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NEWS | July 30, 2015

RFID Reduces Inventory Time Aboard Littoral Combat Ship

By Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division

PENSACOLA, Florida - Sailors aboard USS Independence (LCS 2) successfully demonstrated a passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system's utility  during Mine Countermeasures Mission Package (MCM MP) container testing conducted off the coast of Florida, in early July. 

The RFID project showed the technology's ability to dramatically reduce the time sailors spend conducting parts and equipment inventory in support of ship replenishment. 

"RFID reduced the time the sailors are in the containers in the ship, and that's a goal - to reduce the warfighter's work load," said Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division, (NSWC PCD) Project Engineer, Bill Israelson. "With the system's proven accuracy, we can quickly tell what needs to be resupplied so the ship can get what it needs and head back to sea." 

During the container testing Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mine Countermeasure Detachment Sailors scanned and inventoried 1,300 pieces of MCM MP equipment in only 21 minutes during a rapid replenishment evolution between at-sea periods. Previously, this task would have required three sailors 72 hours to accomplish.  

The inventory occurred once the Sailors returned to port from after conducting at-sea technical evaluations of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS 2) MCM MP. Once in port, engineers from NSWC PCD, NSWC Port Hueneme Division and contractor support scanned parts and equipment inside the Mission Package and sent the information to a computer to determine what needed replenishment. 

The RFID project is nearing the final test and evaluation stage, necessary to validate the proof of concept. The RFID prototype was initially developed by the Office of Naval Research.