08 July 2011

DRRS-N Update


My last DRRS-N update to you was in March, when I made CAPT Skip Shaw my DRRS-N Special Assistant (N00R) and tasked him to work the significant operational issues in DRRS-N and put the program on the right path for long-term sustainment. Most importantly, I directed him to solicit and use feedback from the Fleet as the cornerstone for identifying and resolving these issues.

Recently, Skip and his team held two CO/XO seminars – one here in Norfolk, and the other in Mayport – to provide information on recent progress and solicit feedback. The feedback from these seminars has been invaluable. Some of the recurring themes include confusion over reporting standards, frustration with spending too much time trying to justify time-late PESTO scores, and concern that ISICs are more interested in reporting readiness than in building readiness.

These concerns fall in line with the areas where I have directed the team to focus their efforts -- essential outcomes that include the following:

1. Train the Fleet – the DRRS-N team is working with key stakeholders to get the right training to the right levels at the right time. A master set of training materials will be ready for Fleet operators by 01 October. Additionally, Skip has engaged school house leadership and targeted 15 December to provide a plan for training pipelines for both officer and senior enlisted leadership. Training the Fleet cannot be solely focused on operations officers – readiness is an all hands responsibility and our senior enlisted leaders have much to contribute.

2. Reduce DRRS-N complexity for the end user – the unit commander needs a simple interface to enter data, but the DRRS-N display currently focuses on (often time-late) information that the unit commander cannot change (“PESTO”). This PESTO information has utility for the long-term sustainment of readiness functions, but in its current implementation, it overly complicates the process. As such, the DRRS-N team will be rolling out a new graphical interface on 01 October, which will emphasize the unit commander’s assessments, allow updating OARS/SORTS data on the same page, and provide a less complex format for ISIC review.

3. Revise DRRS-N related doctrine – the DRRS-N team will promulgate a revision to the DRRS-N NTRP by 01 February 2012 in order to provide clear and unambiguous guidance for the fleet. This aggressive timeline will require deck plate feedback to make this document right. Look for a draft of the unclassified NTRP to be posted within the next 60 days.

4. Provide an accurate view of unit operational readiness – a unit must be able to articulate the current mission assigned and clearly report its capability to meet its designed specifications in major combat. The previous points feed into this one.

5. Fix the interface with Defense Readiness Reporting System- Strategic (DRRS-S) – DRRS-N is part of the larger strategic reporting process within the Department of Defense (DoD), and unit level status is transmitted into this strategic system. This input helps Combatant Commanders in more accurately assessing unit capability to execute missions.

We use DRRS-N to communicate a unit’s readiness to perform its assigned missions. The Commanding Officer has the best viewpoint to describe readiness degradations and impacts on unit capabilities, and I continue to look to the CO’s Core and Capability Area assessments and comments to provide the clearest and most concise picture of operational readiness.

I want to assure you that we are using these reports and your comments. Aside from the information going to DRRS-S, I’ve directed that DRRS-N reported readiness be prominent in USFF daily planning and operational briefs. So it’s critical that unit assessments and comments provide a clear and accurate picture of current readiness.

I’ve also asked Skip to establish “Ops Boss Summits” so that we can talk directly to those of you who deal with this system every day. I want to have the first of these near the end of July and if supportable, onboard a ship.

Your feedback continues to be absolutely critical to the evolution of DRRS-N. You can provide that feedback while at the DRRS-N website (look for the “help desk”), or you can send an email to drrs-n.cffc.001.fct@navy.smil.mil, or your UNCLASSIFIED comments are always welcome here. Feedback is important for every aspect of this program – afloat, ashore, documentation, training or any other area.

Reporting readiness may not be as adrenaline-inducing as firing a Tomahawk missile or launching an F/A-18 off of the deck of a carrier, but we must be able to clearly communicate that we can execute those missions when tasked… which is why we have DRRS-N. There is much work being done right now, but I am very encouraged by the level of involvement and feedback we’re receiving from the Fleet. Thanks very much for your engagement!
All the best, JCHjr


Anonymous said...

Back in the day, 1990s, I remember reporting all sorts of readiness. The funny part was our NCEA did not cover what we needed for training. It is good to see the focus on the basics. It will be interesting to see if any reports come in as "Not Ready"...I doubt it, since over-inflating one's capability happens not because of fear of reporting something bad, but because we sometimes forget the true baseline. I know you understand because of your previous focus on amphibious operations; This is why FST training is so important, you can practice, rehearse, practice some more, then finally when underway really see if you past the test. Of course constructive criticism/feedback is needed at all watch stations for the training to be valuable. You need to add "bads" back....debrief format "goods", "bads", and "others" Thanks for listening.

Anonymous said...


I applaud this effort, but I have to ask the question of when are we going to remove other readiness reporting programs? By this I mean, we have DRRS-N, SORTS, TORIS/TFOM, Redlines, ISIC Quad charts, and various other specific programatics; NEURS, ATRs, etc. If DRRS-N is the means that you track surface ship readiness, why is it that subordinate commands still require different readiness reports? Would it not make sense to be a master of one reporting method than to be OK at many while expending countless man hours on duplicate efforts?

This goes back to ADM King's message to his commanders on staff generating orders/taskers to the fleet. Does that order/tasker make sense and is it necessary or already being done?

Hopefully this initiative will continue forward and eliminate these redundancies.

Thanks for listening.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Good Evening Admiral,
While attending a DRRS-S Operational employment course the opportunity to present the DRRS-N linkage to DRRS-S presented itself in the course while developing the DRRS Center of Excellence (DCE) for Europe.
Through the use of the Capability Trees “tool” we have linked directly UICs with missions assigned to the Navy commander in DRRS-S.
This Operational linkage has provided a level of excitement in the COCOM. If we can write the plans’ /annexes with the proper amount of detail (detailed planning) the circle will close the supporting supported loop for readiness reporting against aligned PRIMARS and the PESTOF.
Operational DRRS-N is the next greatest step. Moving the tool into the Numbered Fleet Commander realm will finish the growth cycle of the program from a TYCOM tool to an Operational tool and subsequently across the entire Navy.

Fidelity in reporting is a must, assessment ratings have to go beyond the Power Point depth of button management and the copying and pasting of CASREPs.

Have a great evening Sir


ADM J. C. Harvey, Jr USN said...

Anonymous, thanks for your comment. We are in complete, rpt complete, agreement that we need to identify and eliminate redundant reporting systems and requirements. Below I address some of the specific systems you mentioned that are related to DRRS-N, but I believe you identified a broader problem of the number of reporting requirements (operational AND administrative) we impose on our units. While many of these reports are required, I’m certain there are more than a few that are either unnecessary or are tasked directly to the unit when the TYCOMs / ISICs could and should be providing that information for them.

Regarding the readiness reporting requirements:
Some of the requirements won’t go away, such as CASREPS that feed MFOM -- they are still required because our units use this information to report the status of equipment and my chain-of-command requires it. DRRS-N was not designed to replace systems like MFOM; rather, it was designed to pull the existing information from these systems into one place to provide executive-level summaries on unit readiness.

Some requirements probably should go away, but we have to keep them around because they feed other organizations (outside the Navy). For example, the Joint Staff still requires the Services to report readiness into GSORTS because they use the information for Joint systems, such as JOPES and TPFDD. We’ve incorporated the SORTS report messages within DRRS-N (via OARS) in order to consolidate the process and create a common readiness picture. I’ll keep working to remove this additional reporting requirement.

Finally, I believe some requirements are redundant and simply must go away. These redundancies include anything that requires information a unit has already reported via other methods – a unit should never be double-tapped for the same information! I suspect that many of the ISIC quad charts you mentioned fall directly into this category. If an ISIC or higher echelon has a specific, preferred way of seeing their readiness reports, they should be working directly with the DRRS-N team to meet their unique requirements.

Thanks again for the comment. This blog and my Fleet visits are critical to making sure I better understand what is happening on the deck plates.
All the best, JCHjr

CAPT Skip Shaw, USN said...


One of the key elements of the DRRS-N system is the utilization of the NRRE-BI tool. This interface capability allows for manipulation and display of DRRS-N data reported from the ship in a wide variety of formats and displays. Unfortunately, this function must be accessed through the DRRS-N ashore site (bandwidth limited at sea). Although bandwidth may be an issue, it is possible to set up automatic products (reports and displays) which could be sent to units or staffs in a PDF format or e-mail summary.

If anyone needs assistance my team is standing by to assist. We can work with you to evaluate the products currently used, the desired output, and existing DRRS-N information. We can probably come up with a product that would satisfy your requirement (and those of up echelon leadership). If bandwidth is an issue we can help set up automatically generated product(s) so that logging into the BI tool would not be required.

Hopefully, the utilization of this function can help to obviate the need for multiple reports to multiple organizations all using the exact same information.

Looking forward to working with you,

Skip Shaw