The goal of the ROC Drill was to provide familiarization for the detailed procedures and training requirements of "G-Army," as personnel already introduced to the system nicknamed it.
"The purpose of this is to fill a gap that we perceived in our training," said Col. John McCoy, the support operations officer of the 13th SC(E).
"There is a lot of fielding training that goes on at the operator level, and at the supervisor level. We saw that some of the higher level managers would not get that same level of training, yet they would still be responsible for operations of units when they go through the Wave One conversion. This ROC Drill provides an overview of the maintenance, finance, SASMO-Sustainment Automation Support Management Office, and supply aspects of Wave One conversion that are going to affect select Fort Hood units. Higher-level managers otherwise may not learn of G-Army conversion challenges until after the conversion happens," McCoy said.
The first 13 ROC Drill vignettes walked the more than 100 participants through how orders are processed in the new, and soon to be fielded at Fort Hood, GCSS-Army system when an item is on hand or not on hand at the Supply Support Activity (SSA).
Organizers also illustrated how the future equivalent of an "026" maintenance report will be generated and read once G-Army has been implemented at Fort Hood.
The new system once fully implemented across our Army will not only include automated supply orders and maintenance management, but it will also "integrate approximately 40,000 local supply and logistics databases into a single, enterprise-wide authoritative system," as the GCSS-Army webpage states.
The new procedures are similar, yet different with G-Army, said Maj. Alicia R. Dease, the logistics automation officer for 13th SC(E), an FA 53 signal officer.
"With the old system, you request it, you get the money. With the new system, you get the money, and then you request it," Dease explained.
With G-Army comes a new vocabulary also. What you referred to as "ORILs" (Overaged Repairable Items List) in the past, are now simply called "Repairables" in G-Army, said Dease.
Both McCoy and Dease agreed that having legacy systems and the G-Army system run concurrently will pose challenges.
Lessons learned from Fort Bliss, Texas, where some units are already fully up and running on G-Army, showed that during major field training exercises, operators must be closely connected to funds mangers, otherwise the unit may not have the necessary funds behind the orders they place.
Additional training challenges arise when converted units go to the National Training Center in California, for example, they may have to sign for and start using the legacy systems again.
Soon, soldiers newly graduating from Advanced Individual Training may only know the new system but they may get assigned to a unit still using the legacy systems.
According to McCoy, the next big step at Fort Hood is called New Equipment Training (NET). It is designed to be the training for warehouse, finance, and material managers.
During this training, soldiers are provided specific training on the new G-Army equipment and software.
"NET is followed by a 'brownout period' where we slow down the systems, we align the financial and supply systems, and then a 'blackout period' which is a time when last minute adjustments to codes within the new systems are made. We aim to go live with G-Army Wave 1 Conversion in mid-November," McCoy said.