Air Force prepares to roll out new personnel database

Air Force prepares to roll out new personnel database

By Dipka Bhambhani

GCN Staff

MARCH 19—Combine a 20-year old computer with frustrated users and an over-the-counter database application. What do you get? The Air Force Military Personnel Data System (MILMOD), one of the largest databases in the world.

On May 1, the Air Force will open its personnel database of 1.7 million records to 15,000 users, eliminating a legacy personnel system.

The new $60 million system, built on the Oracle Human Resource Management Systems and Training Administration applications, will directly link Air Force personnel information from headquarters and other bases to the Defense Department central personnel system, instead of through 57 other channels.

Under the legacy system, 'when an assignment is loaded at headquarters, it'll take seven to 10 days to flow,' said Lt. Col. Rick Treasure, chief of the Systems Requirements Division at the Air Force Personnel Center in San Antonio. But because MILMOD unifies all the channels, such transactions will take only a few minutes.

The new system will also eliminate duplicate data entry, said Capt. Kirk Phillips, chief of functional requirements and testing for the MILMOD project. 'Our data flows faster, and it will allow us to communicate more freely with the DOD system,' he said.

To tap into MILMOD, end users will need to upgrade their systems. A user will need at least a 500-MHz Pentium III PC with 128M of RAM and a 10G hard drive.

'It brings us up to the standard where we can re-engineer processes,' Phillips said. 'This technology is going to empower us. Then, we can take that next step.'

The next step means attaching possibly 100 other advanced applications to the system, such as the Virtual Military Personnel Flight system. VMPF is a Web app that gives military personnel access to information such as retirement plans, vacation allowances and military status changes.

Now, VMPF has its own server. By integrating the app with MILMOD, Air Force personnel anywhere will be able to access more information from their personal files than they can currently.

The legacy system, though powerful, needed an upgrade to capitalize on current and future technology, Treasure said. The old system also had become increasingly difficult to maintain.

'The end users will hopefully have better customer service,' Phillips said. 'So, they don't have to take off from work because it puts that information at their fingertips.'

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