A decade-long mission gap impacting a wide range of military operations is closing, thanks to the Air Force Services Center and an innovative software system that tracks contingency quarters availability.
The Contingency Quarters Management Accountability Platform, or CQMAP, gives services managers a real-time, enterprise-wide view of quarters around the globe, letting them know how much space and equipment is available before putting forces on the ground.
AFSVC has been testing the system with the Prime Readiness in Base Services cadre at four Silver-Flag sites.
“CQMAP will be the operational tracking system for personnel during bare base beddown for everything from disaster response to combatant operations,” said Col. Christopher Parrish, AFSVC commander. “This system will enable Airmen to better execute agile combat support requirements.”
The CQMAP initiative got its start in late 2018 with the LodgeNET concept, an idea submitted through the Spark Tank innovation platform that was designed to support combatant commands and commanders in overseas contingency operations, or OCOs.
“Prime RIBs deployed globally to meet Air and Expeditionary Force and Global Force Requirements identified the shortfalls in OCO and the innovation from LodgeNet would ensure beddown requirements are met at locations globally,” Parrish said.
The Air Force currently uses the Defense Lodging System, a static system not capable of fully supporting contingency quarters requirements to track available bed spaces.
“Before CQMAP we used DLS, Excel and the Employment Locator and Processing Checklist, or Air Force Form 245, to manage contingency quarters,” said Master Sgt. Jennifer Nelson, 21st Force Support Squadron section chief at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. “CQMAP was designed to be simple and an easy to use accountability system which makes our job downrange easier and more efficient to meet the needs of commanders and their Airmen.”
Several exercises were conducted and LodgeNET was tested by the 18th Force Support Squadron lodging team at Kadena Air Base, Japan, said Chief Master Sgt. Brian Denny, AFSVC chief enlisted manager.
“Data collected during the exercises at Kadena (AB) provided critical information to enhance the LodgeNET software,” Denny said. “That information would be key to developing the CQMAP system, utilizing LodgeNET’s capability, to provide real-time occupancy and vacancy statistics, allowing for instant organic resource and facility management.”
AFSVC leadership tackled the next step: funding to allow for rollout of the software Air Force-wide. The funding source came via a nontraditional route under the AFWERX umbrella.
To begin that process, the Air Force Central Command and other key stakeholders completed a five-day workshop to design an automated, user-friendly solution for agile combat support and contingency requirements for things like major-command exercises, natural disasters and pandemic support.
“The workshop not only facilitated the meeting between Air Force Central Command and other key stakeholders,” said Col. Marc Adair, AFSVC director of operations, “but strengthened AFIMSC’s partnerships with academia and non-traditional defense contractors as well.”
From this workshop, the LodgeNET system went through AFWERX to determine requirements and a course of action to deliver a user-friendly system to Airmen. That process included seeking a contractor to facilitate the rapid acquisition and development for what would be CQMAP.
“This system was built by Airmen for Airmen and the joint warfighter,” Denny said. “The workshop prioritized rapid progress, enabling the pursuit of advanced technologies.”
Adair added the Air Force Services Center will expand testing of CQMAP in 2021 to nine major commands, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command, and U.S. Air Forces Central Command. From each, AFSVC will receive necessary hardware support to deploy, maintain and continue software modifications to meet the ever-changing demands of the Air and Space Forces and the joint warfighter, he said.