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Military bases struggling with personnel shortages, internal review finds

FJAG

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There is more to working a 2nd or 3rd line supply job than just picking stores for shipments. Analytics is a huge role, returns, and disposal, receipts, shelf life management, warehouse organization, stock investigations, SCA management, right down learning how to build up pallets and prepping for shipment.
True. And yet Amazon and car manufacturers and Walmart all manage that with a low-paid warehousing work force and a highly tuned technical system structure with a focus on rapid order fulfilment and on end-user satisfaction.

Are you truly saying that the CAF's system as it sits is the only way to go? Or for that matter a good way to go? End-users and auditors everywhere are disagreeing with that.

🍻
 

Halifax Tar

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You can change any policy or status quo if there is a valid reason for it and the desire exists to make the change happen. Saying that "this is the way it is" is the worst possible raison d'etre for resisting reform albeit it is the predominant reason within government bureaucracies.

One doesn't need to have spent three years turning wrenches or stocking shelves to become a director or manager of maintenance or supply services. A week or two of OJT/ experience as a shelf stacker in an Amazon-like facility is enough. A general understanding of what your subordinates' jobs are and an education in the systems involved will do. Even better if there have been progressive management/leadership roles along the way starting at, let's say, the sgt or WO level.

Just as important, to be a proper manager/leader of a warehouse facility it would be highly beneficial if the middle and higher end managers were military end-users who have experienced the difficulties of working in the field. Their "customer" experience would be invaluable in keeping the warehousing system responsive to the end-users.

If we are putting trained and skilled (and highly paid even at the private and corporal level) service members into warehouses as shelf stackers and putting civilian managers with little or no experience as end users into the leader/manager roles then we have adopted the worst of both worlds.

$.02

🍻

I am not arguing for the status quo. I am simply trying to express that exposure to the different lines of supply creates a a well rounded MMT. I my ideal universe there would be very little civilian foot print in Supply orgs outside of the menial repetitive jobs that you speak of.

I would argue your logic of minimum experience and exposure is what's created our current situation. Right now we run off check in the boxes to prove proficiency. Posting are for a few years to try and give time for pers to experience the differing scenarios that will arise and let them problem solve through them in order to create a well rounded service member be it what ever trade. You are pretty much support the Naval LogO method of experience gaining for the NCM corps now. I will, respectfully vehemently disagree with you on this. Nothing in the Naval LogO training pattern should be replicated by anyone.

Again there is more to working in a warehouse than stacking shelves and picking orders. See my previous posts. And yes we have civilian and military managers all through the CFSS who have zero experience in military logistics, and it shows.
 

MJP

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It's not really a contradiction, GR66.

When HT talks about learning the supply chain, he is talking of a supply tech learning all aspects of exactly that: the supply chain.

When he talks about the officers, he is talking about the fact that in the navy, our SeaLog officers are generalists, not specialists as in the Army/Air Force. They learn just enough of all the following and are simultaneously responsible for all of the following functions onboard a ship: Finance/accounting/budget, NPF, food services, transportation, supply management, records management (OK for that one they get help from the Cox'n staff), plus other assigned ancillary duties. On land, these are all performed by differently and specifically trained officers.
In the grand scheme they do well and punch above their weight nationally likely because they have a such a vast base to draw on. We are not so specialist in the CA that we become masters of the discipline, many jobs are pan-domain
 

Halifax Tar

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If I was going to quibble about anything MLR in the policy I would ask ADMMat to explain their rationale for having soldiers utilize insurance when they lose kit. Outside of the Personal, most insurance companies see that as government owned property and will not cover crown property for an individual. It is a bad policy build on bad advice.

That said these are pretty low-level policies that don't affect the supply chain or supply chain management overall (although arguably equipment stewardship is crucial).

When I think of bad supply policy and supply execution, I think of SuperMax's Tutor part allocation, the overusage of 1Z for parts so it needs SM/LCMM intervention before it is releases, over-usage of High Priority Requests and lack of automation in our system.

I do believe I said we need policies that have teeth, not new policies. You can buck it off as a leadership problem, but until we see CO get fired for his/her shitty concern for his material readiness nothing will change. Leadership starts at the top.

Those are not low level policies and the have a direct impact on operational capability to to CAF. The critical shortage of spares for the CPFs is directly caused by shitty material management and stewardship of engineers and officers. How about the recent recall of sleeping bags and ruck sacks. If we cant do this well and expect people to be responsible and mature in the stewardship of material that they don't own, how can we expect them to be able to distribute properly, i.e. Tutor parts...

In 21 years I have seen 1 person have to pay for their MLR. Maybe its a Navy thing...
 

MJP

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I do believe I said we need policies that have teeth, not new policies. You can buck it off as a leadership problem, but until we see CO get fired for his/her shitty concern for his material readiness nothing will change. Leadership starts at the top.

Those are not low level policies and the have a direct impact on operational capability to to CAF. The critical shortage of spares for the CPFs is directly caused by shitty material management and stewardship of engineers and officers. How about the recent recall of sleeping bags and ruck sacks. If we cant do this well and expect people to be responsible and mature in the stewardship of material that they don't own, how can we expect them to be able to distribute properly, i.e. Tutor parts...

In 21 years I have seen 1 person have to pay for their MLR. Maybe its a Navy thing...
It is a Navy thing.

MLR policy is low hanging fruit in the grand scheme of supply policy, it may be more readily seen at the lower end of the spectrum but tightening up MLRs policy will not fix our supply chain problems.

Material stewardship is crucial but if people don't follow the policies in place now what makes you think they will for new policy? Let us not forget ADM Mat makes pan-CAF policy for supply management, they are not going to make some kick ass policy that says fire X because they didn't follow policy. They do not tell the services how to manage their stocks, and IMHO we are the problem because we do not see equipment stewardship as a command and leadership issue at times. The CA has reinvigorated it for a number of reasons, hell the recent briefing from the CA G4 to new COs says stewardship is crucial and you can't ignore it and break all your stuff because you are screwing the institution (I am sure he said it a lot nicer tho). In my estimation it is still an issue in the CA but getting a bit better.

At the end of the day material stewardship is a cultural command driven thing and no amount of policy will break culture.
 

Halifax Tar

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True. And yet Amazon and car manufacturers and Walmart all manage that with a low-paid warehousing work force and a highly tuned technical system structure with a focus on rapid order fulfilment and on end-user satisfaction.

Are you truly saying that the CAF's system as it sits is the only way to go? Or for that matter a good way to go? End-users and auditors everywhere are disagreeing with that.

🍻
Those low paid employees also only do 1 job of the many that run the gambit of a CAF MMT. They also arent subject to the CSD and the whimsey of the CAF culture and life.

I am not saying the system is correct, in fact I think its terribly broken. I just don't think cutting MMT positions and pay is the answer.

Car manufacturers, my Ford dealer couldnt tell me where my truck was for three weeks. And it never appeared, I ended up buying another. This was in Sept, after I just come home from a deployment where I and my team supported a war ship thousands of miles away from home, through and pandemic filled landscape and still managed to ensure our stores were in port waiting for us, if not already onboard. Like you, I thought Ford would be better, I was let down.
 

Halifax Tar

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It is a Navy thing.

MLR policy is low hanging fruit in the grand scheme of supply policy, it may be more readily seen at the lower end of the spectrum but tightening up MLRs policy will not fix our supply chain problems.

Material stewardship is crucial but if people don't follow the policies in place now what makes you think they will for new policy? Let us not forget ADM Mat makes pan-CAF policy for supply management, they are not going to make some kick ass policy that says fire X because they didn't follow policy. They do not tell the services how to manage their stocks, and IMHO we are the problem because we do not see equipment stewardship as a command and leadership issue at times. The CA has reinvigorated it for a number of reasons, hell the recent briefing from the CA G4 to new COs says stewardship is crucial and you can't ignore it and break all your stuff because you are screwing the institution (I am sure he said it a lot nicer tho). In my estimation it is still an issue in the CA but getting a bit better.

At the end of the day material stewardship is a cultural command driven thing and no amount of policy will break culture.

Fair.

Again, we dont need new policy we need to actually enforce that policy. Right now I dont see that happening. Material stewardship is critical, if we don't enforce it we run out stores. Command also make their own policy, i.e. NAORDs.

I think we are in violent agreement ;)
 

FJAG

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I am not arguing for the status quo. I am simply trying to express that exposure to the different lines of supply creates a a well rounded MMT. I my ideal universe there would be very little civilian foot print in Supply orgs outside of the menial repetitive jobs that you speak of.

I would argue your logic of minimum experience and exposure is what's created our current situation. Right now we run off check in the boxes to prove proficiency. Posting are for a few years to try and give time for pers to experience the differing scenarios that will arise and let them problem solve through them in order to create a well rounded service member be it what ever trade. You are pretty much support the Naval LogO method of experience gaining for the NCM corps now. I will, respectfully vehemently disagree with you on this. Nothing in the Naval LogO training pattern should be replicated by anyone.

Again there is more to working in a warehouse than stacking shelves and picking orders. See my previous posts. And yes we have civilian and military managers all through the CFSS who have zero experience in military logistics, and it shows.

My "logic of minimum experience" is solely focused on repetitive jobs where doing the job over a long period of time adds little in value over a short burst of exposure. In my perfect world, every private's first posying in the MMT world would put in two to three years working in a battalion QM graduating to a Coy QM once he has enough experience to work semi independently. When, and only when, he has experience in what life at the end user level is like he would graduate on to other jobs and never ever would he stack shelves in a 3rd or 4th line warehouse.

I have zero knowledge as to how the Naval LogO method of experience works so am not advocating it per se. I see MMT (like maint) as a vital professional trade/classification that needs experts from the ground up BUT which should also recognize the distinction between what are essential career development steps and what's merely getting a job done. IMHO warehousing at the shelf stacking level requires a solid system but can rely on automation or low skilled workers for the actual "shelf stacking".

On the naval LogO issue. I'm an old preunification/integration guy and always thought that the concept of purple trades was a mistaken concept when it came down to certain jobs. Supply and maintenance are two trades/classifications which are a perfect example because the army, navy and air force have very different end-user needs and methods for delivering the service. While perhaps warehousing could work tri-service (at least on the data processing level), such things as "fulfillment warehousing centres", because of the location and needs of specific (and specialized) end user bases and specialized procurements from manufacturers IMHO should probably be separate facilities in order to maximize efficiency. I'm admittedly a little torn by that because I do believe that an Amazonian 🙂 supply chain system ought to be able to easily handle it all (and should very definitely share a common data processing and fulfilment system) while still serving a disparate customer base where army navy and air force specific issues might be aided by a system that branches out. I guess I might be able to have my cake and eat it too if "fulfillment centres" are established which specialize in element specific items but still have the ability to cater to secondary more generalized ones. There's no reason why that couldn't be fit into a common system.

🍻
 

FJAG

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It is a Navy thing.

MLR policy is low hanging fruit in the grand scheme of supply policy, it may be more readily seen at the lower end of the spectrum but tightening up MLRs policy will not fix our supply chain problems.

Material stewardship is crucial but if people don't follow the policies in place now what makes you think they will for new policy? Let us not forget ADM Mat makes pan-CAF policy for supply management, they are not going to make some kick ass policy that says fire X because they didn't follow policy. They do not tell the services how to manage their stocks, and IMHO we are the problem because we do not see equipment stewardship as a command and leadership issue at times. The CA has reinvigorated it for a number of reasons, hell the recent briefing from the CA G4 to new COs says stewardship is crucial and you can't ignore it and break all your stuff because you are screwing the institution (I am sure he said it a lot nicer tho). In my estimation it is still an issue in the CA but getting a bit better.

At the end of the day material stewardship is a cultural command driven thing and no amount of policy will break culture.
That reminds me of the issue which we used to have (and probably still have) with respect to kit collection from reservists who stop parading. There are two outcomes to the issue: you collect the kit back and get items back on the shelf for reissue or you take some type of collection actions for the monetary value of the item (which is where for a while we legal officers came in). The problem with collecting cash - when you could get it - is that it did not put any kit back on a shelf as the money went into general revenue and not equipment replacement.

Returning kit to shelves was (and probably still is) very much a unit stewardship issue within the units which did not receive enough leadership commitment. One of my first jobs when I qualified as a driver in 1966 was to go out on parade nights to the homes of former gunners and brow beat their mothers into letting me go into Johnny's room and picking up anything brown and putting it into a kit bag to take back to the armouries. We're rather hesitant to do that these days but back then we always had boots and battledress in the QM for new recruits.

🙂
 

Halifax Tar

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My "logic of minimum experience" is solely focused on repetitive jobs where doing the job over a long period of time adds little in value over a short burst of exposure. In my perfect world, every private's first posying in the MMT world would put in two to three years working in a battalion QM graduating to a Coy QM once he has enough experience to work semi independently. When, and only when, he has experience in what life at the end user level is like he would graduate on to other jobs and never ever would he stack shelves in a 3rd or 4th line warehouse.

I have zero knowledge as to how the Naval LogO method of experience works so am not advocating it per se. I see MMT (like maint) as a vital professional trade/classification that needs experts from the ground up BUT which should also recognize the distinction between what are essential career development steps and what's merely getting a job done. IMHO warehousing at the shelf stacking level requires a solid system but can rely on automation or low skilled workers for the actual "shelf stacking".

On the naval LogO issue. I'm an old preunification/integration guy and always thought that the concept of purple trades was a mistaken concept when it came down to certain jobs. Supply and maintenance are two trades/classifications which are a perfect example because the army, navy and air force have very different end-user needs and methods for delivering the service. While perhaps warehousing could work tri-service (at least on the data processing level), such things as "fulfillment warehousing centres", because of the location and needs of specific (and specialized) end user bases and specialized procurements from manufacturers IMHO should probably be separate facilities in order to maximize efficiency. I'm admittedly a little torn by that because I do believe that an Amazonian 🙂 supply chain system ought to be able to easily handle it all (and should very definitely share a common data processing and fulfilment system) while still serving a disparate customer base where army navy and air force specific issues might be aided by a system that branches out. I guess I might be able to have my cake and eat it too if "fulfillment centres" are established which specialize in element specific items but still have the ability to cater to secondary more generalized ones. There's no reason why that couldn't be fit into a common system.

🍻

My understanding is CQs dont have MMTs. They are run but the trade that makes up the regiment i.e. Inf, Arty ect ect. I am not sure about Svc BNs. I stand be corrected.

Ideally for the RCN new MMTs are posted to the base or some other shore unit while they get trained up to go to sea, i.e. OSQAB or NETP as its called now. Then they are posted to a ship. They spend 2 to 3 years there and come ashore and again work in a shore based unit, until they cycle back to sea or are posted out of the are. Again the above idealist as various factors blow that to pieces such as MELs.

This is the last time I will says this FJAG. There is more to working in a warehouse than stacking shelves. Ok ? You need to let go of that meta and embrace that its is more compressive than that. I am not trying to snow you, I am asking you accept my knowledge and experience.
 

MJP

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IMHO warehousing at the shelf stacking level requires a solid system but can rely on automation or low skilled workers for the actual "shelf stacking".
I think you are vastly understating how warehousing especially warehousing in the CAF works. It is more complex than monkey put box on shelf, monkey get box from shelf. Life cycle management, inventory control, and a plethora of other tasks roll into managing material, none of it is rocket science at the lowest end but it is more complex especially once you start incorporating ERP interaction and building warehouse structures in the system that match reality on the ground. It is like saying driving a ship is easy, just don't hit anything

My understanding is CQs dont have MMTs. They are run but the trade that makes up the regiment i.e. Inf, Arty ect ect. I am not sure about Svc BNs. I stand be corrected.
Svc Bn stupidly is all MMTs which is a vast waste of their skill set, welcome to my soapbox as I rant about this often.
 

winds_13

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I am I the only one who read the current Material Management Tech job description and got the impression that they purchase, warehouse, and ship "obsolete stock and equipment"?

From Forces.ca:
  • Manage the purchasing, warehousing, shipping, receiving, stock control and disposal of obsolete stock and equipment
 

Halifax Tar

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I am I the only one who read the current Material Management Tech job description and got the impression that they purchase, warehouse, and ship "obsolete stock and equipment"?

From Forces.ca:
  • Manage the purchasing, warehousing, shipping, receiving, stock control and disposal of obsolete stock and equipment

Good catch, I missed that lol
 

Colin Parkinson

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That reminds me of the issue which we used to have (and probably still have) with respect to kit collection from reservists who stop parading. There are two outcomes to the issue: you collect the kit back and get items back on the shelf for reissue or you take some type of collection actions for the monetary value of the item (which is where for a while we legal officers came in). The problem with collecting cash - when you could get it - is that it did not put any kit back on a shelf as the money went into general revenue and not equipment replacement.

Returning kit to shelves was (and probably still is) very much a unit stewardship issue within the units which did not receive enough leadership commitment. One of my first jobs when I qualified as a driver in 1966 was to go out on parade nights to the homes of former gunners and brow beat their mothers into letting me go into Johnny's room and picking up anything brown and putting it into a kit bag to take back to the armouries. We're rather hesitant to do that these days but back then we always had boots and battledress in the QM for new recruits.

🙂
And we stopped doing it as we had to burn up our precious paydays to get that money we would never see.
 

FJAG

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My understanding is CQs dont have MMTs. They are run but the trade that makes up the regiment i.e. Inf, Arty ect ect. I am not sure about Svc BNs. I stand be corrected.
...
This is the last time I will says this FJAG. There is more to working in a warehouse than stacking shelves. Ok ? You need to let go of that meta and embrace that its is more compressive than that. I am not trying to snow you, I am asking you accept my knowledge and experience.
In my days the regimental QM was a LogO and the QM staff were Sup techs. The Bty QMS and his staff (usually one other guy) were gunners.

You didn't need to repeat the fact that working in a warehouse has many jobs. I understood that from square one and was focusing on the shelf stacking and pulling jobs - the repetitive and not highly skilled jobs - specifically as the ones that could use change. As to the rest of what goes on in a warehouse - let's just say that much of that could also change because Amazon also has to deal with those issues (admitedly some more than others) and it wouldn't hurt to at least look at how they manage them. Some CAF processes may very well be found to already be optimal and therefore left as is.

I think you are vastly understating how warehousing especially warehousing in the CAF works. It is more complex than monkey put box on shelf, monkey get box from shelf. Life cycle management, inventory control, and a plethora of other tasks roll into managing material, none of it is rocket science at the lowest end but it is more complex especially once you start incorporating ERP interaction and building warehouse structures in the system that match reality on the ground.
In the same vein, MJP, I'm not understating how warehousing in the CAF or in general works. I fully understand it is a very complex system. I was merely focusing on one element as an example.

The only point I'm making is that when the system is subpar, you need to critically examine every aspect of it because a system is the product of it's constituent parts. Nothing can be left "off-the-table". More importantly you have to examine it in light of other more successful systems and determine if those can and/or should be replicated. There's lot of how Amazon etc does things that applies to a military supply system but other elements don't fit in. We shouldn't, however, consider ourselves so unique that we dismiss other concepts out of hand. We also need to be very careful of how we implement change if we decide we need it. As I mentioned before, Target is a perfect example how one company attempted to clone it's very successful US system into Canada and failed miserably. That's a cautionary tale but should not discourage us from trying to improve things.

IMHO, the development of a highly functional supply and maintenance system is an essential requirement for a military force that should receive every bit of the same attention as the acquisition of a new and essential weapon system because, eventually, that weapon system will either succeed or fail based on the capability of the supply and maintenance system to keep it operating. I expect you and I agree violently on that point. Quite frankly, the supply and maintenance systems are more important because they support the entire gambit of weapons systems across the board and ultimately will result in the success or failure of our force on operations. Anyone can cobble together a system that will function tolerably under peacetime or low stress operations. The system, however, needs to be able to function well and scale up to support full war commitments or it is simply not worth having. That's the challenge.

🍻
 

MJP

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I am I the only one who read the current Material Management Tech job description and got the impression that they purchase, warehouse, and ship "obsolete stock and equipment"?

From Forces.ca:
  • Manage the purchasing, warehousing, shipping, receiving, stock control and disposal of obsolete stock and equipment
Hahahahaha I love cooking, my dogs, and my family. vs. I love cooking my dogs and my family
 

Halifax Tar

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In my days the regimental QM was a LogO and the QM staff were Sup techs. The Bty QMS and his staff (usually one other guy) were gunners.

You didn't need to repeat the fact that working in a warehouse has many jobs. I understood that from square one and was focusing on the shelf stacking and pulling jobs - the repetitive and not highly skilled jobs - specifically as the ones that could use change. As to the rest of what goes on in a warehouse - let's just say that much of that could also change because Amazon also has to deal with those issues (admitedly some more than others) and it wouldn't hurt to at least look at how they manage them. Some CAF processes may very well be found to already be optimal and therefore left as is.


In the same vein, MJP, I'm not understating how warehousing in the CAF or in general works. I fully understand it is a very complex system. I was merely focusing on one element as an example.

The only point I'm making is that when the system is subpar, you need to critically examine every aspect of it because a system is the product of it's constituent parts. Nothing can be left "off-the-table". More importantly you have to examine it in light of other more successful systems and determine if those can and/or should be replicated. There's lot of how Amazon etc does things that applies to a military supply system but other elements don't fit in. We shouldn't, however, consider ourselves so unique that we dismiss other concepts out of hand. We also need to be very careful of how we implement change if we decide we need it. As I mentioned before, Target is a perfect example how one company attempted to clone it's very successful US system into Canada and failed miserably. That's a cautionary tale but should not discourage us from trying to improve things.

IMHO, the development of a highly functional supply and maintenance system is an essential requirement for a military force that should receive every bit of the same attention as the acquisition of a new and essential weapon system because, eventually, that weapon system will either succeed or fail based on the capability of the supply and maintenance system to keep it operating. I expect you and I agree violently on that point. Quite frankly, the supply and maintenance systems are more important because they support the entire gambit of weapons systems across the board and ultimately will result in the success or failure of our force on operations. Anyone can cobble together a system that will function tolerably under peacetime or low stress operations. The system, however, needs to be able to function well and scale up to support full war commitments or it is simply not worth having. That's the challenge.

🍻

No one has argued that the status quo is what is required... But you have called into question the validity of incomes and positions ... That's where we are coming from.

Want an effective Supply System ? Stop tasking officers with finding one and instead task some CPOs and MWO/CWO MMTs and Tfc Techs to find that solution, we are the ones who are in it at depth every day. The CFSS does not need to be as complicated as it is. Its people who have no experience in the CFSS that are making these decisions, i.e. Officers and Engineers (LCMMs).

No offence meant MJP you seem to be the exception to my rule. And again this may be a Navy thing.
 

Halifax Tar

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It can't be that hard; after all, we let NWOs do it...

Well Played GIF by memecandy
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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It can't be that hard; after all, we let NWOs do it...

Yep. Another category of naval generalist officers with just enough knowledge in communications, seamanship, combat, weapons, engineering and (cough! cough!) air ops to be dangerous in every one of them.
 
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