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Lance Cpl. Tonya S. Lujan, supply clerk, Supply Platoon, Headquarters Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, works on her computer to track, manage and order supplies for units within CLR-17, 1st MLG, aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 14. Supply Marines will be implementing a new program called the Global Combat Support System - Marine Corps within the next few days to help keep track of military gear.

Photo by Pfc. Timothy Childers

Time for change: Marines welcome new program to account for gear

13 Sep 2011 | Lance Cpl. Jerrick Griffin

Supply Marines with Headquarters Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, will be implementing a new program called the Global Combat Support System - Marine Corps within the next few days to help keep track of military gear.
The system is designed to improve current logistical systems by allowing units to order and track supplies and provide services with the click of a mouse.
According the Marine Corps Systems Command Web site, the system was developed by the Defense Information System Agency to respond to the operational concept of the fusion of logistics information and transportation technologies for rapid crisis respond, deployment and sustainment, the ability to track and shift units, equipment and supplies and the delivery of tailored logistical packages directly to the warfighter.
Its mission is to develop and implement deployable, leading-edge technology in order to enable logistics modernization and to maximize the combat effectiveness of the Marine Corps through improved logistics visibility.
“I believe that the overall efficiency of the ordering, receiving and requisitioning process will be improved,” said 1st Lt. Alexander Mercer, regimental supply officer, CLR-17, 1st MLG. “It will streamline a lot of archaic algorithmic processes that are unnecessary in today’s work place.”
It does have its pros and cons, said Mercer, from Brooklyn. N.Y. “But all in all, it is a much better system.”
“With the GCSS-MC I’m pretty sure there will be a few kinks,” said Sgt. Abel Graciano, platoon sergeant, Supply, HQ Co., CLR-17, 1st MLG . “But with the oracle program, they will be able to update on the fly, not so much as to update the whole thing from scratch.”
The Marines at supply are using the Asset Tracking, Logistics and Supply System (ATLASS) program now, which the GCSS-MC is supposed to replace. Along with the ATLASS program, GCSS-MC is slated to also replace Marine Corps Integrated Maintenance Management System (MIMMS) and the Supported Activity Supply System (SASSY).
Compared to the programs used by the Marines today, the GCSS-MC will provide commanders with accurate and timely information to sustain a new kind of warfare that relies on speed, agility, and mobility, according to GCSS-MC Web site.
When asked about the difference between GCSS-MC and ATLASS, Mercer said “Almost night and day.”
Forms used in the GCSS, update automatically by using data from other systems eliminating the need to type in information more than once, said Mercer.
“A lot of the forms used in GCSS auto-populate (by communicating) to other systems and therefore negating the need to keypunch unnecessary information more than once.”
Due to the design of the GCSS-MC, Mercer explained that a lot of functions he was authorized to do and manage will be managed at a lower level, responsibilities such as approving purchases to managing fiscal budgets will be handled at the shop level.
With implementing the new system, the Marines will most likely see changes.
“A paradigm shift of responsibilities will take place with this new system,” said Mercer. “Supply will still be present for gear transfers and shipping and receiving. But when it comes to the actual creating of requisitions, requests and purchasing, all of that will be passed to the (shop level) and we just review and click a button.”
By changing to the GCSS-MC, the Marines with supply will be able to process items in the system faster.
It looks like a pretty good system. It will help with fund management and will make it easier to move parts, said Graciano, from Los Angeles.
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