Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Expedia-style system helps Marines get cargo to the fight sooner

Nov. 18, 2013 - 01:45PM   |  
The Transportation Exploitation Tool tracks cargo aircraft from all the sea services.
The Transportation Exploitation Tool tracks cargo aircraft from all the sea services. (Greg Butler/Director of Fleet Movement and Systems)
  • Filed Under

Marine logisticians can now use the same technology that civilians use to book a vacation to transport cargo faster and more efficiently.

Marine logisticians can now use the same technology that civilians use to book a vacation to transport cargo faster and more efficiently.

  • Please enable JavaScript for your browser in order to use navytimes.com.com.
Want to read more?
Current Subscribers
Access to Navy Times Prime is free for current Navy Times subscribers.
Log in
Haven't registered online?
Activate Account
New Subscribers
Start your subscription to Navy Times Prime for as little as 59¢ a week!
Subscribe

Marine logisticians can now use the same technology that civilians use to book a vacation to transport cargo faster and more efficiently.

The Transportation Exploitation Tool will look familiar to users of such popular websites as Kayak and Expedia. And the concept is the same, said its inventor, Greg Butler, a retired Marine officer who now directs the Fleet Movement and Systems Support Division within Naval Supply Systems Command.

His award-winning Naval Logistics Integration system tracks cargo aircraft from all of the sea services —the Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard — allowing logisticians to match needs with assets, conserving costs and saving time in getting gear where it needs to go.

Until the system launched as a prototype in 2010, Butler said cargo movers couldn’t see what space might be available on another service’s or network’s aircraft, Butler said.

“There wasn’t a mechanism for us to easily identify where that excess capacity was, and that was a problem,” he said.

That began to change in 2009, and the impetus was a high-profile logistical nightmare.

When a Navy submarine and amphibious transport dock collided in the Strait of Hormuz, causing extensive damage that included a ruptured fuel tank, it took 12 people three weeks of constant work to send out the 17 aircraft needed to supply parts for the repairs. That level of effort was unsustainable, Butler concluded, and he began to think about how the system could be improved.

An early success for TET and Butler’s “Lifts of Opportunity Program” came in 2011, when Navy logisticians used the system to locate a nearby available cargo plane and expedite the shipment of a 1,000-pound repair part to a warship in less than 24 hours — 30 hours faster than the normal resupply process. More recently, Marine Corps Logistics Command used the process to move assets to units in the U.S. 5th Fleet region more efficiently.

While the Marine Corps has not yet made as much use of the system as the Navy, Butler said his project now has some powerful boosters in the Corps, including Lt. Gen. William Faulkner, head of installations and logistics.

“That’s one of those ones that was staring you right in the face,” Maj. Gen. Michael Dana, assistant deputy commandant for installations and logistics, said during a September interview with Marine Corps Times. “Why weren’t we doing that before?”

An improved version of the system, overseen by the Office of Naval Research, will be demonstrated at the Corps’ next expeditionary logistics war game in spring 2014. And other services are beginning to show interest in the technology, Butler said.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

Boosted bonuses
New rules raise payout ceiling to $100K

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
   Last Post: garhkal
        Apr 15, 2014 4:55 PM
   Last Post: Shaken1976
        Apr 15, 2014 5:13 PM
   Last Post: MACHINE666
        Apr 6, 2014 4:23 PM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook