The Project Manager Soldier Sensors and Lasers Staging Facility at
The government-owned, government-operated facility serves as a staging area to more efficiently move equipment procured by Program Executive Office Soldier's "Project Manager Soldier Sensors and Lasers," or PM SSL, section from the manufacturer to the end user, said
"The individual vendors are very capable," Pearson said. "But having a staging facility like
Pearson said it would be possible for manufacturers of equipment like thermal sights, or night-vision goggles or laser-designator rangefinders to send the equipment they manufacture directly to receiving units. But units preparing for deployment are authorized to be issued equipment that comes from multiple manufacturers. If the manufacturer sent items directly, units would receive items at different times and on unpredictable schedules.
"Trying to orchestrate all the vendor shipments would be a challenge," Pearson said. "That would tie up the gaining commands. They wouldn't know when the shipments would arrive. We wouldn't know how long our fielders would be on the ground to issue the equipment because they would be waiting for separate shipments to come in."
With the efforts at JMTC at
"It's a staging facility," Pearson said of employees at the JMTC. "We track everything, individual serial numbers, that's what they do for us using an inventory database system. They are able to track items that come in 'first-in-first-out,' from the vendors, which actually serves the Soldiers. You want to make sure that for the equipment that is bought under warranty, if something breaks, Soldiers are able to send it back to the vendor without any cost. We can't easily do that without depending on Rock Island Staging facility."
Sensor and laser equipment wasn't always fielded out of a government-owned, government-operated facility. In the past, Pearson said PM SSL has staged and distributed the equipment they procure from a variety of locations, but never one both owned and operated by the government -- which Pearson refers to as an "organic" capability.
The JMTC at
"It was just a natural fit," he said of the choice to use JMTC at
Pearson also said that by moving onto a military base, they have increased their level of security.
"It's very hard for somebody to get there that doesn't belong there," Pearson said.
The PM SSL fields about 18 different types of equipment to Soldiers out of
Each day the JMTC ships out about 2,000 pieces of equipment to receiving units, though Pearson said that number fluctuates. Once, he said, at a prior facility, and during a surge, nearly 30,000 pieces of equipment were shipped in one day.
The now nearly year-old JMTC staging facility at
In the last year, efforts at JMTC to use item-unique identification tracking tools have also drawn the attention of
"There is a big thing with transparency, not only with the units wanting to know what items that they have on their property books, but also from an HQDA (Headquarters,
With budgets tightening, accurate accountability of equipment is important, Pearson said. But even more important is the PM SSL mission of supporting Soldiers in the war fight -- and that's something efforts at
"All of this is very important when it comes to timing and supporting units. The units usually have a complicated pre-deployment schedule. Without having what JMTC does for us up there, we couldn't easily support the units. The goal is to get them everything from our specific portfolio that they need to go to win the fight."
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