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SSC-Natick Press Release

U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Chief, Public Affairs Office
(508) 233-5340

Date: August 29, 2005
No: 05-36

Combat Feeding spearheads RFID policy

NATICK, Mass. -- Two members of the Combat Feeding Directorate were awarded for their contributions to the introduction of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to the Department of Defense.

Gerald Darsch, Combat Feeding director, and Kathy Evangelos, Combat Feeding program integrator, were presented with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence by Alan Estevez, assistant deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Supply Chain Integration, in a ceremony in Washington D.C., July 28.

As a result of their early efforts, the DoD was able to quickly adopt and deploy this technology to revolutionize military supply chain management, military logistics and readiness.

"Your vision played a critical role in the adoption of this technology. DoD would not be where it is today if it were not for your dedication and perseverance in bringing this to the highest levels of DoD," Estevez said.

RFID technology provides automated, real-time logistics and information on Class 1 and other classes of supply for the DoD.

It's based on the Electronic Product Code (EPC), which is a unique number that identifies a specific item in the supply chain. Passive RFID tags composed of a microchip holding an EPC and an antenna that receives an RF signal are attached to a unit of supply, such as a pallet. Powered by a reader, the tags emit a radio signal that transmits the EPC and other information back to the reader.

Sensor integration on tags provides the capability to monitor the status of an item, pallet or container by detecting any number of variables, such as temperature, vibration, rough handling and chemical biological contamination.

During the ceremony, Estevez cited the implementation of RFID in March 2005 to support Marine Corps Forward Operating Bases in Iraq.

The Marine Corps has reduced inventory from $127 million to $70 million, reduced wait time from 28 to 16 days, increased fill rates from 77 percent to 89 percent, and reduced retail backlog from 92,000 to 11,000 orders.

These innovations and accomplishments were facilitated partly by the new DoD RFID policy published in July 2004.

The DoD Combat Feeding RFID Team provided significant lessons learned to drive the policy and move the DoD forward by providing consultation and influence on both DoD and commercial implementations of RFID.

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This page last updated on 23 January 2004.