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Fort Indiantown Gap is the base for a new kind of proving effort: The software variety.

An Army spokesman announced today that the Pennsylvania Army National Guard has reached the midway point of its test of a new army human resources (HR) system called IPPS-A (pronounced “ippsa”).

The limited user test began January 7 and includes six other cities with PA National Guard sites (Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Harrisburg, Allentown, Horsham, and Philadelphia). The feedback will be used to implement software fixes and develop best practices to improve current and future deployment versions of the software.

So what is IPPS-A? “It’s a system that will transform the Army’s disparate personnel and pay environment into a single modern system serving all National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty Soldiers,” said Richard J. Licata, deputy product manager for the system.

Practically speaking, the system will give soldiers the ability to check on personnel actions without going through their S1. The system will have a major impact on the use of paper, in addition to providing for better analytics on all types of personnel questions.

The release says that there were some hiccups at the start of testing, but things have stabilized at this point.

The project’s Facebook page quotes one PA National Guard soldier as saying she did not think it was very user friendly at first, but “now as we’ve moved forward a couple of months, I find it very user-friendly.”

The system is being evaluated against the Army’s current (legacy) system, the Standard Installation/Division Personnel System (SIDPERS).

IPPS-A follows the “disastrous” DIMHRS project, which was killed in 2010, with then Defense Secretary Robert Gates saying, “I would say that what we’ve gotten for a half billion dollars is an unpronounceable acronym.”

Here are the top ten advantages of IPPS-A, according to the people who made it.

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