By Asad AkhtarJuly 11, 2012
The Army is at a turning point as it transitions to fulfilling a broader range of global response missions while continuing to provide trained and ready forces in support of Combatant Commanders. Multiple Information Technology (IT) systems currently support the Army's ability to resource trained and ready units and to fulfill counterinsurgency and stability operations. Most of these systems provide a targeted view of specific functional areas while not
necessarily informing the Army Enterprise as a whole. As the Army improves its operational adaptability, holistic, enterprise systems such as the HQDA's EMDS system, are evolving to meet current requirements and the Army 2020 vision.
EMDS serves a critical role in helping the Army to reduce data collection man hours. EMDS accomplishes this by retrieving and integrating large sets of disparate authoritative data to provide an ARFORGEN Common Operating Picture for senior leaders and their staff in an easily accessible and easy-to-understand visual display.
EMDS provides unit and aggregate resourcing, readiness, deployment, and force structure information across the Army Enterprise. EMDS is designed to meet the Army's increased need for continuous synchronization of planning, personnel, equipment, and training processes
augmented by Aim Point information to support ARFORGEN management. Aim Points provide the Army a means to track units at a prescribed state of readiness as they move through the ARFORGEN Force Pools and progressively increase readiness.
In January 2012, the Army directed the implementation of Aim Points to better ensure alignment and availability of trained units to respond to global operations.* These Aim Points optimize the execution of the ARFORGEN process by synchronizing manning and equipment capabilities with training at specific points across the ARFORGEN Force Pools for Active and Reserve Component rotational forces. Aim Point targets comprise a combination of AR 220-1 reporting metrics (Personnel, Equipment On-Hand, Equipment Readiness, Training, Assigned Mission Manning and Assigned Mission Equipment). The metrics vary depending upon whether the measured unit is in the Deployment or Contingency Expeditionary Force (DEF/CEF) and include Army Manning guidance targets for Active Component units.
In short, Aim Point business rules are complex; involve multiple force structure scenarios for action officers to consider and compute; and can take considerable effort to aggregate and display for decision makers if done manually. EMDS solves this problem for the Army by being the only automated source for the display of Aim Point information for CORPS and Division Headquarters; Brigade Combat Team (BCT); Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB); Multifunctional (MfSB) and Functional Brigade (FSB) and Expeditionary Support Command (ESC) rotational units. EMDS is also the only Army Enterprise system which automates unit Aim Point progression and allows for dynamic views of this information, from total-Army to specific "FF" and "AA" level units.
By integrating Aim Points with cross-functional information, EMDS serves as the Army's only
automated source for manning target (M-Level) information. The manning target is applicable for
Active Component (AC) BCTs, MfSBs, FSBs, Division/Corps Headquarters, and the ESCs with specific targets aligned for DEF and CEF force pools. For those specific types of AC units, M-level is an important resourcing metric which is used in lieu of personnel readiness (P-level) metrics derived from Unit Status Reports. The P-level and Assigned Mission Manning reported levels are applicable to ARNG DEF units and P-levels are used for ARNG CEF and USAR rotational forces.
In reshaping the Department of the Army to meet the challenges of the future, decision makers and their staff are relying more on enterprise-wide information systems. By creating a common access point for holistic and detailed Army operating force data with proactive management against Aim Points, EMDS is helping the Army address these and other challenges and will be instrumental in rebalancing the force for the Army 2020 vision.
*Reference: ARFORGEN Synchronization Order (ASO) Fragmentary Order (FRAGO) #5, 4 Jan 2012