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Army Readies Faster Unit Readiness-Assessment System

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2006 – The Army will soon power up a faster, computerized readiness-assessment system that commanders will use to monitor and gauge their units’ fitness for deployment to perform combat and other missions, a senior Army official said here today.

The Defense Readiness Reporting System-Army will be implemented Armywide Oct. 15, Col. Barry Tyree, chief of the Army Staff’s readiness division, told reporters at a Pentagon news briefing.

The transformational automated system will be fielded in conjunction with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Tyree said. The system is easier for commanders to use, while providing a more current picture of unit-readiness levels, he said. The new system will eventually be used by all of the armed services.

The new system enables commanders to focus on the content of their readiness-assessment reports, Tyree said, “and not necessarily on the time it takes to create” the reports.

“In our testing we found that we reduced the workload on commanders in the field by about 50 to 75 percent for how they create this report,” Tyree said. “And, that’s good for us, because at the department level -- and certainly as it goes to the Joint Staff and OSD -- you want more accurate information.”

The old, slower system was created during the Cold War and relied on “stubbly pencil” inputting of data, Tyree said. The new, Web-based system automatically links to other sites commanders will use in updating their readiness reports, he said.

Commanders enter readiness data, such as numbers of personnel, training status, equipment on hand and equipment serviceability, into the computerized system, Tyree explained. The system features specialized data input templates that are customized for different types of military units, such as armor, artillery, infantry, and so forth.

The secured, automated program also incorporates a new capabilities-measuring system instituted by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Tyree said. Military units are assigned “yes,” “qualified yes,” or “no” readiness ratings.

“Yes” means identified units can be immediately deployed, according to Army documents. “Yes” assessments should also, whenever possible, reflect a unit’s demonstrated performance in training or during actual operations.

“Qualified yes” means a military organization is expected to accomplish a given task well enough, but the unit’s performance hasn’t been observed or demonstrated during training or operations, according to Army documents.

A “no” assessment indicates the organization is unable to accomplish the task to standard at that particular time.

For the time being, the Army also would continue to employ the current five-part system in concert with the new system as part of the unit readiness-assessment process, Tyree said.

“We’re keeping the current … assessments so we can ensure that we understand how commanders are making their assessments,” he said.

The new system also will assist Army and DoD efforts in providing “all the right resources” for units returning from deployment, while also monitoring those units’ progress as they “re-set” for future deployments, Tyree said.

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