U.S. Transportation Command is leading successful efforts to create new computer applications for greater visibility into global Department of Defense deployment and distribution requirements.
Under the direction of the Joint Staff J4 and in partnership with the DOD and combatant commands, USTRANSCOM is refining the Global Combat Support System-Joint or GCSS-J with a broad joint logistics focus. The system gathers data from many different data sources, including the USTRANSCOM and Defense Logistics Agency IGC (Integrated Data Environment/Global Transportation Network Convergence) system.
The system then provides a fused, integrated, near real-time, multidimensional view of combat support and combat service support. Based on a memorandum of agreement with Joint Staff, USTRANSCOM leads Joint Capability Area (JCA) 4.1-Deployment and Distribution, which provides users the ability to plan, coordinate, synchronize and execute force movement and sustainment to support military operations.
“The program team has worked hard to overcome ‘swivel-seat’ management of logistics through many separate authoritative data systems,” said Andrew Monday, chief of USTRANSCOM’s Logistics Enabling Support Division, or TCJ4-T. “GCSS-J continues to evolve and provide joint commanders increased logistics visibility and decision support tools they need in a common operational picture.”
GCSS-J provides users near-real time information through such applications or widgets, as watch boards, reports, and mapping visualizations for leaders to develop effective courses of action and make informed decisions.
Kelly Mueller-McNulty of TCJ4-T said they collaborate with their USTRANSCOM partners to develop widgets to support the distribution and deployment joint capability area. She said, “Creating widgets and improving the system are a team effort. We collaborate across USTRANSCOM directorates as well as with the other combatant commands and the Defense Information System Agency. All have been, and will continue to be, essential to our success.”
The system continues to evolve. Enhancements in January’s GCSS-J release provides visibility for air and seaports, air and sea cargo, air and sea schedules and node mapping. A subsequent release scheduled for July 2014 will include an application for retrograde cargo the command helped develop during the recent Joint Logistics Enterprise Data Sharing Quick Reaction Test and widgets that identify global fuels and ammunition inventories.
Army Maj. Shari Bennett said the division continues to emphasize awareness of and education on the power of GCSS-J so it will gain in acceptance and use “We need more people to use the system and provide feedback for improvements so we can provide logistics capability in line with the Joint Staff vision and shape future widget development,” she said.
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