By Bunmi "BB" Babalola, EMDS Communications Lead & PAONovember 14, 2011
As a nation at war, and even during peacetime, informative and actionable resourcing and readiness information is critical to Army leaders, commanders and action officers. Understanding which units are available as Surge forces and what is preventing a unit from being deployed is significant in identifying Army resourcing and readiness levels.
The Army Enterprise Management Decision Support (EMDS), a SIPRNet based, web-enabled system, provides integrated data from 18 Authoritative Data Sources to present a Common Operating Picture for units progressing through the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) cycle. Sponsored by the Army G-3/5/7, EMDS supports action officers and Army decision-makers by integrating, and in turn reporting timely, actionable and reliable cross-functional, readiness and resourcing information at the Unit Identification Code (UIC) level for manning, training, equipping and stationing.
"EMDS is one of the very few systems within the Army that reports from this many authoritative data sources, and provides the level of detail that action officers and senior leaders need to assess strategic readiness and resourcing," said Lt. Col. Bobby Saxon, EMDS division chief and program manager. "With EMDS, action officers and decision-makers no longer have to reach for different data sources; EMDS serves as that one-stop shop." In the past, action officers have had to rely on manually-intensive data calls when attempting to obtain readiness and resourcing information. Reports obtained oftentimes include incomplete or outdated information. EMDS eliminates that problem as the tool itself automates the Army's data collection process.
Upon gaining access to EMDS, users are provided with an enterprise-wide view of units progressing through the sequence of ARFORGEN force pools, and the information relating to each unit's current, authorized and projected strength information. Users are also able to view predictive, cross-functional Boots on Ground (BOG):Dwell time estimates and aim points for all three Army components. "That in itself is unique," said Saxon. "Whether you are on active duty, in the Reserve or National Guard, you can obtain information relating to where a unit is at the present time and where they will be in the future based on a given rotation rate."
Moving forward, EMDS will automate the data collection process from three key briefings that currently support some of the Army's strategic decision making: the Operations and Intelligence brief, the Strategic Readiness Update and the Secure Video Teleconference. To these ends, EMDS capabilities will be expanded to provide advanced search and filter capabilities that will enable commanders and senior leaders to search for, and hone in on specific areas of interest, and provide notifications to users that will allow them to proactively identify potential issues. EMDS will also provide the ability to conduct "What if" scenarios relevant to force planning in the expeditionary environment, allowing action officers to apply customizable templates and different rotation rates for the purposes of ad hoc analysis.
EMDS is a solution designed to meet the goals outlined by the Army Secretary to continuously develop new solutions to improve the Army's business practices and management of its personnel, equipment, training and facilities. "EMDS is a tool that's aligned with those goals," said Saxon. "It allows decision-makers to view their unit's progression through the Reset, Train/Ready and Available phases, and use that information to analyze, predict and manage their personnel, equipment, training and facilities," Saxon added.
For more information on the Army EMDS program, please visit https://www.intelink.gov/wiki/Enterprise_Management_Decision_Support or call the EMDS Program Office at (703) 545-4271.