Liz Miranda, Acting Director, CECOM Integrated Logistics Support Center (ILSC)
U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM)
U.S. Army soldiers faced with conducting combat operations in Afghanistan have numerous logistics challenges. One major challenge is maintaining complex electronic weapons systems and equipment used to conduct operations against the enemy and provide critical life-support functions. On-site technical assistance for power grid optimization and system diagnostics is costly, as representatives require transport via helicopter or vehicle convoy and their availability is subject to weather, terrain, altitude and threat constraints. Another major challenge is reducing fuel consumption and the corresponding need for resupply convoys.
The CECOM Training Support Division developed CEDATVLAR (CECOM Equipment Diagnostic Analysis Tool, Virtual Logistics Assistance Representative) to address the on-site needs of soldiers in theater by mitigating knowledge gaps in the operating environment.
CEDATVLAR has proven to reduce troubleshooting time and increase accuracy. This directly translates into higher equipment availability and significantly reduces the risk for soldiers in combat. The total cost savings from personnel reductions alone since 2013 are $20 million per system VLAR, with projected future annual savings of $10 million per system.
The Headquarters Power Optimization pairs loads to generators and turns off unneeded generators, reducing fuel consumption costs and saving lives. CECOM conservatively estimates cost savings in battalion headquarters at $3 million per year across the Army, a 17% reduction in generator fuel consumption.
As CECOM implements the optimization at brigade headquarters scale, the team anticipates increased savings as a percentage of fuel consumption due to an exponentially increased solution space. In combat operations, reductions in fuel consumption will reduce the requirement for fuel resupply convoys. This reduction will ultimately save soldiers’ lives as the frequency of exposure to ambushes and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) decreases.
CEDATVLAR enables cost savings and avoidance by reducing the Army’s logistics footprint: leaner sustainment personnel strategies, optimized fuel consumption, and better repair and supply decisions, all made possible by reducing uncertainty at the tactical edge.