A new parts forecasting system will ensure repair teams have the parts they need to fix chemical defensive equipment for deploying units.

Col. Steve Bianco, Director, Land Supplier Operations, Defense Supply Center Columbus, Ohio, and Vicki Logan, team leader of the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command Rock Island Chemical Biological Equipment Repair Team, known as CBERT, signed a collaboration agreement Jan. 17 at TACOM LCMC Rock Island, marking the kickoff of the automated Collaboration Tool.

Collaboration will allow TACOM LCMC Rock Island's Chemical Biological Defense directorate personnel to provide an accurate forecast of which parts and how many parts they will need to order from Defense Logistics Agency to support CBERT inspection and repair missions.

The CBERT team orders 46 percent of its parts from DLA, Logan said.

Three CBERT teams have been on the road since October performing field level reset on gas masks, chemical detection and decontamination equipment, she said.

"Collaboration benefits Soldiers because we make sure we have the right part at the right time. We want to leave that installation with 100 percent of the repairs completed. We can only do that if we have the parts," she said. "The first automated collaboration test is scheduled this month."

Logan added, "We forecast the parts we need based on our Team's experience - what we're consuming in the mission. We have three missions under our belt right now, so we will base our forecasts on the parts that we're actually using when we do these reset missions."

Lt. Col. Mary "Crickett" LeMasters, DLA customer support representative said that cooperation between the DSCC and Chem Bio Defense is crucial so that parts funding is used wisely.

"We want to spend our limited resources on what our customers actually need, not on computer generated forecasts which are based on historical demands. Some of this equipment has not required repairs for a long time, so DLA doesn't have the demand history. That makes it even more crucial for our customers to provide forecasts so that we can support them," said LeMasters.

Based on the repair team schedule, CBERT personnel will forecast parts requirements up to two years in advance. This allows plenty of procurement lead time, she said.

The CBERT teams are made up of employees from Pine Bluff Arsenal, Ark., the Oregon National Guard, and engineers from Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, Md., and TACOM Rock Island, said Logan.