54th Brigade Engineer Battalion Soldiers establish a support by fire position.
U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to 54th Brigade Engineer Battalion establish a support by fire position before breaching an obstacle. This training is part of Exercise Bayonet Ready 22 at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in the Hohenfels Training Area, Germany on Oct. 24, 2021.

(U.S. Army photo by Capt. Rob Haake) (Photo Credit: Capt. Robyn Haake)
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ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – The mission of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command is to deliver integrated command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) weapon systems, business systems, and medical sustainment to enable full spectrum combat operations at the point of need.

But how does CECOM determine that point of need, figure out which resources in the command’s vast array of services and capabilities should be delivered to which units, and when?

One key way of determining that operational need is by keeping close tabs on the Unit Status Reports (USR) which are submitted each month by combat units around the world.

What is the USR?

“Simply put, commanders provide an Army Unit Status Report to show how well their unit is resourced to accomplish their Mission Essential Task List (METL),” said CECOM Deputy G-3/5 Hector Rodriguez. “The METL is a list of tasks that a unit must accomplish in combat. In that, some equipment is critical and are referred to ‘pacing Items;’ others are important and are ‘reportable’ items.”

The USR has four measured components, Personnel, Supply, Training and Readiness, or PSTR, and CECOM efforts can directly impact three of them. The one exception is the ‘P’ which measures personnel strength.

The ‘S’ or equipment and supplies available and on-hand, measures the level of authorized mission essential equipment the unit has. CECOM can impact ‘S’ at the strategic level through Repair Cycle Floats (RCF). These RCFs are made possible through the use of depot capabilities.

“These strategic RCFs can restore readiness instantly by exchanging a unit’s tired weapon systems with one straight off the line from Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) and standing by in theater,” said Rodriguez

The ‘R’ component measures the level of operational readiness or serviceability of critical equipment items that are in a unit’s possession and which are fully mission capable. CECOM impacts ‘R’ at tactical and strategic levels. Field support teams at the tactical level help commanders resolve unusually complex software/hardware problems to keep systems operational. At the strategic level, TYAD overhauls systems extending the life and dependability of systems that units need to execute their METL. Between tactical and strategic readiness, CECOM teams deliver battalion and even brigade levels of impacts to operational readiness.

Finally, ‘T’ translates to unit’s training proficiency and reflects the commander’s assessment of unit proficiency in the unit’s Mission Essential Tasks, those associated with unit core functions and design capabilities. CECOM impacts the sustainment level of training proficiency through field support teams and through collaborative efforts with C5ISR partners. CECOM field support teams, spread across the globe, help Soldiers master sustainment and initialization tasks so units can maintain or employ their capabilities.

The truth is, using the USR to listen to and understand commanders and what capabilities are important to their mission is nothing new.

“That aspect has always been important,” Rodriguez said. “We are translating how our tactical and strategic readiness output impacts the USR because that is what commanders understand.”

As the Army moves to a Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model, ReARMM, units will continue to report the USR and CECOM will continue to align their efforts to deliver to the points of need.

“The CECOM workforce from centers to the team level should take pride they are impacting the very thing that commanders measure so that Soldiers have equipment on hand (S) that is ready (R) for them to train (T) on and use in combat,” Rodriguez concluded.