We will now be continuing our discussion on the Range Facility Management Support System, or RFMSS. For those not familiar with the two-week calendar format it is set up in, here is the previous article to learn more about it. For Now, I am going to assume you have read that post, and are interested in learning how to schedule it more efficiently.
So as we’ve seen on other posts about the IWTS, the land is supposed to be locked in at 12 weeks, along with the ammunition to support the training. In a place like Camp Buehring, Kuwait, you can schedule it without any issues up unit the week before the training being conducted. At Fort Bragg, one of the Largest Military Installations in the world, you have to try and schedule as far in advance as possible, because there are many entities organic to Fort Bragg who can schedule past 12 weeks due to being a Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) unit. Because of this, even though there are 80 ranges on the installation, it can be challenging to schedule what you need.
A technique to be able to reserve a heavily utilized range is to have your land NCO place a hold on the range you are looking at using. They can do that in RFMSS by doing the following:
In the first picture, you see Range 1 on the 2-week calendar. If I want to place a hold on it right now for the fourth of July, I double-click on the square that is dark green (July 4th), and it pulls up the reservation window.
In the reservation window, you have several blocks to pay attention to highlighted in red: POC and POC PH# are the Point of Contact who will be responsible for coordinating the event. The company/team name is the organization you are a part of. The days until training gives you an idea of how far out it is from your event. In this case, we are over six months from this range day, so how do we hold it? The ‘edit’ action highlighted below the ‘submit request’ button is your friend.
You will go into the edit window and fill in the boxes that are highlighted. Standard remains checked if you are using the range without any deviation from its intended purpose. To check what range control considers a range’s purpose, you can click on the magnifying glass next to the event block. Picture four illustrates what can come up. So in this case, if you are conducting known-distance marksmanship, you would select it, and the window would close. Also, you will leave the ‘standard’ box checked. If you do not see what you were planning on doing for the range (e.g. putting steel targets on this known-distance range), you will uncheck it.
The continuous box gets checked if you are planning on occupying the range over multiple days, and are staying on the range or in the training area. If that is the case, you will fill out the start date and time and the end date and time with continuous checked. If you know the RSO and OIC you will be using for that day, you can fill it out here.
Once it is all done, you will come back to the main screen for the reservation. Picture five illustrates what else you need to fill out, Weapon/Ammo, Communications, and the Vehicle tab all need information put in them. The weapons tab is essential, as it creates the Surface Danger Zone information for the Range Control Operators to keep track of what is going on where.
For those not familiar with it, the Surface Danger Zone is the space inside which a bullet has a one in a million chance of escaping from. DA PAM 385-63 ( Range Safety) states that:
An SDZ delineates that portion of the earth and the air above in which personnel and/or equipment may be endangered by ground weapons firing or demolition activities. These SDZs are designed to make the probability of hazardous fragment or round escapement from installation boundaries unlikely and minimize the danger to the public, installation personnel, facilities/equipment, or property.
We’ll get more into the construction and usage of SDZ’s in a later post, for now, just know that it is important that you input the right weapon/ammunition combination to ensure the SDZ is calculated properly.
To ensure that this takes place, we choose the weapon, which may not always be what you assume it to be. For example, the M110 Sniper rifle has to select either the M24 or M21 Sniper rifles, as there is not an entry in the Fort Bragg RFMSS to accommodate that weapon. The ammunition is put in by a four-digit code known as a DODIC (Department of Defense Identification Code). In this case, we have chosen A059 (M855 Ball ammunition), which is an ammunition type the M4 can fire.
Once the weapons tab is filled out, you fill out the vehicle tab in a similar manner. Not all duty stations require its use, but on Fort Bragg, you must use it. Communications tab is next, and you must put in here what it is you are planning on doing with the range, and any deviations from the standard that you may be attempting to do, along with why you are scheduling it as a hold. The vehicle tab lists what vehicles you plan on occupying the range with. Fort Bragg requires this to ensure that the roads receive the maintenance they require, as they keep track of vehicle traffic with this.
The last thing you will do is go up to the request type as illustrated in picture 6, and change it from ‘request’ to ‘hold,’ then click the ‘submit request’ button. This will show in RFMSS as a hold; other units may still schedule, but you have first dibs, so to speak. When you reach the 120-day mark to the last day of your scheduled training, you may pull up this request by its RCNI number, and save it as a hold again, which will submit it as a ‘request’ instead of a ‘hold’ to RFMSS.
So to sum up, we’ve discussed how to put a range on ‘hold in RFMSS’, what the important points of information are that need to be filled out so that range control will approve the hold when it is submitted, and how to change it from ‘hold’ to a ‘request.’ We also briefly discussed what a Surface Danger Zone is. We will soon discuss the Surface Danger Zone in More detail, how to create one, and where to reference the information on them.