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Airforce Life Cycle Management Center helps design transport isolation system

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) is playing a unique role in the United States’ comprehensive Ebola response efforts in West Africa through the center’s involvement in developing a transport isolation system.

The system will enable safe aeromedical evacuation of Department of Defense patients in C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster IIIs.

The Human Systems Division — one of nine divisions within AFLCMC’s Agile Combat Support Directorate — is leading the integration of multiple System Program Offices to support the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s task to rapidly field the transport isolation system (TIS) by January.

Lt. Col. Scott Bergren, the chief of the Aircrew Performance Branch, is among those involved in the project.

“AFLCMC was notified the third week of October that its help was needed,” Bergren said. “We also were informed that the intent was to fly this system in an operational test beginning Dec. 1. So we were given a month and a half to ensure this system is safe to fly. All involved offices within AFLCMC have rallied to help get the TIS out the door.

“While DTRA is providing overall program management and contracting actions, our efforts have focused on quickly collecting the test data needed to assess the safety of the system for use in identified aircraft,” Bergren continued. “For example, we reached out to the Navy and obtained existing test data for subcomponents of the TIS used in Navy weapon systems today. This prevented us from having to redo those tests, which saved time. Fortunately, we have those connections and our division possesses the capability to analyze test data and certify components already in use within DOD.

“We’re thinking differently and more creatively to ensure we keep pace with the Pentagon’s timeline for this isolation system,” Bergren added. “We want to ensure this project is completed on time and safely.”

An example of creative thinking is that the AFLCMC team identified a proven LED lighting system used in the KC-135 Stratotanker platform today as a means to provide medical lighting in the TIS.

“This avoided a development effort by the contractor and cut roughly two weeks from a schedule in which every day counts,” Bergren said.

According to Melina Baez-Bowersox, a technical lead engineer in the Aeromedical Branch, additional challenges arise anytime there is a proposal to add a new system or equipment to an Air Force platform, such as an aircraft.

“Part of our responsibility is to assess the TIS’s capability by testing and evaluating the system on the aircraft,” she said. “We ask ourselves, ‘How does it (TIS) behave?’, ‘What does adding the system do to the structural integrity of the aircraft?’, ‘Is the TIS safe for patients, aircrews and the aircraft?’

“Ultimately, we want to be able to safely transport infected individuals back to the United States in a way that contains Ebola exposure to others while also preventing contamination of an aircraft or losing a precious Air Force asset,” she continued.

“We’re the right organization to be involved to deliver this critical capability that is quite complex and under an extremely compressed timeline,” said Col. William McGuffey, the chief of the Human Systems Division. “It’s another example of how AFLCMC acquires, fields and sustains systems and capabilities to support the urgent needs of other Air Force major commands and the DOD.

Pentagon officials say they do not expect the 3,000 U.S. troops heading to or already in the region to need the TIS because military personnel will not be treating Ebola patients directly.

“But we want to be prepared to care for the people we do have there just out of an abundance of caution,” Defense Department spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea said.

Currently, transport of Ebola patients from overseas is done by Phoenix Air, a government contractor based in Georgia whose modified business jet is capable of carrying just a single patient.

The Pentagon’s TIS will be similar but larger than the units used by Phoenix Air, whose containment system is a tent-like structure held up by a metal framework within the aircraft.

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Indra to Implement Life Cycle Management System for OCCAR Defence Programs

By on Thursday, June 28th, 2012

The company has signed a framework agreement with this agency to develop a solution that will give service to several European Armed Forces. The first contract arising from the agreement is the management system for the Tiger helicopter program.

This agreement has strengthened Indra’s position in the international market as a global supplier of logistics systems.

Indra has signed a framework agreement with the European agency OCCAR (Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation) to implement a logistics information and defence program life cycle management system.

The first order from this framework agreement, which will last until 2022, is to develop the information management system of the Tiger helicopter project and the common functions of the solution. The agency will progressively extend the system to incorporate other programs.

Indra competed with the leading companies in the sector in the international open tender for this framework agreement. This award has strengthened the company’s position as a supplier of IT solutions for logistics management systems in the international market.

The solution is developed for the programs under OCCAR’s responsibility. This means that it will give services to all countries involved in them.

The main processes it will cover are technical event management, engineering support, spare part analysis, equipment configuration control and the maintenance and integration of systems.

This will enable OCCAR to share information with the countries that have participated in the multinational programs it manages, such as the Tiger helicopter, in an agile and precise manner.

Accordingly, the armed forces of these countries will obtain maximum performance from the platforms and systems they acquire, achieve maximum operability and slightly reduce their maintenance costs.

Indra’s management system also incorporates a Business Intelligence module that provides reports, indicators and other functions to aid strategic analysis and decision making. This will rationalize usage of the systems and their maintenance costs.

The solution proposed by Indra is based on a modular and scalable SOA (Service-oriented Architecture) approach with a flexible data model based on the PLCS (Product Life Cycle Support) standard, with a high integration capacity. The main commercial products used are IBM Maximo Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and Oracle Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) for the integration of services.

International Success

Indra’s strategy to compete in the international market is based on a commitment to develop its own solutions. This approach and its 20 years of experience in the development of similar systems have enabled it to win this major project for the OCCAR.

Indra’s close collaboration with the Spanish armed forces and law enforcement agencies includes the development, commissioning and operation of the logistics systems of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Civil Guard. These systems cover everything from material storage and distribution to the maintenance of equipment, vehicles and supplies.

Indra is Spain’s number one technology multinational and one of the leaders in Europe and Latin America. Its R&D investment level — €550m in the last three years — is the second highest in Europe in its sector. Its turnover in 2011 was €2.688bn and today more than half of its income is from international markets. The company employs 40,000 professionals and has customers in 118 countries.

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