Smarter Technologies Group (STG), the leading British provider of Internet-of-Things (IoT) solutions, is helping the UK’s 101 Operational Sustainment Brigade (OSB) gain “Support Advantage” with modern tracking technology. A joint industry/MoD trial of STG’s proprietary Orion IoT Data Network was conducted during exercise IRON TITAN 23. Critical supplies were tracked in near real-time to give commanders, planners and operators full visibility of their supply chain and present them with data-driven insight for their decision-making.
Exercise IRON TITAN 23 was the British Army’s largest support exercise in 20 years. It was designed to test the support elements of the 3rd (UK) Division and involved over 8,000 troops deployed across England and Wales. As well as individual and collective training, the exercise explicitly aimed to innovate, and to trial technologies that help realise the Army’s logistic support vision for the future.
Aligned with this vision, Army Logistics targeted the need for more timely and reliable supply chain visibility than is possible using manual systems. They saw the value of tracking vital logistic commodities, such as ammunition, across the breadth and depth of the logistic effort, in near real-time and via a common user interface. Smarter Technologies, who have extensive experience of high-value asset-tracking in the commercial sector, worked alongside 101 OSB and 27 Regt RLC to design and implement an automated asset-tracking capability suitable for deployed military manoeuvres, with a customisable interface to meet the needs of different users.
The trial proved Orion’s ability to automate manual interventions, efficiently and reliably, and to track critical consignments at rest and in transit, on arrival and departure at logistics nodes and as they move between them. The trial opens up the prospect for enhanced supply-chain visibility, from the industrial base, along extended lines of communication and all the way to front-line units. It also offers the possibility of a faithful, live and responsive common operating picture able to support dynamic operations in rapidly changing circumstances.
Brigadier Craig Hanson, formerly ACOS Log (Army) and now Commander 101 OSB, said, “It was great to see modern asset-tracking on Ex IRON TITAN. What Smarter Technologies showed was the art of the possible for real-time situational awareness in a deployed military setting.” He added, “It was also good to see units working directly with industry partners to experiment and innovate. The Land Industrial Strategy (LIS) is clear about the need for closer working relationships between MoD and industry, and what the troops have delivered here is exemplary. Embracing current and emerging technologies is essential if we are to meet our future needs, generate support advantage and give us the edge. Thank you to Smarter Technologies for working so closely with my units on this project – a real success story”.
David Miller, Chief Technical Officer at STG said, “It was invaluable for us to work alongside 27 Regt RLC and to better understand the logistic challenges they face. Orion has been used for many years to track high-value assets in the commercial sector and in Defence. We’ve now demonstrated that it has benefit well beyond base infrastructure, such as naval dockyards, military air bases and established training areas, and can also support deployed operations globally. We’re looking forward to working more with UK Defence to leverage the benefits of IoT tracking solutions further, for both efficiency and effect.”