The Troop Support Division, a part of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) had met earlier in December in order to explore adoption of the decentralized ledger technology. The meeting in Philadelphia, led by the office of Continuous Process Improvement (CPI), primarily sat down to discuss the impact blockchain technology could have made to its relief efforts in Puerto Rico, when Hurricane Maria made landfall in 2017.
Elijah Londo, the CPI management analyst, said, “The potential is absolutely enormous”, according to the information releasedby DLA, “Talk about blockchain, and you’ll hear experts comparing it to transforming trust or transactions in the same way the internet changed communication.”
The DLA uses a traditional centralized tracking system for running its disaster relief efforts. The DLA faces a lot of issues in its supply chain system, with thousands of vendors providing it material and support, transportation and other services. This is very pronounced in the tracing and tracking over difficult terrain and communication hit areas.
Marko Graham, Deputy Director DLA Construction and Equipment Unit, was very positive about the application of the technology, “This is where I can see where blockchain would have been a big help [in the relief efforts]. Flowing material specifications and tracking data from the manufacturer buying the raw materials to … getting the transportation and getting it on the barges.” He further said, “We’re researching the technology. We’re getting as smart as we can about what it is, what industry is saying about it, what the future might look like, how it applies to supply chains and how other industries are using it. We’re doing our due diligence.”
The SPI is also closely working with U.S. Transportation Command and Maersk. The world’s largest shipping firm has already partnered with IBM to create a blockchain based shipping platform that will help in reducing paper time work in global shipping.
Many U.S. institutes and departments are looking into adoption of blockchain technology. The FDA, for example, has turnedtowards decentralized technology after a E. Coli outbreak in lettuce produce in the U.S. The U.S. Air Force has also placed an orderof crypto communication devices to Viasat for their military operation communications security.
Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Defense.