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Although you may not read about it every day, the war on pirates is an ongoing battle.

war on piratesNATO’s counter-piracy project, Operation Ocean Shield, has been so successful that NATO has just announced that it is extending this into 2016. Operation Ocean Shield encompasses a region of two million square miles across the Gulf of Aden and off the horn of Africa. Its role  — deter and disrupt pirate attacks, ensuring the safety of the hundreds of vessels that travel through the region every day. Beginning in August of 2009, the initiative has been exceptionally successful with an 80 percent reduction in attacks between 2011 and 2012.

IFS has played a vital role in this NATO initiative, ensuring that Norwegian Navy Frigates were in a constant state of readines, during its recent command of the operation through the use of powerful integrated resource planning.  Between June 6 and December 6 2013, Norway was in command of this operation, led by the Norwegian Flagship HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen. Working within NATO command, the Norwegian Navy conducted intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions to verify the activity of shipping off the coast of Somalia. Commercial ships transiting the area had to be monitored and in many cases escorted to ensure their safe passage. Through the NATO Shipping Centre, pirate activity can be reported and shared to prevent attacks and enhance situational awareness of the maritime environment.

The Norwegian Navy teams needed the ability to carry out their duties and be ready for action at a moment’s notice, so they turned to IFS to provide a Logistics Support solution they could be sure would do just this.

Stringent Requirements

In fact The Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) has been a customer of IFS since 2000. The Navy currently operates IFS Applications in the onshore environment as well as on-board ships and vessels whether they are deployed outside of Norway or guarding Norwegian sovereignty in domestic waters. The solution is distributed between the ships and the dockyards and this is also integrated into the Government Finance and HR solution. The solution meets the Norwegian Navy’s operational requirement for six months’ operation in autonomous mode when deployed.

While deployed in NATO operation, these ships can process work as usual and the solution supports master configuration data, configuration management, cannibalization, document management and supply chain management. It also supports management of valid and allowable configuration, maintenance planning, fault reporting and purchasing, inventory, stocktaking and more.

The IFS application is currently deployed on 18 ships in operation, with plans for a further 20 or more in the coming months. The maintenance plans for the Frigates alone equates to 3,500 tasks and 7,000 spare parts per ship. It also helps support and inventory some 50,000 parts with 12,500 in the dockside warehouse and up to 7,000 on each ship. In addition, the IFS solution helps simplify about a million work-flow steps, and manages 17,000 possible configuration options.

The complexity of the operation demands an integrated approach, and IFS meets that requirement particularly as information relating to spare parts is a crucial aspect for the Navy, as delivery times can often be long, with access to parts often extremely difficult. Yet the assets have to be ready for action at a minute’s notice. Cannibalization of parts is also important, but in order for this to be successful, there must be reliable information as to where parts are, and the status of replacements.

IFS Applications has to encompass the entire enterprise resource planning from project management and approval routing, configuration management, document management and archiving, to project delivery and warehousing, purchasing, warranty and change management. No mean task, but completely essential if the war on pirates is to continue successfully.

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