full picture on time and cost savings yet.”

The Army’s current ammunition management process requires multiple data systems to ensure strategic acquisition, industrial production, distribution and operational missions on the ground all run smoothly. This results in a munitions supply chain managed through a patchwork quilt of systems that have difficulty communicating with each other.

To ensure competitive advantage against near-peer adversaries, including China and Russia, JMC supports the Army-wide Enterprise Ammunition project. This near-term goal will prototype commercially-available software solutions that could fully track, account for, audit and manage the supply and distribution of munitions worldwide, reducing the number of systems currently in use.

Long-term, the Army will converge all its existing Defense Business Systems into a single core system and reshape not only ammunition management, but all supply chains within the U.S. Army.

“This is a golden opportunity to truly reform ammunition management and align the JMC enterprise with industry standards,” said Bob Johnson, JMC’s enterprise sustainment division chief. “By using out-of-the-box designs, we not only enhance supply availability and end-to-end visibility, but also reduce the number of legacy systems and interfaces.”

JMC’s transformative integration of technologies and business systems consolidations will ensure it will field a competitive, modernized logistics information readiness program for this nation’s warfighters for years to come.