VSAT gives Army real-time access to GCSS
- By Mark Pomerleau
- Jul 22, 2015
The Army has found a new innovative use for an old platform. For years, the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) has been used to provide a compact and portable Internet and communications connection. Now the Maintenance Troop of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment is testing it for field access to the Global Combat Support Systems-Army, the single Army enterprise system for supply, maintenance, property and tactical finance.
The latest field test and integration is significant because previous programs associated with GCSS-Army would take much longer to update part deliveries, work orders and maintenance scheduling – sometimes days – while the incorporation of the VSAT provides a faster connection for real-time updates. Applying VSAT to GCSS-Army allows immediate updates, expedites Army maintenance and directly increases the combat readiness level of line units, the Army said.
For soldiers in the field, accessing the GCSS-Army via VSAT allows them to more easily distribute materials such as clothing, tools, construction gear, vehicles and repair parts. Previously, customers would have had to wait for staff with the rear detachment to process and ship parts to the field site. The addition of the VSAT also allows for instantaneous deletion of orders no longer needed.
Maintenance Troop successfully tested the VSAT capabilities for GCSS-Army and Supply Support Activity in a deployed environment. In the future, other Army units will be able to use VSAT once GCSS-Army has been implemented within their unit.
Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.