Locally-developed technology paving way for future

  • Published
  • By Jenny Gordon
  • Robins Public Affairs
There are about 6,500 items across Robins that currently use Automatic Identification Technology. 

Users are able to keep track of valuable equipment using the real-time location systems which use radio frequency identification.

Several years ago the AIT Program Office here engaged in various research pilot projects, one of which resulted in the successful development of the Air Force Global Enterprise Tracking software infrastructure.

"This program grew out of the requirement for total asset visualization," said Jeff Brackett, Robins AIT program team lead. 

AFGET is a web-based system that manages AIT-enabled information of assets, to include its location, status and movement. 

It's used not only at Robins, but also Hill and Tinker Air Logistics Complexes, AMARG and Joint Base San Antonio. 

To help showcase the program's capabilities, the office hosted an open house last month offering visitors an up-close tour of how the technology is used in maintenance operations on the Robins flight line.

Representatives from Headquarters Air Force, U.S. Transportation Command, the Navy and industry gained insight while watching demonstrations on AFGET, Automated Materiel Issue Centers and the Maintenance Operations Center Visualizer. 

When someone wants to find a piece of equipment, such as tools, aircraft parts, aircraft ground equipment and task kits, each item is outfitted with an active radio frequency identification tag. This tag basically sends out a signal to a nearby sensor, which is picked up by centralized software that lets users find its location anywhere in the industrial area.

The AIT office here, which includes a team of more than 20 involved in development and sustainment, operations and application program management, stood up in 2004 in order to research a way to track assets electronically versus manually. All testing and technical support occurs here, as well as the development of all new installations. 

Since its early days, projects have tested different types of RFID coverage in different areas. For example, recent success stories have included the successful tracking of items inside and outside of buildings.

Another project was the rapid tracking and inventory of task kits used daily by aircraft mechanics.

One project that's lending itself to some excitement includes the MOC Visualizer, which will soon provide real-time asset status, including aircraft, and location information. 

This will be a tremendous benefit to personnel in the Maintenance Operations Control Centers across the complexes once it goes live this spring.

This will be a boon for everyone involved, according to Brackett.

"This is a huge step from the way business has been done in depot maintenance in the last few decades," he said. "It will be a standardized process across all Air Force Materiel Command complexes."