Smeal partners with U.S. Army to offer logistics training to Iraq

University Park, Pa. -- The Center for Supply Chain Research at Penn State's Smeal College of Business is working with the U.S. Army's Iraq Training and Advisory Mission (ITAM) to assist in the logistics training of Iraqi officials.

Army ITAM is tasked with the support and sustainment of the various government ministries for the Republic of Iraq. In this particular case, Army ITAM contacted Penn State Executive Programs to develop and deliver an executive education program on improving the logistics capability for Iraq's Ministry of Interior (MoI). 

From Dec. 6 through 11, nine Iraqi ministers, including the senior deputy minister of administration and finance, and five Army ITAM soldiers will visit Penn State to take part in a supply chain fundamentals course led by Smeal faculty and other industry experts.

Iraq's MoI is the equivalent of its national police force. The MoI is the largest single employer in Iraq with nearly 500,000 employees and includes SWAT teams, bomb detection squads, a paramilitary force, police training academies and dedicated security forces for the government's strategic assets -- oil refineries, banks, electric grid, ports and others. The ministry is in charge of 30,000 vehicles, both commercial and military, of more than 26 different types throughout Iraq, including trucks, SUVs, armored vehicles and police cruisers.

Col. James D. Hess, the Army's ITAM liaison, is excited about partnering with Penn State to build a supply chain management mindset for this critically important ministry. 

The MoI "desperately needs information technology to work for them on all levels to earn a place in the global or regional community," said Hess. "They need to understand what automation can do for them within a supply chain management context."

In addition to a primer on business automation solutions for supply chain, Penn State will provide instruction on the concepts of strategic procurement, ordering, managing and distributing inventory, transportation planning and fleet maintenance.

"We are pleased to have been chosen by the Army for this effort and honored to support this fledgling government," said Susan Purdum, faculty director for the upcoming education program. "This ministry has tremendous challenges. If we can assist the MoI in improving its behind-the-scenes operations through logistics capabilities, then perhaps we will improve MoI's ability to conduct its primary mission of security."

Contacts: 
Last Updated November 12, 2009