Marines keep track of all equipment at home and overseas through a tagging process. Marines from three different bases recently participated in a weeklong training session on how to operate portable deployment kits so they can label and tag every piece of equipment.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brice McMinn is a Logcom Mobility Officer who says the specialized training is necessary so the Corps doesn't have to outsource a function as important as tracking equipment. "The device can assign more or less a tracking number to a piece of gear. It can print out those labels that are visible to that piece of gear, you can annotate to that software and associate to that tracking device" says McMinn.
The equipment is designed to do everything labeling/tagging wise overseas that it does here. However overseas they may have to use a car or a hummer as a power source. The training is to make sure the marines can properly use the equipment when deployed. "We want to make sure they understand completely how it's set up properly and how to operate it properly before they really get hands on use of it. We know the dots get connected when they start playing with it, but they need a good understanding of how it's used and the set up process is a little lengthy and not just hit the power button" says McMinn.
Major Mauro Morales, a Distribution Management Officer says the process is similar to how FedEx or UPS assigns tracking numbers to mail. "We are bringing a lot of vehicles back that need to come to Marine Corps Logcom for repair, refurbish, or just getting back in tip top shape to once again send them back to the operating forces. We have to track everything" says Morales.
The tags provide detailed information for what's inside the containers. One of the most important lessons learned during training is how to make sure the tag doesn't fall off. "If the tag falls off it gives the wrong impression of the equipment being in one place for a long time, when the equipment has already moved. Then you look and your tracking the box and it's the tag itself laying on the ground" says Morales.