Yarded successfully tested in field exercise with logistics battalion 163

In order to ensure modern national and alliance defense, large NATO units must be able to be deployed across national borders as quickly as possible in an emergency. The Bundeswehr's logistics play a key role in this process. Germany would be a major military hub in a war. The Bundeswehr's logistics must ensure that vehicles and war material arrive where they are needed. In order to simplify and digitalize the military processes behind this, Bundeswehr intrapreneurs Captain Lieutenant Eric L. and Captains Anna T. and Oskar H. from Logistics Battalion 163 RSOM have worked together with the Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub to further develop marketable software.

The result is the YARDED system, which enables officers to efficiently plan and actively control material and vehicle flows in the marshalling area. This enables Germany to fulfill its tasks within NATO more efficiently and agilely. In the event of war, soldiers like Lieutenant Commander Eric L. would have to transfer 500 vehicles and more than 2,500 tons of material to NATO's RSOM process every day.

The abbreviation stands for "Reception Staging and Onward Movement". A process that was still carried out with paper and pencil in the Bundeswehr for a long time - a situation that Lieutenant Commander Eric L. rightly considers outdated. "The administration of logistical processes always slowed me down before. With YARDED, we now have software in our hands that allows us to process and handle more data, more material and more vehicles," explains the lieutenant captain.

Function test under real operating conditions

In Delmenhorst, Lower Saxony, Logistics Battalion 163, which implements the RSOM process in NATO structures, has now carried out a three-day field test with the YARDED software configured for the Bundeswehr. "The aim of the exercise is to make weak points in the software visible, test the application with soldiers under real operational conditions and thus improve it," continued Bundeswehr intrapreneur Eric L. Lieutenant Colonel Julian H., commander of the logistics battalion, was already optimistic on the morning of the first day of testing: "We had a few teething problems, but what I've experienced so far is a great success and a huge time advantage."

As early as January 2022, the battalion commander recognized the great potential behind the YARDED software. Together with the Bundeswehr's Cyber Innovation Hub, a project team was quickly formed around the three captains from the battalion, who come from different logistics areas. The YARDED system ensures digital and transparent planning for all units involved in the marshalling area. The system also makes recommendations that can be used as decision-making aids by commanders during operations. Colonel Alexander H., Commander of the Mobile Logistics Force of the Armed Forces Base, is also convinced of the innovative potential: "We want to continue to support YARDED with all our might. My appeal is clear: we have software here that can really help us move forward and can possibly even be rolled out to the troops."

Innovation project with great potential

Expectations for the field test in Delmenhorst are therefore high. The Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub's innovation project #142 has the potential to further develop and optimize the logistics processes of the armed forces. As the software is designed to be open, other branches and organizational areas of the Bundeswehr can also participate in the project. Furthermore, the project is also of interest to all NATO partners who, like Germany, face similar logistical challenges in alliance operations or large-scale exercises. In any case, the Bundeswehr intrapreneurs have already been able to impress the alliance partners in the current NATO Innovation Challenge "Military Mobility": the Bundeswehr won first place with YARDED and was able to prevail against strong teams from Estonia, France, Canada and the USA.

In the end, the Bundeswehr intrapreneurs were also satisfied with their field test: "We are currently very happy with the planning results from the exercise," explains Captain Oskar H. on behalf of the planning team. The data showed a clear advantage of YARDED: "Our planning is faster, more precise, much easier to understand and clearer to visualize. The software standardizes processes." However, process adjustment is still a challenge because each soldier involved is given more responsibility. According to the captain, the artificial environment of the exercise meant that YARDED was overwhelmed in some places. "In the exercise, the transitions were too fast. Longer standstill times also occur in a live operation." The exercise will now be evaluated afterwards and weaknesses in the software will be rectified together with the service provider, added Lieutenant Commander Eric L.

A living turning point

Sven Weizenegger, Head of the Bundeswehr's Cyber Innovation Hub, is also convinced of the results of the exercise in Delmenhorst: "Today's success shows that innovation is no coincidence: Innovation is no coincidence, innovation is hard work. Our aim is now to test YARDED in the wider NATO context and to scale it up across the Alliance as quickly as possible. This is our active contribution to national and alliance defense." The success also shows how well the CIHBw masters innovation processes and the pace of innovation that the Bundeswehr is already capable of today. Weizenegger: "Our CIHBw innovation project YARDED is a living turning point. As a hub, we now want to take the energy from the exercise with us to drive the software forward as a focus together with the Bundeswehr's armed forces base."