By Ms. Mary Ann Davis (IMCOM)September 21, 2018
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz has more than 3,000 facilities on 29 sites, so ensuring building conditions are accurately assessed and documented for future funding is essential to their upkeep. That's why the garrison conducts Installation Status Report-Infrastructure assessments to promote the longevity and management of garrison structures.
ISR is used as a decision-making tool for senior leaders to evaluate installation facility condition and adequacy, as well as identify improvement costs.
"ISR-I provides an evaluation of the mission support functional capability, quality, quantity and readiness of Army infrastructure for each reporting location to established Army standards," said Gregory A. Williams, USAG RP Director of Public Works. "It also calculates costs to improve the inventory."
Assessors use established, Army-wide standards to evaluate the condition of facilities and infrastructure; and identify substandard buildings or shortfalls. This helps the garrison compute restoration costs and coordinate restoration efforts across reporting locations, Williams explained.
Tenant organizations, garrison functions and community support partners occupying garrison buildings assist with assessments. Many evaluators receive ISR training before inspecting structures, roads, grounds and utilities, said Mathias Reh, a DPW general engineer and ISR-I program manager. Reh is responsible for verifying and approving inspection results, managing and approving garrison ISR-I accounts as well as developing ISR-I curriculum and conducting ISR-I inspector train-the-trainer courses.
"The program has a yearly data collection cycle. Facilities like dining facilities, child development centers and barracks need to be inspected annually," Reh explained. "Other facilities need to be inspected at least every five years. Regardless of scheduled inspections, any facility can be inspected out of cycle if significant damage occurs in between the last regular inspection and next scheduled inspection."
This year the garrison had approximately 1,600 facilities to inspect in the USAG RP footprint, and it wouldn't be possible without help from tenant organization personnel to conduct evaluations.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Tom McCleave, 21st Theater Sustainment Command construction engineer, coordinated with several units to ensure facility inspections were completed. This was no easy task considering the multitude of exercises, real-world contingencies and unit training depleting the amount of Soldiers who could assist with assessments.
"I coordinated between DPW and our 21st TSC units and between the two, we got a pretty good head start this year," said McCleave, who was recognized for his excellent work with a garrison commander's coin. "We looked at the facilities that needed to be inspected, Reh reviewed them, and then we all came to an agreement regarding the findings."
Reh agreed with the chief, "It took a lot of communication to coordinate between the units and DPW. It was a very important group effort, and we appreciated the assistance."
USAG RP Commander Col. Jason T. Edwards evaluated a building in Baumholder recently to get a better grasp of the ISR-I process and observe what assessors were tasked to do.
"The best assessment of any process is one done in person. I am now able to understand the process, the time it takes for a properly executed inspection and how this inspection directly relates to our infrastructure readiness," the commander said. "It was a blessing to meet these 16th Sustainment Brigade Soldiers and see first-hand the passion they have for their facilities. This is despite decades-old barracks always in need of paint, patch and repair. The quality of their inspections will certainly create the demand signal for future funds towards renovations."
Although tenant organizations don't own the facilities they work in, their cooperation in performing these duties and ISR-I inspections is crucial to the readiness of garrison structures, and their reports are an essential driving force to Army funding and investment decisions.
"More importantly is not only the readiness of the infrastructure, but the time it takes to properly execute the inspection," Edwards explained. "Trained Soldiers should take between two to three hours for a quality inspection and then an additional hour to upload the narrative details within the required reporting apparatus. Every step counts and measuring the time to ensure we are reporting to standard takes communication with units and agencies always driving towards 100 percent accountability of assigned structures."
The inspection information is then entered into a database to prioritize and calculate ratings for future funding. That's why it's important for unit personnel to accomplish the inspections, because they typically work in the building they are evaluating, Williams said.
"The ISR-I inspector should be someone intimately familiar with the building -- a person with a vested interest in the structure. DPW doesn't have sufficient staff to conduct ISR-I for all 3,407 buildings within USAG RP," Williams said.
Taking care of garrison structures is a community effort, and with the help of our tenant units, it can be accomplished quickly and easily, the commander said.
"It is my intent to meet IMCOM reporting standards and provide the best comments to describe the status of our infrastructure," Edwards concluded.