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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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