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How Can the U.S. Army Use RFID?
For what applications would the military be able to utilize the technology?
Radio frequency identification is a set of technologies that allow you to automatically identify objects and capture information about them. Most armies require a great deal of supplies and equipment to function, including food, clothing, weapons, pharmaceuticals and so forth. RFID can improve supply chain operations by allowing you to confirm that the proper items were picked and shipped at the correct time—and by uploading information indicating where tags are read, as well as when this occurs, you can achieve visibility into the locations of goods.
In 2004, when the U.S. Marines were fighting insurgents in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, it was probably the first time in the history of warfare that commanders on the ground could view the locations of resupplies being sent to them during the fight. RFID readers set up at the border with Kuwait, and checkpoints along the main highway across Iraq interrogated tags on containers of ammunition and food, providing the commanders with confidence that what they needed would be delivered on time—and the ability to make adjustments if any shipments happened to be late (see RFID Aided Marines in Iraq).
Since then, the U.S. military has been tagging goods being sent to Afghanistan and Iraq, saving millions of dollars annually in excess inventory and lost and stolen equipment. Listed below are some articles that you might find helpful.
• RFID Improves Supply Management for Brazil's Army, Air Force
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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