Asset identification, visibility, and tracking can be significantly improved through utilization of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. RFID is a wireless technology that includes passive, semi-passive and active tags. Active RFID systems have the ability to store large amounts of information using an internal power source within the tag. Passive RFID tags operate without a separate external power source and obtain operating power generated from the tag reader. Semi-passive RFID uses an internal power source to monitor environmental conditions, but requires RF energy transferred from the reader/interrogator similar to passive tags to power a tag response.

RFID tags can contain various amounts of data ranging from a simple item number to detailed instructions on how to assemble an item. Continued implementation of RFID technologies across the Department of Defense will play an important role in improving supply chain integration, increasing total asset visibility, and ensuring more effective "tracking out/tracing back" of assets in the pipeline.

DoD has deployed active RFID at over 800 locations with some 1,000 read and write stations to track the flow of military supplies. DoD is also implementing passive RFID at key logistics nodes to optimize the supply chain. DoD is further pursuing expansion of RFID technology use by issuing policy guidance that requires suppliers to put passive RFID tags on case/pallet packaging beginning in January 2005.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) ACQuipedia Article

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