Arkansas National Guard Goes Automated

The National Guard has a Pre-Mobilization Training Assistance Element (PTAE) program for those alerted for active duty deployment in order to ensure soldiers are properly trained and equipped before going to war.

For years, the PTAE process was paper-based, requiring soldiers to complete a sign-in roster proving they were present for training. The date, task, evaluator, trainer, commander and soldier’s identification also had to be documented on paper. This generated over 900,000 pieces of paper for just one PTAE session. Once all of the data was gathered, it was logged into a Microsoft Excel document, which was a very time consuming and wasteful process.

Under the direction of The Arkansas Inspector General (IG), the Arkansas National Guard automated their documentation process by creating a Microsoft Excel Training Tracker Workbook and barcodes for tasks required for Pre-Mobilization. An in-house software system was developed to identify each task’s barcode and personal Common Access Card (CAC). Next, they looked for a mobile computer that would be able to survive in the field, have an efficient operating system, and could last throughout the day in order to meet all of their data capture needs.

They came across the Intermec CK61G mobile computer and after testing, selected it because it operates on Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0, has rugged design, long battery life, is compact and allows training data to be synchronized through Microsoft Activesync into a SQL database in real-time.

Since implementing the automated data collection solution, the Arkansas National Guard has greatly improved data accuracy and reduced labor and printing costs, ultimately making them more efficient and productive.