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U.S. Navy Leverages PD AHRS’ DOD Solution for Range Scheduling and Data Collection

By Mark Gruber, Small Arms Range (SAR) Manager, Navy Installations Command Training and Readiness/N3AT

For the fourth consecutive fiscal year, Commander Naval Installation Command (CNIC) is leveraging the use of an application developed by the U.S. Army to facilitate scheduling and data collection on live fire training ranges. Range Facility Management Support System (RFMSS), which is managed by the Product Director Army Human Resource Systems (PD AHRS), PEO EIS, is a proven scheduling and data collection application developed and funded by the Army since 1999. The U.S. Marine Corps and the National Guard also use RFMSS for their range scheduling and data collection needs. In addition to saving time and effort scheduling the ranges, the usage data facilitates informed resourced-based decision making.

The Navy pays the Army via an Inter-service Support Agreement for RFMSS use at a cost much lower than what the Navy would have to pay were it to develop its own system. “In order to operate in the most cost effective manner possible, the services need to leverage automated systems that can provide common solutions. The Navy required an application to track facility usage, expenditure of ammunition, and automate the scheduling/data collection process. We looked DoD-wide and found an application (RFMSS) already existed” said Mark Gruber, CNIC Small Arms Range Program Manager. Gruber continued: “By the Navy leveraging RFMSS, we follow in the footsteps of the Army, the Marine Corps, and the National Guard. RFMSS is truly a Joint DOD-wide solution. The Army program office provides all technical development, contracting administration, information assurance and authority to operate, and the other services use the application at a dramatically reduced cost, eliminating the need to develop our own application. It’s a cost-effective, win-win across the services.”

Dr. Leslie Sofocleous, PD AHRS, whose office is the acquisition manager for RFMSS, explained: “RFMSS was developed by the Army and is offered to other services at considerable savings. We believe that when you have an already developed product that can be leveraged at low cost by the other services, it is only the right thing to offer that product to the other services. Joint DOD-wide solutions provide economies of scale and save taxpayer dollars.” Jerry Griffin, training range coordinator at the Naval Weapons Station (NWS), Yorktown, Va., depends on RFMSS to schedule, deconflict and safely manage the ranges at his installation. “We use RFMSS extensively for our 25 training ranges and training areas. It is a robust and capable system that we rely on to keep accurate situational awareness of what training is taking place at NWS Yorktown.”

Heather Lawrence, training range manager at Joint Expeditionary Base-Little Creek, Fort Story, Norfolk, Va., had similar comments: “We rely on RFMSS for scheduling, data collection and keeping our leadership informed of the training taking place on our installation’s 157 varied training areas. Many of these training areas support high risk training due to the live fire aspects inherent in weapons qualifications and explosives handling. We also support scheduling of helicopter and parachute training operations.” LT Chris Zink, regional range manager at Commander Navy Region Southwest, finds another benefit of RFMSS: use RFMSS to schedule and collect data on live-fire ranges enabling anti-terrorism force protection qualifications. We then use the data make informed manpower and resourcing decisions.”

In addition to CNIC-funded ranges, RFMSS is available to the rest of the Navy at no charge. Navy Special Warfare Group One, Commander, Naval Air Forces, Coronado, Ca., and Naval Education and Training Command, headquartered in Pensacola, Fla., currently use RFMSS to schedule/collect data at certain facilities. With CNIC recently funding Navy RFMSS for fiscal year 2014, and the Military Operations Area in place until fiscal year 2016, RFMSS is the go-to system for all Navy range scheduling and data collection needs.

Posted January 23, 2014