USA — Database Provides Mission Readiness Information

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department’s readi­ness report­ing sys­tem, designed to pro­vide a com­pre­hen­sive overview of a unit’s man­pow­er, skill sets, equip­ment and capa­bil­i­ties as well as mis­sion require­ments, is near­ing full oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ty, a top offi­cial said.

Devel­op­ment of the Defense Readi­ness Report­ing Sys­tem began in 2002, and var­i­ous com­po­nents of it have been used in mil­i­tary response plan­ning since 2005, even as new capa­bil­i­ties were being added to the sys­tem, Army Col. Simon Goerg­er, direc­tor of the Defense Readi­ness Report­ing Sys­tem Imple­men­ta­tion Office, said in a recent Pen­ta­gon Chan­nel inter­view. The sys­tem pro­vides infor­ma­tion to com­mands on unit capa­bil­i­ties to ensure com­mands are pre­pared to exe­cute the mis­sions they are assigned, Goerg­er explained. And in addi­tion to troop-readi­ness data, he added, it also con­tains readi­ness infor­ma­tion for each ser­vice­mem­ber, includ­ing med­ical sta­tus, spe­cial qual­i­fi­ca­tions and skills. 

Pulling from numer­ous ser­vice data sources, DRRS is a “one-stop shop” for infor­ma­tion that enables com­man­ders and defense lead­ers to view readi­ness data to help plan for and respond to emerg­ing threats in a time­ly and effec­tive man­ner, Goerg­er said. 

The sys­tem has helped to stream­line the deci­sion-mak­ing process dur­ing deploy­ment, Goerg­er said. For instance, with­in days of the oil rig explo­sion in the Gulf of Mex­i­co that trig­gered a major oil spill, Nation­al Guard offi­cials were able quick­ly to iden­ti­fy the readi­ness of their units to respond, he said. 

“Units [from] along the Gulf Coast such as Alaba­ma and Mis­sis­sip­pi have report­ed inside of DRRS what the readi­ness [sta­tus­es] of their units are and the require­ments they have from their state author­i­ties to address the sit­u­a­tion,” Goerg­er said. “We then have a good idea what the require­ments are, what the [unit] capa­bil­i­ties are, and what the short­falls may be, so if we are required to go for­ward and esca­late sup­port to the oper­a­tion, iden­ti­fy­ing require­ment and viable assets to meet those needs is much faster.” 

Through the sys­tem, readi­ness data is syn­the­sized, allow­ing deci­sion mak­ers to pre­pare for the expect­ed, respond to the unfore­seen and effec­tive­ly mit­i­gate risk, he said. 

Goerg­er said that while acti­vat­ing reserve units remains a require­ment of the ser­vices and U.S. Joint Forces Com­mand, DRRS pro­vides them with infor­ma­tion on which units are most ready to be deployed, along with an out­line of the poten­tial risks of choos­ing cer­tain units based on their local­i­ty and over­all capa­bil­i­ty to con­duct oth­er mis­sions. Since DRRS’ imple­men­ta­tion, feed­back has been received from all lev­els of command. 

“There are com­bat­ant com­mands out there that absolute­ly love the fact they are able to now see appor­tioned units and the abil­i­ty of those units to accom­plish their mis­sions,” he said. The sys­tem has saved U.S. Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Com­mand and U.S. North­ern Com­mand ana­lysts hun­dreds of hours per month because they don’t have to con­duct their own data calls and cor­re­late readi­ness infor­ma­tion, Goerg­er added. It’s housed in DRRS, allow­ing them to more quick­ly assess the command’s abil­i­ty to con­duct missions. 

“It is very dif­fi­cult to be ful­ly capa­ble of doing all mis­sions at one time,” Goerg­er said. “Under­stand­ing which units are ready for [spe­cif­ic] mis­sions dras­ti­cal­ly reduces the time it takes to find the unit, assign the unit to that mis­sion and get units deployed so they can go out and take care of the sit­u­a­tions that are giv­en to the Depart­ment of Defense to resolve.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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