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March 22, 2013

News

McCoy gets upgraded software system to facilitate cargo shipments

Story & photos by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Fort McCoy is among the first Army installations to be fielded the web-based version of the Cargo Management Operations System (CMOS). CMOS eventually will help the Department of Defense (DoD) standardize equipment movement operations.

D.J. Eckland of the Fort McCoy Freight Office said the installation sought the CMOS program to enhance visibility of shipments and further automate the shipment process.
PHOTO: A freight management specialist for Fort McCoy is advised in using the Cargo Management Operations System Software. Photo by Rob Schuette
Nellie Prater, freight management specialist for Fort McCoy, is advised by Master Sgt. Jason Bond, a Cargo Management Operations System program functional analyst of Gunter Annex, Ala., in using the Cargo Management Operations System software.

The process started about a year ago, and the system was fielded this winter when there was less training to impact the transfer, Eckland said. The new system will be in place to help support the exercises and summer training.

The CMOS software program has been used by the Air Force since 1991 to track cargo shipments, said Bernard Crosby, a traffic management specialist with the Program Management Office from Gunter Air Force Base, Ala. Crosby was a member of the team that fielded the system at McCoy. He also was a member of the Air Force and one of the first users when CMOS originally was fielded for the Air Force.

“The fielding of the CMOS to the Army will help allow everyone to use the same system and to communicate equipment movement electronically instead of having to do it via phone,” Crosby said. “If Air Force personnel deploy overseas to support Army missions, it also means they won’t have to learn a new system to support the Army.”

Several joint Army-Air Force bases already are solely using the CMOS, as are Navy and Marine organizations, he said.
James Anderson, a Transportation Information System Specialist for the Deployment, Process and Modernization Office, at Fort Lee, Va., and also a member of the fielding team, said two Army installations, Fort Eustis, Va., and Fort Knox, Ky., had served as pilot Army organizations for the stand-alone testing of the software.

The stand-alone CMOS equipment at Fort Eustis and Fort Knox was upgraded to the web-based program in January.

Anderson said the system uses bar codes to allow for scanning information, so it is much more accurate than the systems it’s replacing, which relied on manual data entry.

Fort McCoy CMOS users received one week of training on the new system from the fielding team. The system installation was finished during the second week the team was at Fort McCoy.

The installation of the system at Fort McCoy kicks off CMOS fielding at 22 Army organizations in 2013. CMOS installation is scheduled at 40 Army installations in each of the years 2014 and 2015.

“We will be able to use the lessons we learn from the fielding the system at Fort McCoy to better field the system at other locations,” Anderson said. “As more and more installations and other organizations have this equipment, the system will become more standardized and yield better data for all of the users.”

The goal is to make the CMOS a “purple” system that would serve all DoD users, he said.

CMOS allows the system data to be managed to show the status of equipment movements, Anderson and Crosby said.

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