By Summer BarkleyJune 7, 2012
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan--An automated tool to help manage the eventual drawdown of the Materiel Enterprise's personnel and equipment in the Combined Joint Operations Area-Afghanistan that was developed by Lt. Col. Joyce B. Stewart, and Majs. Christopher M. Byrd and Mark L. Brodhage debuted on March 31 and will enable planners both in theater and in the United States to plan and track the drawdown of personnel and equipment.
Stewart, Acquisitions, Logistics and Technology director, 401st Army Field Support Brigade, was tasked by Col. Michel M. Russell, 401st AFSB commander, to develop an automated tool similar to one he saw being used by the 402nd AFSB in Operation New Dawn in Iraq. Stewart leveraged Systems Acquisition Officers Byrd and Brodhage, and other assets within and external to the 401st to refine the Iraq model to track a greater range of personnel and equipment and delivered the initial product, the Materiel Enterprise Transition Common Operating Picture database, within a little more than seven months.
"METCOP is a database that uses the previously existing ARCENT Theater Common Operating Picture platform, business rules and functionality to present metrics, reports and common operating pictures, said Stewart. "A-TCOP is a web-based business intelligence tool that aggregates data from various and disparate databases and reports, and applies specific business rules to present the information as a common operating picture."
Stewart said finding A-TCOP was critical because it was already funded and approved to operate on the Department of Defense computer network used in both Kuwait and Afghanistan. Once that hurdle was cleared, the team needed to understand the requirements, the existing business rules established by the 402nd AFSB and to develop the database.
"The requirements included the capability to routinely pull information from the Standard Army Management Information System and Personnel Status Reports and other enterprise level databases," she said. "It includes unclassified information that is pushed into the SIPR domain and aggregated with relevant classified data."
The 401st identified a need for a more robust solution Stewart said. This requirement led the team to include pulls from databases that specifically track theater-provided equipment; non-standard equipment fielded by ASA/ALT (Assistant Secretary of the Army/Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) program executive offices and program managers; and the military, Department of the Army civilians and contractor personnel who support the ASA/ALT equipment.
"The business rules incorporated in ATCOP and METCOP will provide commanders, staffs, and now stakeholders with authoritative reports." Stewart said. "The vision is that other organizations OPCON and ADCON [under the operational and administrative control] to the AFSB Commander adopt METCOP to provide asset visibility of personnel, containers, and equipment present during the drawdown in order to calculate their personnel and equipment lift [transportation] requirements. It's very much an evolving thing."
Stewart said tracking and calculating personnel, equipment, and containers from the different communities in theater during the drawdown process is important to ensure the proper transportation capabilities and logistical support is on ground for an effective and timely drawdown.
"The accuracy that the transportation folks will achieve when trying to ensure we will be supported by air, sea, or land lines of communication is largely dependent on the data we provide," she said.
Also nested within METCOP is the ability to calculate the volume of non-standard equipment the maneuver units will process through the RPAT yards when velocity is the name of the game.
Future plans for the 401st METCOP is to also track Logistics Civil Augmentation Program personnel, equipment and services. LOGCAP provided services run the gamut from dining facilities, laundry, water production, power generation, material handling, fire fighting and fire prevention, bulk fuel storage and distribution to redeployment staging base operations, fixed wing air movement control operations and passenger terminal support.
Finally, METCOP will track field service representatives who are employed by the program executive offices and program managers to service PM and PEO fielded systems.
Tracking the last two areas will ensure that the PM and PEO systems are operationally ready until the end of the fight and that the last Warfighters have a meal.
Another benefit of METCOP is that planners and stakeholders in Army Materiel Command's life cycle management commands have an additional tool to plan workloads for the depots that will receive the equipment being returned.
Full operational capability for 401st METCOP is expected to be July 2012 and will be accessible by both classified and unclassified networks.