AFCEA International Chapter News

Panelists Address Logistics Readiness and Modernization

Members were all feeling especially thankful at the November luncheon-and not just because it was the Friday before Thanksgiving week. This month, the chapter celebrated the future with its science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) scholarship schools and enduring freedom by honoring the U.S. Marine Corps birthday with a traditional cake-cutting ceremony. Logistics was the topic of the chapter's November panel. Often, logistics professionals are not appreciated for the hard work they do every day, and the spotlight is pointed toward them when things go awry. But day in and day out, they struggle with old and disjointed systems and policies. Panelists talked about these issues and how they are working to make changes. David Hansen, program manager, Global Combat Support System-Marine Corps, Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO-EIS), started the discussion by pointing out that while modernization is necessary, the Defense Department is not like industry. Any system must be customized to meet the way the department does business. Daniel Parker of the Army's Enterprise Systems Integration Program followed by saying the best and worst thing about modernization is finding the right integration of systems. Louis Kaplan, Navy logistics information technology portfolio manager, noted that the Navy alone has 250 major systems and 1,600 applications. He stressed the need for smart designs that could be built as a digital adaptive platform to meet changing needs. All the panelists said logistics systems need to move to the cloud, but there are disadvantages, such as security, applicability and trying to remain infrastructure-agnostic. Panelists also described what steps they are taking to improve decision-making systems. Answers ranged from looking at heuristics and unstructured data to working on getting legacy data into new data repositories. The consensus is that they are working on improvements, but there is a long road to go and some hesitation in making any decision automatic.

Event Photographs:

Panelists and others participating in a November chapter luncheon focused on logistics modernization gather for a photo.
Panelists and others participating in a November chapter luncheon focused on logistics modernization gather for a photo.

For more details regarding this event contact:
Alisha Kelly

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