U.S. Department of Defense Takes a Closer Look into Application of Blockchain Technology

Application of blockchain technology was one of the topics of focus during the two-day presentation hosted by the Troop Support’s Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) – which is part of the U.S. Department of Defense – office in Philadelphia.

The DLA Troop Support embarked on a herculean task during the 2017 hurricane season. Together with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), DLA Troop Support was able to provide about 1,264 generators, 88.1 million meals, and 41,000 power poles to the affected regions. The project, which was successful, was the case study in the attempt to understand how blockchain technology can help government agencies such as the DLA Troop Support.

Elaborating on the issue was Elijah Londo, CPI management analyst, who asserted that they think blockchain technology holds a lot of promising prospect. He argued that blockchain holds an enormous potential that is capable of transforming transactions just as the internet transformed communication. Londo stressed that the agency is working in due diligence to ascertain what the technology is, how it applies to supply chains, what industry is saying about it, how other industries are leveraging it, and its impact in the future of the agency.

To strengthen this claim, Daniel Keenaghan, CPI Process Compliance Director, described blockchain technology as a decentralized digital distributed ledger which stores identical copies of data across multiple servers. Keenaghan added that changes in the stored data are linked in a chain that allows access to all peers with access to the block. He reassured his audience that he believes the agency is doing amazing work but advances in technology will offer an improvement to the already amazing work.

Applying such technology to the ordering and tracking of DLA’s logistics processes will not only increase trust and transparency within the division but also allows for auditability of the agency’s transactions. That would be so much better compared to the current system of tracking the agency’s processes through databases and systems that are centrally managed by another agency. This process is not only cumbersome but also requires continuous synchronizing of data to ensure they are tracking the right data.

In the same vein, Marko Graham, deputy director of Construction and Equipment (C&E), shared some insights about the challenging process in the project and how the department solved the problems. He then explained how easy the process would have been using blockchain capabilities.

It will be fascinating to witness how such reputable and authoritative branches of government such as the Department of Defense adopt and utilize blockchain, and consequently, making it an eminent and trustworthy mainstream technology.

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