Mobile deal. The Marine Corps System Command awarded General Dynamics Corp. a $20 million contract to provide 21 mobile unit operations centers.

General Dynamics' command, control, communications and computer systems division will support Operation Iraqi Freedom in rolling out the centers. The company previously delivered 15 centers under an earlier deal, eight of which are deployed in Iraq.

The work will include upgrades that let units interface with a wider variety of Marine Corps communications systems.

The units include networked workstations and large-screen displays that can take input from any workstation. The centers integrate nonsecure and secret voice and data communications, Voice Over traffic and networked servers.

Limited progress. The Defense Department has missed its 2004 goal of keeping track of roughly $70 billion in inventory. And even though DOD has pushed the deadline back to 2010, it still faces impediments to what it calls total asset visibility.

In a report issued last month, the Government Accountability Office said DOD has made limited progress in achieving better visibility of its wholesale and retail supply inventory but still has much to do.

The Pentagon, military services and Defense Logistics Agency have numerous inventory management systems that monitor specific segments of their inventories and share data with other systems. But this doesn't occur in near-real time nor is there visibility over all inventory areas, GAO said.

Although Defense agencies have ongoing efforts to modernize business systems and improve logistics operations, 'these systems by themselves will not provide total asset visibility because the capability is dependent on additional systems that have not yet been developed,' the report said.
GAO questioned whether the 2010 goal is realistic, given the work that still must be done.
The audit agency recommended that DOD:
  • Develop a departmentwide long-term strategy that describes the complete management structure, assigns accountability to specific offices, sets multiple milestones and details performance measures

  • Identify the resources needed to achieve the goal

  • Determine how the department will resolve technical issues that affect implementation

  • Establish outcome-oriented goals for asset visibility and link measurement metrics to timeliness.

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