By Ali Sanders, Rapid Equipping Force January 5, 2012
The Army's Rapid Equipping Force (REF) announced today that tactical non-standard equipment (NS-E) harvested from Iraq and Kuwait is available through Army Materiel Command's (AMC) Materiel Enterprise Non-Standard Equipment Database (MENS-E).
The online equipment catalog, known as Virtual Mall, is a repository for non-standard equipment that offers a wide variety of capabilities, technologies and commodities for redistribution and reuse at no cost to the requestor. The site is open to all government entities.
"This capability will enable our government to effectively reuse valuable equipment that would otherwise serve no greater purpose while waiting for the next conflict," said Ross Wallage, Logistics Manager at the REF who oversaw the insertion of REF's unique NS-E into the process, making Virtual Mall a reality.
Since its inception last month, the REF-Virtual Mall relationship has already provided needed equipment to support multiple government and military entities, including the United States Army and the Department of Homeland Security. Pop-up barriers for force protection and chemical trace detection tools have been among the first items available on Virtual Mall to serve a new function. The REF itself has been successful in identifying and allocating equipment from the Virtual Mall to satisfy immediate Warfighter needs overseas in other theaters.
Current items available on the Virtual Mall include lasers, video surveillance systems and a mini-thermal monocular.
The REF's Virtual Mall is available by visiting https://mens-e.logsa.army.mil/app/scripts/login.cfm. Upon entry, visitors must request a username and password on the main page. This process typically takes 24 -- 48 hours. Once within the site, enter the "Special Focus" page, and download the "REF Harvested" spreadsheet of available capabilities. The equipment list includes images, system descriptions, vendor data, equipment condition, on-hand quantities and the requisitioning capability.
"AMC's Virtual Mall provides REF with an ideal platform to leverage our larger harvest effort, which seeks to save cost and promote efficient and careful sharing for the government," Wallage said. "This overall initiative is one of the ways REF ensures we uphold our commitment to responsible spending and reusing."
The Virtual Mall is available to all military units and installations, as well as state and local government agencies.