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CHIPS Articles: Fleet begins transitioning to new reporting system

Fleet begins transitioning to new reporting system
Web services and a service oriented architecture provide robust tools for faster and better combat readiness reporting and decision making.
By U.S. Fleet Forces Command Public Affairs - January-March 2009
Feeling out of SORTS? That's because the current readiness reporting system, Status of Resources and Training System, commonly known throughout the fleet as "SORTS," is being replaced with a new Web-enabled database system that leverages single-entry authoritative data from across the naval enterprise.

The new Defense Readiness Reporting System-Navy provides unit commanders with detailed resources information to assist in assessing readiness. The fleet began transition to DRRS-N Oct. 1.

DRRS-N is based on a service oriented architecture and uses Web services to move data. This change provides Navy and joint commanders continuous access to unit and group level capability-based readiness assessments.

Commanders will use Business Intelligence for decision support. BI provides a flexible decision-support mechanism that allows the generation of an assortment of ways of reporting — everything from static reports to graphical dashboards. BI allows the rapid and relatively inexpensive development of a virtually limitless variety of readiness reports to support higher level commanders in making readiness and resource allocation decisions.

The old SORTS system is based on a formatted naval message with a rigid line construct transmitted via naval message traffic. DRRS-N uses a completely different construct, but can collect specific comments related to overall mission essential tasks (MET), capability readiness, or individual resource deficiencies, as appropriate.

A Web dialogue displays the last reported readiness assessment for each capability and task. The commander can make any appropriate changes and insert comments as required. The data input by the commander is then forwarded via Web services to be recorded in the main DRRS-N database.

DRRS-N is a major shift in readiness thinking and reporting, moving the focus from reporting unit resources and training, to assessing and managing force capabilities.

Using a suite of applications, the program provides leaders and force managers a much more robust package of tools and information to aid in crafting rapid responses to emerging crises while also providing greater ability to assess operational risks.

"DRRS-N will enhance operational decision-making processes by providing accurate, near real-time information about combat readiness to our operational commanders," said Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) Operational Readiness and Training, Rear Adm. Rich O'Hanlon.

The journey to DRRS-N implementation began in 2002 when the Defense Department mandated that all the services develop a capabilities-based readiness input into the DoD Readiness Reporting System (DRRS).

To meet this requirement, USFF, in coordination with the Chief of Naval Operations, is the Navy's executive agent for DRRS-N development and transition.

Afloat units are currently receiving the DRRS-N hardware and software to facilitate the transition. Virtually all Commander, Navy Installation Command shore stations and regional commanders worldwide are already reporting in DRRS-N. Many other shore-based commands have begun the transition as well.

The Fleet Response Plan, in execution of the maritime strategy and combatant commander requirements, reinforces the need for an efficient and modernized readiness management system that provides accurate and relevant readiness information for planning and risk assessment.

DRRS-N will also be more user-friendly than the current readiness system, SORTS. Designed with the Sailor in mind, a significant milestone in the upcoming fleet transition is the capability to automatically populate SORTS data fields. This eliminates the requirement for operational units to report in both DRRS-N and SORTS during the transition period.

"We wanted to minimize DRRS-N data input by using unit resource data that is already provided through a variety of other authoritative systems in a Web serviced environment. Since data only has to be entered once in the right system, that will lighten the burden on Sailors," said Sue Tysor, program manager for DRRS-N.

TAGS: EA, Workforce
Naval Station Great Lakes (Nov. 14, 2008) Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, inspects a recruit drill team as the reviewing officer for a recruit graduation ceremony at Recruit Training Command. Greenert also toured RTC facilities and many of Training Support Center’s A and C Schools during a two-day visit to Naval Station Great Lakes. U.S. Navy photo by Scott A. Thornbloom.
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