By Coleen R. San Nicolas-Perez, Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs
WASHINGTON -- A recent survey conducted by Navy Installations Command (NIC) indicates that the use of an automated range management system continues to benefit the Navy's warfighters.
The Range Facility Management Support System (RFMSS), funded by NIC, is in use throughout the shore enterprise at a majority of its regions that manage training ranges and activities for the Navy's warfighters.
"With this system, our training range managers and warfighters have a web-based application that automates range management functions such as scheduling, processing requests, and collecting utilization data," said Leonard Garcia, RFMSS functional administrator with NIC. "Our warfighters previously only had phones, emails, and spreadsheets to manage the ranges."
The survey focused on several criteria, including time and manpower savings, data collection, efficiency and effectiveness, as well as benefits for continued usage. Across the board, the regions, which are located throughout the world, gave the system high scores.
Since 2010, NIC has invested an annual average of $150,000 for maintaining the system throughout the shore enterprise. The use of the system, according to the survey and feedback from users, prove to be worth the cost.
"RFMSS is a vital part of the operational success of the ships that visit our ports and our tenant commands," said Tom Rose, small arms range manager at Navy Region Southeast (NRSE). "RFMSS is an extremely effective and accurate system. The ease of scheduling is never bottle-necked or delayed. This system makes it easy to track qualifications, training rounds, and personnel trained at the ranges."
There are more than 17 small arms training ranges within the NRSE area of responsibility. On the opposite side of the continent, Navy Region Southwest is responsible for 11 small arms training ranges.
"RFMSS is not only beneficial to the region, but to the ships on the waterfront as well," said Kristen Koszewski, Naval Base San Diego small arms range manager. "If RFMSS were not to be used, it would be difficult for ships to submit requests while out at sea. The automated system permits them to input their requests well in advance."
The system was also implemented across the board at Naval Special Warfare Command, Navy Expeditionary Combatant Command, and Navy Security Forces. Leaders and users at those special operations commands continue to give the system a "thumbs-up."
"Without RFMSS, it would be an extremely time-consuming process to gather the data from multiple sources, collate the data, and reformat for submittal," said Steven Giblin, deputy director of Naval Special Warfare Command. "At any given time, leadership can log into the RFMSS and see which NSW commands are training, how many people are training, and how often the facility is being utilized."
The command directed all of its Naval Special Warfare (NSW) components in 2014 to utilize the RFMSS as the single application for scheduling, data collection, and utilization reporting for their range programs.
"The highly-advanced system gives NSW leadership accurate and up-to-date information on range usage that helps identify resource requirements to support range capacity and infrastructure needs," said Randy Jackson, NSW range director. "At the end of the day, we are able to provide our personnel with the necessary training to fulfill their mission."
Navy Installations Command is comprised of approximately 52,000 military and civilian personnel worldwide responsible for the operations, maintenance, and quality-of-life programs to support the Navy's fleet, fighters, and their families.