“It’s freaking awesome,” Col. Carra said about the technological capability to pinpoint a vehicle’s location.
“You can say, ‘Oh that’s going to be in Lot 58, row 17, the fourth one from the front,’” Col. Cara said.
The technology has halved the cost of readying the vehicles, according to the case study.
Mary Ann Wagner, who worked with the Army for five years to develop the technology, said the system can cut costs by 50 percent over seven months.
“Because we don’t need as many people going around with handheld readers, we’re able to reduce labor costs,” said Ms. Wagner, president of Cubic Global Tracking Solutions and XIO Strategies.
The technology also has been installed at the naval base in Kuwait and at the Kuwaiti port of Shuaibah to track vehicles being shipped.
“We’re trying to figure out how to do that for Afghanistan,” Col. Carra said.
He estimated that there are 50,000 pieces of rolling stock — anything big with wheels — in Afghanistan.
“The problem is the military has many, many vehicle and high valuable assets,” Ms. Wagner said. “Keeping track of those assets are important.”
Better technology could prevent equipment theft by contractors.
“I’m not naive. I’m sure there was some,” Col. Carra said.
Military assets lose value over time, especially if the technology becomes dated, so some things cost less to leave behind than to bring home and refurbish, he added.
“If you’ve got a 10-year-old car, and it needs a $2,000 repair and $1,000 for transportation, but you can buy new for $4,000,” he said, “it may make more sense to buy a new one.”