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ISR-I: your chance to be heard.

The ISR in the title of this article does not address a new form of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. ISR-I refers to an Installation Status Report-Infrastructure Program that provides data for assessing key elements of an installation, such as the office spaces, parking lots, and maintenance bays that Soldiers use every day. The program provides a checklist for inspecting and rating assets associated with a facility, installation, or base. The information from the checklist is uploaded to the program Web site at <>, where it is rolled into a mission, quality, and readiness rating that allows Army leaders to evaluate the mission support function capability, quality, and readiness of the elements and infrastructure for the reporting facility. This article focuses on the U.S. Army Reserve process, but also applies to the Regular Army and Army National Guard processes.

For U.S. Army Reserve facilities, the report provides regional support commands (RSCs) with detailed information on the status of the facility and the possibility for increased restoration and modernization dollars. The report answers questions about the facility, such as whether it--

* Is capable of meeting the mission of current tenants.

* Has sufficient parking for 60 percent of tenant military equipment.

* Offers sufficient storage for newly fielded equipment.

Most RSCs assign an area facility operations specialist (AFOS) to complete the report worksheets and enter them into the ISR database, but tenants may be assigned the additional duty of gathering information and filling out the worksheets. Leaders at each facility should be involved in assessing their facilities, assisting the AFOS, and producing accurate reports. This is an opportunity for facility tenants to be heard.

The Report

The ISR-I checklists are referred to as workbooks and can be found at the ISR Web site. There are 73 workbooks that cover more than 1,000 facility category codes, each representing a specific type of asset. For example, Workbook 6 covers maintenance facilities, capturing 31 category codes. Workbook 68 covers training centers and captures two category codes. These two workbooks cover most off-installation Army Reserve assets that leaders and Soldiers use. Each AFOS must receive annual ISR training, but the workbooks are designed for ease of use. The first few pages of each workbook list a brief description of the codes covered inside. Inspection instructions, to include a description of the inspected component, follow.

It is worth noting that Army Regulation 140-483, Army Reserve Land, and Facilities Management,1 Appendix B, is listed frequently in Workbook 68. It explains how much space units are authorized within a facility. Tenants planning to send a red flag up the chain regarding a lack of office space or military equipment parking should first look through Appendix B. The regulation is under revision and should contain space authorization updates. Each element of a facility is given a green, amber, or red rating based on the spreadsheet criteria. Elements are rated based on their designed use, not necessarily on their current use.

Quality and Mission Functional Ratings

The quality, or Q rating, assesses the overall condition of an asset against Army standards. The mission, or F rating, represents an element's functionality and mission support for its intended purpose. More plainly, the Q rating describes the physical condition of the asset and the F rating shows whether the rated asset meets the mission requirements of the current tenant. For example, all Army Reserve facilities are authorized classroom space based on the number of Soldiers present during the largest battle assembly weekend. Each F-rated component is weighted from 1 to 4, based on the nature of the component. Each facility element listed in the workbook receives a color rating from the inspector: green for good or like new, amber for adequate, or red for poor. Once these color ratings are entered into the ISR Web site, the database calculates Q and F ratings from 1 to 4. For example, an F1/Q1 rating indicates that little attention is required, while F4/Q4 ratings suggest that there are significant problem areas. These Q and F ratings are the final product of the ISR-I inspection process and are the first item reviewed by leaders, but inspectors are highly encouraged to include additional comments.

Asset Readiness Ratings

The C rating (also referred to as the Commander's Readiness Rating) is similar to the Q and F ratings in that it has a value of 1 to 4. However, this rating is made by the RSC commander or delegated representative by taking the Q and F ratings and other appropriate factors into consideration, including projected mission changes and restationing actions. The rating applies to an entire area of responsibility rather than to each individual asset.

Inspection Frequency

The frequency of asset ratings varies based on previous ratings, on whether it is a new asset, and on whether it is a multiuse asset with shared components. Assets that receive a rating of Q4 or F4 must be inspected every year. Assets rated Q2-3 or F2-3 are inspected every 2 years, while those with Q1 and F1 ratings are inspected every 3 years. Facilities with an overall rating of green do not need to be inspected for 3 more years.

The Red Stigma

It is important to shed the notion that a rating of red is a "bad" rating that carries a stigma to be avoided. Facilities should receive a thorough inspection and a rating that represents their actual condition. A red rating on a facility doesn't mean that the commander, facility manager, or AFOS is failing; it means that the facility is failing. Unless a facility is in like-new condition, it should not be rated green. It would be a mistake to manipulate the inspection ratings to get the desired overall ratings. At the RSCs, a green rating on an older facility that has not been restored will raise a flag quicker than an amber or red rating. Directorate of public works staffs know that the majority of their assets were constructed long ago and are not in perfect condition. Giving a facility an unrealistic green rating ties the hands of those who could help improve the facility. Accurately reporting the condition of facilities and assets allows the directorate of public works to generate work orders and identify features that need to be refurbished or replaced.

The Status Quo

The Army sometimes makes changes without considering second- and third-order effects. Accurate ISR-I data is important to inform leaders and justify funding decisions at each RSC, at the U.S. Army Reserve Command headquarters, and at the Department of the Army headquarters. A few years ago, the Army replaced its M920 series medium-equipment transporters with the M983A4 light-equipment transporter. These new vehicles require a much larger turning radius and take up more space in motor pools. Units are authorized 25 additional square yards of parking per light-equipment transporter issued. The mission rating for military equipment parking should have been changed once a unit fielded this equipment, indicating a need for more parking. It is unlikely that all units got the extra authorized space when this equipment was fielded. This is just one example of how forced changes generate second- and third-order effects.

In the U.S. Army Reserve, RSCs struggle to receive accurate reports. It is impossible for a 40-year-old building that has had no major restoration or revitalization to deserve a rating of green across the board, but some buildings get that rating. This is why some units may be struggling to train their Soldiers as effectively as the Army demands. Army Reserve assets are intended for training and readiness. If facilities are not properly evaluated, leaders should contact their RSC or directorate of public works so that they can contact the appropriate AFOS to properly rate the facilities. Inspectors should be working with representatives from each unit, preferably a leader or a member of the full-time staff. That is the best way to inform them of changes within an organization and their effects on readiness. Engineers are always going to make do and get the job done. But the voice of Army Reserve engineers, joined with the voice of their RSC, speaks louder than a single voice from the RSC.


(1) Army Regulation 140-483, Army Reserve Land and Facilities Management, 24 July 2007.

First Lieutenant Levandoski serves as a directorate of public works plans officer for the 63d RSC in Mountain View, California. He is a graduate of the Engineer Basic Officer Leader Course and holds a bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Kentucky.

By First Lieutenant Shaun J. Levandoski

Caption: New equipment that requires more motor pool space should result in the authorization of more space for receiving units.
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Author:Levandoski, Shaun J.
Publication:Engineer: The Professional Bulletin for Army Engineers
Date:Jan 1, 2017
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