NATO uses RFID tags to track military shipments to Afghanistan

SUNNYVALE, Calif., 7 Dec. 2005. The NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) has awarded Savi Technology a contract to upgrade and sustain operational support of the RFID-based network Savi built last year to track multi-national defense consignments between Europe and Afghanistan.

Dec 7th, 2005

SUNNYVALE, Calif., 7 Dec. 2005. The NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) has awarded Savi Technology a contract to upgrade and sustain operational support of the RFID-based network Savi built last year to track multi-national defense consignments between Europe and Afghanistan.

The contract followed a year-long assessment of the RFID "backbone" Savi deployed for NATO.

The contract calls for purchase of additional data-rich, active Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and readers as well as network wide software enhancements to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) supply chain, stretching from the Netherlands and Germany through Uzbekistan to Kabul in Afghanistan.

"NATO has concluded that this type of system can greatly contribute to the Commander's situational awareness in the logistics arena," said Brent Bingham, NC3A Project Manager.

"The RFID air-bridge built last year by Savi Technology from Central Europe into the theatre of operations confirmed that this technology meets the general requirements to operate on a multi-national basis. Our objective now is to upgrade the network so that member nations can use their own tracking systems for national consignments while also enabling them to be interoperable with NATO's RF network for multi-national, joint force operations."

The upgrades include installation of the newly released Savi SmartChain Consignment Management Solution (CMS), which will enable NATO to maintain nearly real-time supply chain management and visibility capabilities, and will provide an interoperable solution for member nations to share information on both national and joint multi-national consignments.

The evaluation also found that Savi's RFID-based network meets NATO's Standardisation Agreement (STANAG 2184) for "best commercial practice" requirements for asset and consignment tracking, which is a stamp of approval for use by all member Nations. The contract and findings for STANAG compliance were approved by representatives of all 26 member nations in NATO's Infrastructure Committee.

"NATO's approval to build on its initial RFID In-Transit Visibility (ITV) network is a major step toward improving upon logistics operations among allied defense organizations -- both within their own countries and for collaborative maneuvers," said Bruce Jacquemard, Savi's executive vice president of worldwide sales. "The ability of interoperable RFID-based networks to link with each other when appropriate enhances in-transit visibility of supplies and ultimately provides greater confidence to the war fighter needing the right materiel in the right place at the right time."

In addition to NATO, Savi Technology has built RFID-based ITV networks for NATO member nations, including the U.K. Ministry of Defence and the Denmark Ministry of Defence, and is implementing the Consignment Management Solution for the Australian Defense Force. For the past decade, Savi Technology has also helped build, extend and maintain the U.S. Department of Defense's ITV network, which is the world's largest active RFID cargo tracking system, stretching across more than 45 countries and 2,000 locations.

The new NATO contract calls for additional units of Savi's readers (Savi Reader SR-650) to be placed at key transportation nodes along the ISAF Network, more Savi tags (ST-654) to be affixed to containers and air pallets, and for a network wide software upgrade to CMS 1.0, which will be hosted at NC3A's facility in The Hague, Netherlands, where CMS will interface with the NATO LOGFAS Logistics IT system.

Based on more than a decade of providing proven RFID and related supply chain software solutions to defense organizations, CMS 1.0 is specially designed to keep track of and manage consignments tagged with all types of Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC) devices for allied military organizations. AIDC devices can range from sensors and barcodes to passive and active RFID tags as well as global positioning systems.

In addition to identification and location information, CMS 1.0 provides exception-based management alerts; support for "nested visibility" of assets and their contents as well as environmental conditions inside the container; and, support for multi-national coalition operations for shared information when appropriate.

With over 15 years of supply chain experience, Savi Technology is the proven leader in RFID solutions that deliver value through real-time visibility, asset management, consignment and shipment management, inventory optimization, and global supply chain visibility and security. Founded in 1989, Savi Technology is privately held, with headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. and offices in Johannesburg, London, Melbourne, Singapore, and Washington D.C. For more information, see www.savi.com.

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