Recently, we explored how the Defense Logistics Agency and the Army are using RPA to aid in mission delivery. While this technology has been used by Civilian agencies to streamline back-office tasks, there is much more that it can do to enhance mission delivery. Dave Babyak, the retired Air Force Colonel who now leads the UiPath, DOD and IC sales team suggest, “the department is investing in all things digital. RPA is going to be the glue that orchestrates the work done by soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. RPA is a true force multiplier.” Let’s examine how the Air Force and Navy are leveraging RPA to better handle resources, decode data, and keep team members mission ready.
Air Force: A Robot for Every Airmen
The Air Force is expanding their RPA adoption driven by innovation, the Air Force is using RPA to “inject technology that enables them to become operationally resilient,” said Bill Nystrom, Account Executive with UiPath. A Robot for Every Airman, a program where airman can take RPA technology and use it to solve tasks, has “been a success in applying the technology to problem sets to achieve short term gains,” shared Nystrom.
With upscaling – increasing scalability and resilience – in mind, the Air Force is focusing on reducing the workload and mundane, but mission critical, tasks that must be done. Babyak shared that, “there are cost savings, and this is the only technology folks see in quarter return on investment. The Air Force can maximize the use of soldiers and this will increase moral, retention, and the ability to support the mission out there.”
Navy: Decoding the Data
The Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) is leveraging RPA to streamline the vast amounts of data they have. This data is critical – with information on parts, supplies, and food for sailors – NAVSUP relies on this information to keep the fleet running. However, with a reliance on legacy systems and with no way to put this unstructured data to work, NAVSUP needed to explore solutions that would make them more efficient.
“What we discovered as we dug into that was that there were delays that had to do with how the information got processed through email,” said Kurt Wendelken, NAVSUP’s Chief Information Officer and Assistant Commander for Supply Chain Technology. “Say a contractor comes in looking for answers to a question. We probably already have answers to those questions prepared, and by using this kind of system, it will automate a lot of those functions and thus speed up the process. It’s looking very promising that by changing how we answer those things, we can cut quite a bit of time out of our contracting process.”
It’s clear that RPA is driving innovation, accelerating digital transformation, and enabling warfighters to deliver on the mission more efficiently. It’s changing the way government agencies function and it will continue to serve our country by freeing warfighters to perform higher-level tasks. “Any soldier, sailor, airmen, or marine who is sitting in an office moving data around is missing an opportunity to be with his or her unit actually executing their combat type mission,” concluded Walker.