Tracking the required maintenance of sensitive
items has always been a challenge for the unit commander. During
modernization, the Army must automate manually performed tasks
to improve the reporting of readiness status. One idea presented
to the Army’s Supply and Maintenance Assessment and Review
Team (SMART) program suggests improving maintenance tracking
of sensitive items by using the Standard Army Maintenance System-1
(SAMS–1) and the Unit Level Logistics System-Ground (ULLS–G).
Regulations require units to inspect reportable sensitive items
for accountability, cleanliness, and serviceability on a daily,
weekly, or monthly basis. They also require units to maintain
equipment according to the equipment’s technical manuals.
Logistics automation systems can track a wider variety of equipment
for maintenance than they do currently. By using written references
to clarify command responsibilities, maintenance units can
use automated maintenance tracking for a broader baseline of
of the Army guidelines require units and activities to comply
with each automated system’s user manual. Commanders
also must comply with regulatory physical security policies,
procedures, and guidance when setting up ways to track the
frequency of sensitive item maintenance.
During tracking, it is critical to avoid producing questionable
status resulting from improperly conducted or overlooked tasks.
ULLS–G, SAMS–1, and the new Enterprise transition
system, SAMS–E (Enhanced), are designed not only to support
ground maintenance tracking but also to support and sustain
other day-to-day operations. These systems send automatic alerts
to the user and maintainer about pending actions for equipment
listed in the database. ULLS–G, SAMS–1, and SAMS–E
accept crucial identification data, such as the national stock
number, line item number, and quantity, for all types of equipment
to enable an expanded automated unit maintenance program.
ULLS provides automated procedures for performing limited TAMMS
(The Army Maintenance Management System) functions and managing
standard maintenance facility operations. SAMS provides automated
procedures for performing and managing some TAMMS functions
for direct support and general support maintenance operations.
Including property accountability and supply system data on
maintenance support automated system
databases greatly simplifies the initial maintenance scheduling
process. Adopting this procedure brings the added benefit of
increased safety directly attributable to the improved review
processes provided by TAMMS.
Units using Army logistics automation systems benefit from
enhanced accountability and accuracy and increased Soldier
safety. In the requisitioning process, generating want slips
between maintenance and supply will create an accounting capability
for support products such as weapons cleaning supplies and
equipment. This process closes the loop on supply class spending
by creating a “for record” account in automation
systems, removing these items from the “untracked expendable
Unit maintenance improvement is a three-step
process. The first step is for the commander to direct the
standing operating procedure (SOP) changes needed to promote
a partnership between the arms room or supply activity and
the maintenance section in which ULLS–G, SAMS–1,
and SAMS–E are located. Next, the relevant hand receipt
information is loaded into the appropriate database. The third
step is to schedule periodic maintenance according to the guidance
in applicable technical or operator manuals.
The initial setup process for using ULLS–G, SAMS–1,
and SAMS–E in the maintenance shop is labor intensive.
However, the proven benefits of saving Soldiers’ time
and Army funds make the effort worthwhile. With broader use
as tools for sensitive item maintenance, these automated systems
will provide excellent service as general equipment-tracking
tools. If a command supports the use of these supply and maintenance
automated systems, this SMART idea will enhance the defense
capability of the Army on the modern battlefield.
Lee Brooks is a logistics management specialist at the Army
Combined Arms Support Command at Fort Lee, Virginia.