Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2012 Contents ASC.ARMY.MIL 157
purchases for today that are going to
[have an] effect 10 years from now. To
me, that's a change. That's where you can
actually start saving money."
Configuration management also plays a
role in efficiencies, Robinson said. "Now
you're able to understand what's on
that aircraft. As aircraft qualifications
change and you replace a part with a new
part, you're actually able to take that [old
part] off the supply chain," reducing the
quantity needed. "And you really start
CBM can help the Army identify effi-
ciencies across the fleet by showing where
maintenance can be less intensive, Myles
said. "This is about being smart," he
said, "making sure that we fully use the
condition-based maintenance and other
technical tools that are out there that
allow us to manage this enterprise."
The vast quantity of information now
available to the Army on the condition of
various components of its helicopter fleet,
through onboard sensors and other tech-
nology, poses challenges in and of itself,
the panelists said.
"There's more information known about
these aircraft now than ever before
because of condition-based mainte-
nance," Myles noted. "We're measuring
frequency, temperature, pressures of all
the aircraft, the whole frame itself, to the
point where you've got so much data that
you've got to figure out how to manage it,
how to prioritize it."
"You have to have the right metrics,"
Smith said---indicators that can predict a
problem, as opposed to reacting to it---in
order to know where best to apply limited
resources, and when. "Some tough calls
are going to have to be made in respect to
what's important enough to send, how to
send it, the frequency---is it [in] real time,
is it near-real time."
"The Army is doing a fantastic job with
sensors," Smith said. Analysis of the data
is a "very complex" equation, involving
not only the raw information but also
"being able to connect that to a lot of
other databases and being able to connect
the dots and derive from that what you
do with it" to benefit decision makers at
both the tactical and strategic levels.
Meanwhile, he said, "Technology is evolv-
ing faster than our ability to use it. As a
result, we're playing catch-up all the time.
Sensor technology is rapidly advanc-
ing. Computer capacity, microprocessors
are evolving so quickly. There's now
available to us just a wide array of tools,
capabilities that can be used to help make
our jobs better." Industry has a vital role
in helping the Army "try to figure out
... how to get more bang for the buck,"
With the military drawing down and
defense spending heading downward,
about the only certainty is uncertainty,
"Industry is going to react to uncertainty
by being cautious. So we know ... we have
to right-size the supply chain. But we are a
little uncertain what that's going to mean,"
said John Cerreta, General Manager,
Operations, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., one
of the manufacturers that supplies CCAD.
"Now more than ever, we need that col-
laboration to move forward, specifically
with the Army," he said. "If the depot is
affected [by reduced spending], it would
take time for industry to be able to step
up ... we built ourselves knowing Corpus
Christi exists and will remain.
"Can it step up? Would it? Yes, it would.
But I think we have to be a partner."
MARGARET C. ROTH is the Senior Editor
of Army AL&T Magazine. She holds a B.A.
in Russian language and linguistics from the
University of Virginia. Roth has more than
a decade of experience in writing about the
Army and more than two decades' experience
in journalism and public relations.
The high operations tempo in Afghanistan is accelerating wear and tear on Army aircraft.
Here, PFC James Dennis, a Crew Chief assigned to Task Force Lobos, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade,
1st Cavalry Division, performs a torque check on the main rotor head of a UH-60 Black Hawk
helicopter Feb. 7 at Camp Marmal, Afghanistan. (Photo by SSG Joe Armas.)
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