Panel: Logistics Readiness and Modernization
Moderator: Mr. Rob Cross, Deputy Program Manager, Global Combat Support System Marine Corps (GCSS-MC) PMW
- Mr. David Hansen, Program Manager, GCSS Marine Corps at PEO EIS
- Dr. Daniel Parker, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Army Enterprise Systems Integration Program (AESIP)
- Mr. Louis Kaplan, Navy Logistics IT Portfolio Manager
We were all feeling especially thankful at this month’s luncheon and not just because it was the Friday before Thanksgiving week. This month we celebrated our future with our STEM scholarship schools and our enduring freedom by participating in the Marine Birthday traditional cake celebration. Both of which AFCEA honors with its programs and events. It was a great start for the luncheon.
Logistics is such a vital and thankless job that it seems appropriate to be our November panel. Often, Logistic professionals are not appreciated for the hard work that is done every day and the spotlight is most often pointed toward them when things go awry. But day in and day out they struggle with old and disjointed systems and policies. Our panelists talked about these issues and how they are working to make change.
As moderator, Mr. Cross asked each participant to do brief intro and then guided them through a series of questions from the attendees. Mr. Hansen started the discussion by pointing out that while modernization is necessary, the DoD is not like industry. Any system would have to be customized to meet the way DoD does business. Dr. Parker followed by saying the best and worst thing about modernization is finding the right integration of systems. Mr. Kaplan noted that the Navy alone has 250 major systems and 1600 applications. He stressed the need for smart designs that could be built as a digital adaptive platform to meet changing needs.
After the introductions, the speakers answered some tough questions. One highlight included a question about moving logistic systems into the cloud which all panelist felt was needed but stressed that there are also disadvantages such as security, applicability (not moving to the cloud just for “cloud sake”) and trying to remain infrastructure agnostic – addressing harder to reach areas. Another highlight was a question that asked our panelists to describe what steps they are doing to improve decision making systems. Answers varied from they are looking at heuristics and unstructured data to they are still working on getting legacy data in the new data repositories. The general consensus is that they are working on it but there is a long road to go and some hesitation in making any decision automatic.
Overall, there were a lot of questions and the panelists provided incredibly thoughtful and informative answers. As we see every month, our panelists were open and honest with attendees about the state of their systems and the help they need. Another reason to be thankful.
Our December luncheon speaker is Lieutenant General Jack Weinstein, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration. Be sure to register soon as it is December 8th! The Young AFCEANs are having another great Happy Hour on Tuesday December 12 at Pamplona in Clarendon. Thank you for your support!