Army SBIS logistics system relies on COTS

SPRINGFIELD, Va. - Engineers at Lockheed Martin Federal Systems of Owego, N.Y., have implemented two applications of the U.S. Army`s Sustaining Base Information Services (SBIS) program - real property management and safety/risk management - at the company`s Springfield, Va., development center.

By John Rhea

SPRINGFIELD, Va. - Engineers at Lockheed Martin Federal Systems of Owego, N.Y., have implemented two applications of the U.S. Army`s Sustaining Base Information Services (SBIS) program - real property management and safety/risk management - at the company`s Springfield, Va., development center.

The 10-year SBIS program, begun in 1993 and expected to total more than $1 billion upon completion, is to replace a mixture of incompatible and technologically aging data processing systems in providing service-wide logistics support.

Real property management (designated RMAT by the Army) has been installed at Fort Knox, Ky., and at Fort Drum, N.Y., to provide geographic information systems capability to all Army bases via queries from workstations or personal computers. This includes on-line maps for training exercises, the location of endangered species to protect, and even plumbing and electrical wiring diagrams of base facilities.

For example, a program manager can query about range availability to test a weapon, get approval, and then lock in a schedule that precludes anybody else from using the range at that time.

A safety/risk management Internet home page, also accessible via workstations or PCs, provides end users with risk assessment, hazard identification, and decision-support tools. The idea is to help personnel learn about previously existing hazards so they avoid repeating mistakes.

The safety/risk management application is available throughout the Army through the World Wide Web, and RMAT consists of Lockheed Martin-supplied hardware: five Intergraph TD-300 Pentium Pro processor-based workstations, a TD-400 dual Pentium Pro processor-based workstation, and an InterServe MP-630 server with quad Pentium Pro processors at Fort Drum; and seven TD-300 workstations, a TD-400 workstation, and an InterServe MP-6730 dual Pentium Pro server at Fort Knox.

All systems are running on Microsoft Windows NT workstations and servers. Interoperability with Unix standards is essential as Army leaders convert their management systems to open systems.

The significance of SBIS is its status as the "first-ever DOD COTS [commercial-off-the-shelf] software-based program to succeed," says Steve Lubniewski, senior vice president for information technology modernization at the company`s Owego facility. He estimates software reuse at 23 percent, up from the original goal of 15 percent. To date, company software engineers have produced some 1.5 million lines of code, principally in Ada and SQL.

The program has also evolved from the 90 original functional areas to about 20 that more effectively encompass Army logistics needs. Other applications being phased in include security clearances, budgeting, and integrated combat support.

These functions requires substantial amounts of data storage, ranging from 50 gigabytes of data for a small base to 113 GB and direct access storage devices at a large installations such as Fort Monroe, Va. SBIS, when fully operational, will link 33 Army sites, including overseas links.

The program received an additional $59.2 million in funding for 1997, which Lubniewski says will pay to develop additional applications and install workstations, servers, and local area networks at Army installations worldwide.

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