Military

FY01 Annual Report

RESERVE COMPONENT AUTOMATION SYSTEM (RCAS)


The Reserve Component Automation System (RCAS) is a scalable, open-systems environment, automated information system that supports commanders with information needed for Reserve Component mobilization and day-to-day administrative operations. It is a sustaining base networked system of workstations, primarily employing commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) (Microsoft Office® and Windows NT®, JetForms®, etc.) and government-off-the-shelf (GOTS) software applications (Unit Level Logistics System, Standard Property Book System-Redesigned, and Standard Installation/Division Personnel System Version 3, etc.) being developed/deployed in several increments. RCAS will interface with numerous Standard Army Management Information Systems, and certain National Guard and Army Reserve designated standard systems.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

In 1979, a Mission Element Need Statement was established by the Army for an automated data system to support mobilization of the Reserve Components. The Army Continental Army Management Information System (CAMIS), was begun in the early 1980s, but canceled in 1985. CAMIS was then reprogrammed in 1986 as RCAS under the control of the Chief, National Guard Bureau, with the advice of Congress and the Chief, Army Reserve. The original Mission Need Statement for the RCAS program was approved in September 1988 and the development contract was awarded in 1991 to Boeing Computer Services, Inc. (now Science Applications International Corporation). The first efforts to develop the RCAS had a restriction against the use of hardware and software employed by the active military components, but this was proved non-viable in testing, and in 1995, the program was restructured. The RCAS mission needs were revalidated in April 1996.

Computer hardware was deployed with the first Increment in 1996, and software Increments 1, 2, 3, and 4/5 were operationally tested between 1996 and 2000 in reserve units from the lowest level to the Army National Guard and Army Reserve Headquarters. These increments of RCAS were found effective and suitable, and were approved for fielding.

TEST & EVALUATION ACTIVITY

Increment 6 of the RCAS software was operationally tested in a Limited User Test (LUT) during the period June 27 to July 26, 2001. Test units included the National Guard and Army Reserve Headquarters, Delaware Army National Guard (DE ARNG) (17 sites) and the 99th Army Reserve Regional Support Command, PA and WV (15 sites). The objective of the test was to determine the effectiveness and suitability of RCAS with the addition of Increment 6 software. Primary among the enhancements of Increment 6 software were Force Authorization, Mobilization Planning, Human Resources and Retirement Points Accounting Management Version 2. Regression testing also was conducted of all previous software releases to ensure new software did not adversely affect the system's operation. Continuing evaluations were conducted of an ARNG mobilization activity in Pendleton, OR, August 11-12, 2001; and an ARNG Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) activity in Oklahoma City, OK, August 21-23, 2001.

TEST & EVALUATION ASSESSMENT

ATEC operationally tested RCAS software Increment 6 in a LUT with follow-on continuing evaluation of mobilization and COOP activities and found it to be operationally effective and suitable. ATEC determined also that RCAS through Increment 6 supports mobilization and COOP activities. DOT&E noted that during Increment 6 OT, several areas (Occupational Health Management, interoperability with external systems, and classified workstation utilization) were acceptable, but limited sample sizes during the LUT did not support desired confidence level in the findings. ATEC agreed to observe these areas with limited sample sizes under continuing evaluation and during Increment 7 testing scheduled for April 2002. DOT&E concurred with ATEC's findings and recommendations and supported the approval of Increment 6 fielding.


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