Building a Synchronized 026 Report

by Captain Brandon Grubbs and Captain Peter J. Ramirez

Synchronizing the transfer of ULLS data through the supply and maintenance systems
is critical to providing the commander with accurate information.

    The brigade must attack in 36 hours. The brigade executive officer has just returned from the brigade maintenance meeting, where an AHO-026, Equipment Deadlined over XX Days by Battalion Report, was used to update him on inoperable equipment, the identity and status of the parts needed to repair the equipment, and the projected combat power for the fight. He is confident that needed maintenance will be completed when promised, not only because of the brigade's capabilities, but also because the materiel management center above the brigade has been trying to fill the brigade's parts requirements since they were received on the SAMS-2 system. With a clear and accurate picture of combat power, the brigade staff can continue its military decision-making process, knowing the current maintenance status and the projected combat power of each task force.

    A brigade commander must have a clear picture of his combat power to make effective decisions. The information on which he bases his decisions must be accurate and timely. Much of this information is gained from the 026 report generated by the Standard Army Maintenance System (battalion level) (SAMS-2).

    The cornerstone of producing an accurate 026 report is synchronizing the transfer of information from the Unit Level Logistics System-Ground (ULLS-G) through the Standard Army Retail Supply System (SARSS) and SAMS. The status of the parts requisitioned through SARSS must be included in the information sent to SAMS-1 at the company level for SAMS-2 to generate an 026 that will provide the information the commander needs. Thus, the ULLS clerk must submit requisitions to SARSS and receive the status of the requisitions before entering the data into SAMS.

    Keep in mind that not only will brigade maintenance leaders have visibility of supply request status, but also the division, regimental, and corps materiel management centers will be able to help the brigade maintenance effort because they receive accurate SAMS-2 data transmissions. Giving these commodity managers an accurate picture will give more focus to the brigade maintenance fight.

    The 026 report must have the latest information before the daily brigade maintenance meeting because an accurate and timely 026 report is the focal point of the meeting. From this document, brigade leaders are able to determine maintenance and class IX (repair parts) support priorities. Synchronizing the input of data from ULLS_G to SARRS and SAMS further validates that critical class IX requirements are in the supply system and enables the brigade to focus the limited transportation assets available on expediting delivery of critical repair parts when and where they are needed. Although the 026 produced for the brigade maintenance meeting is the focal point for generating combat power for the impending battle or daily missions, units must understand that updating the 026 is a continuous process.

    The keys to an accurate and timely 026 are—

How to Synchronize an 026 chart.

Developing a Synchronization Plan

    The forward support battalion support operations officer (SPO) must devise the information transfer synchronization plan (either by disk or electronic transmission), coordinate with brigade leaders and the signal officer, and activate the plan. The plan must take into account—

    The SPO must publish the information drop (either by disk or electronic transmission) times and confirm that the ULLS clerks received and understood the schedule. The SPO must have a system to track the supply and maintenance information drops so he can report their status at the BCT maintenance meeting.

    The results of the information drop data can tell the support operations section and brigade maintenance leaders several things. First, it can confirm that the information on the 026 is current. Second, it can alert the SPO if there are automation or signal problems. Third, it can indicate if the units understand and are executing the synchronization plan. Finally, it can be an indicator for the brigade commander of how well his maintenance systems are working.

Executing the Plan

    A well-trained ULLS-G clerk is the most critical link in executing the synchronization plan. The ULLS-G clerk must complete two essential processes in sequence to facilitate a synchronized information drop.

    First, after receiving all the 5988Es (electronic version of the Equipment Inspection and Maintenance Worksheet) and other pertinent information from the company or task force, the ULLS clerk must update all information in ULLS-G and run a SARSS-1 supply disk transaction output. The ULLS clerk and battalion maintenance officer must verify the information and ensure that an updated FEDLOG (Federal Logistics Data on Compact Disk) is on hand. The ULLS clerk delivers the information to SARSS-1 at the supply support activity (SSA) class IX warehouse within the published disk-drop window. The SSA must input the data immediately to SARRS-1, process the requests, and provide supply status back to the ULLS clerk.

    Second, the ULLS clerk must download the supply information from SARSS-1 into ULLS-G before he runs the maintenance inoperable equipment (INOP) information. It is critical to execute this step before running the maintenance INOP data; this is the source of the supply status information on the 026 report. The ULLS-clerk then can validate the status and repair parts order by looking for open transactions on the document control register. After completing this step, the ULLS clerk takes the maintenance INOP transfer disk (or transmits the data) to the SAMS-1 computer at the shop office during the proper information-drop time window.

    At the shop office, three things must happen to ensure that the daily 026 is accurate and timely. First, the SAMS-1 site clerk must run a supply disk for the direct support parts needed for jobs, take that disk to the SARSS-1 site, wait for status from the SARSS-1 site, and return to the shop office to process the status in SAMS-1. This step will enable direct support parts status to show up on the 026. Second, the SAMS-1 clerk must update the maintenance status from all direct support shops and double-check to ensure that the shop office has run its supply disks. Third, during the ULLS-G to SAMS-1 designated information-drop time, the SAMS-1 site clerk must process all of the ULLS clerks' maintenance INOP disks and immediately provide the maintenance status back to the ULLS clerks. This will give unit-level commanders a clear picture of reported maintenance. Then the shop office can run a SAMS-1 INOP transfer disk to the SAMS-2 system at the support operations office so that all not mission capable equipment, supply requests, and the status of the requests appear on the 026 generated by SAMS-2.

Transferring Data

    Methods of getting information from the unit maintenance collection point to the brigade support area (BSA) include "sneaker net" (hand-carried disks), frequency modulated (FM) BLAST electronic data transfer, and the mobile-subscriber-radio transmitter. Each technique has both positive and negative aspects.

    If a unit's ULLS-G system is on a laptop computer, one "sneaker net" technique is for two ULLS clerks to take the ULLS-G laptop with them to the SSA and then to the shop office. This method will reduce the time and distance factors by eliminating the need for the ULLS clerk to return to the unit from the SSA to input the requisition status to the ULLS computer before taking the data to the shop office. It also will cut the length of time that the ULLS clerks are exposed to the enemy in an unsecured area. In addition, if the clerks are having problems with their laptops or the program, they can get help from the Combat Service Support Automation Management Office or inform the SPO of their Standard Army Maintenance Information Systems (STAMIS) difficulties. They also can check for parts while they are at the SSA.

    If a unit is using an FM BLAST technique, the SPO needs to know that the SSA will process the requisitions before it provides the supported unit with the status of those requisitions. SARSS-1 needs several minutes to process to the CUSTOUT (exit) queue, so more than one transmission will be needed to complete the process. The FM BLAST is extremely beneficial because it allows the ULLS-G clerks to reduce their exposure to unfriendly situations and still get their information into the STAMIS in a timely manner.

    The desired result of synchronizing the data input process is for SAMS-2 to produce an accurate and timely 026. Such an 026 will facilitate an effective brigade maintenance meeting, provide equipment and parts status visibility, and allow brigade maintenance leaders to surge limited assets to build combat power. Moreover, once the automation system is working, mistakes will decrease because vehicles, bumper numbers, and part numbers or national stock numbers will not have to be written on the 026 and transmitted. Providing the ULLS-G clerks with immediate maintenance status along with supply status will ensure that the unit-level not mission capable report is accurate and that 5988Es include the supply status. The units also will have immediate visibility over items issued at the forward support battalion SSA or requests that faulted out of the system. ULLS-G, SARSS-1, SAMS-1, and SAMS-2 will be used confidently as the management tools they are designed to be, because they will have relevant, accurate, and timely information.

    Because the brigade used a synchronized STAMIS information transfer plan and had a clear maintenance picture, it was easy for the commander and his staff to choose the lead task force and continue with their military decision-making process. They did not waste valuable planning time worrying about the maintenance status of the task forces.    ALOG

    Captain Brandon Grubbs is the maintenance company trainer with the Goldminer Logistics Training Team at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California. He has a B.S. degree in criminal justice from California State University, Fresno, and is a graduate of the Ordnance Officer Basic Course and the Combined Logistics Officers Advanced Course.

    Captain Peter J. Ramirez is a small group leader with the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course at the Army Logistics Management College, Fort Lee, Virginia. He previously was the forward support battalion maintenance company observer-controller at the National Training Center. He has a B.S. degree in management from Park College in Missouri and is a graduate of the Ordnance Officer Basic Course, the Combined Logistics Officers Advanced Course, and the Support Operations Course.