New ILS-S Enterprise Capability Integrates Air Force Wholesale Cryptological Asset Management

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Gabriel M. Fox
  • Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate
GUNTER ANNEX, Ala. -- The Integrated Logistics System – Supply (ILS-S) Program Management Office (PMO) successfully fielded new information technology capabilities that enabled the Cryptologic and Cyber Systems Division (CCSD) personnel to manage the wholesale item management and repair storage of cryptologic assets.
On July 26, 2022, 284,000 migrated assets were successfully verified, and user transacting began.  
In 2001, CCSD began warehousing cryptologic assets within the Standard Base Supply System (SBSS). SBSS did not systematically interface with the Air Force (wholesale) Stock Control System at that time. CCSD personnel had to manually input hundreds of unserviceable asset shipments into the SBSS every month, resulting in numerous data entry errors. The receipts of unserviceable asset shipments from Air Force bases worldwide required CCSD managers to process up to 10 SBSS transactions to correctly account for each received asset. The management of serialize-controlled inventory via SBSS was difficult, resulting in frequent recounts of warehoused assets to correctly reconcile recorded system inventory balances. Due to the SBSS processing shortcomings, in 2008 CCSD personnel requested Air Force Materiel Command’s authorization to pursue the acquisition of a custom cryptological asset management system. The Cryptologic Depot Accountability System (CDAS) was developed and fielded, and all CCSD asset management activity was migrated from the SBSS to CDAS in July 2011.
In February 2017, the Department of Defense (DoD) began implementing an overhaul which, among other initiatives, included a mandate for exploring efficiencies across core business functions, including information technology management. That DoD mandate has since been codified in AFI 17-110, para 2.8.4, instructing Portfolio Owners “to ensure Information Technology Investments align to business strategy and objectives and support the elimination of duplicative investments.” Given that instruction, the Air Force Materiel Command’s Strike Team One determined that the CCSD’s capability requirements for managing the repair of Air Force cryptologic assets could and should be incorporated into the ILS-S application.
The ILS-S PMO team of functional supply subject matter experts (SMEs) began working in lock step with CCSD leaders and functional asset managers in April 2021 to capture, document and coordinate the full range of CCSD functional capability requirements. Once the requirements were solidified, the supply functional SMEs worked with the software developers to incorporate those requirements into the ILS-S application. After the software was updated, the ILS-S program office worked with CCSD functional staff members to thoroughly test the new capabilities, doubling back as needed to correct all detected software bugs and defects. Additionally, the PMO completed and posted a 215-page user’s manual detailing how users can access and execute the full range of newly fielded functions. Finally, the PMO sent a team of functional experts to the CCSD’s San Antonio location to validate the data, and once the “switch was flipped” back on, provided real-time instruction on using the new capability." The PMO team visit was fully successful in getting the new capability up and running, and even provided hands on-training to the CCSD team. The ILS-S program office continues working alongside CCSD to ensure full support is sustained moving forward.  As stated by the CDAS PM, Barbara Craig,
“The ILS-S team was instrumental in providing the AF COMSEC Central Authority serial number visibility,” said Barbara Craig CDAS Program Manager. “CCSD is looking forward to a continued partnership to ensure the AF cryptologic assets are available and accountable for the warfighter.”
In the larger view, the fielding of the new capability for CCSD was another important step in exploiting the modernized ILS-S in a way that contributes to the DoD’s objectives for reducing the number of Air Force logistics data systems, while reducing the sustainment costs of Air Force communications and intelligence asset management.
Beyond that accomplishment, the fielding of the new CCSD capability also provides new asset management functions that significantly benefit worldwide ILS-S system users outside of the CCSD. In fact, 61 of the 234 distinct functional features that were developed specifically for CCSD users have proven invaluable to other worldwide ILS-S users, particularly by improving the system’s capabilities for managing and tracking serialized and controlled items. Those 61 features became immediately accessible to all worldwide ILS-S users.
Additionally, the ILS-S PMO team has already been pivoted by Headquarters Air Force to continue working toward other new capabilities to further improve enterprise-wide logistics support. This fall, field users will be able to look forward to a fielding of a new capability that will improve worldwide readiness support, enabling the Security Forces community to retain previously issued mobility items as the Defenders are reassigned to other duty stations. The PMO is also documenting and coordinating the ILS-S functional capability requirements for further expanding the system’s enterprise capabilities to enable worldwide Unit Deployment Managers (UDM) to access the system. UDMs will be able to specify and initiate the LRS fulfillment and delivery of customized mobility bags for Airmen in advance of an impending deployment. The new UDM asset management capability will also be developed and fielded later this year.
“Team ILS-S continues to amaze me with their software deployment velocity, continuous delivery of timely and very high-quality capability to our valued users,” said Herbert H. Hunter Jr., the Enterprise Logistics Readiness Portfolio Manager within the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate.” The Capability Delivery Team were early adopters of the agile methodology and their monthly battle rhythm of releases builds a trusted relationship with our stakeholders, that allows our customers and users to reap the benefits of the flexibility to ingest emerging requirements, meet promised delivery dates with superior quality that focuses 1000 percent on an end-to-end product that meets customer expectations and delivers the best user experience.”