mission requirements. Readiness assessment is
probably the most difficult task facing the SERT because
it requires the ability to provide an up-to-the-minute
status of the combat system capabilities and limitations.
It also requires the ability to recommend alternate
combinations of equipment to meet mission needs. The
SERT must know the results of all tests and, in addition,
the minute-to-minute availability of the combat system,
its subsystems, equipment, and all support functions,
such as primary power, chilled water, dry air, and
sound-powered telephones. Readiness assessment is
directed toward four major missions: antiair warfare,
antisubmarine warfare (ASW), antisurface ship
warfare, and amphibious warfare.
Although all problems with equipment are
important, the existing tactical environment can modify
their impact on a mission capability. For example, loss
of moving target indicator capability can be more
important when the ship operates close to land masses
than when it operates in the open sea.
Materiel readiness assessment should be
approached from the functional readiness aspect (how
well it works) rather than the equipment up or down
status aspect (whether or not it works) for the following
Complex, multifunction electronic equipment is
seldom completely down and less frequently
completely up. Normally, one or more functions
are in various states of degradation.
The impact of a functional fault may be different
for each missions capability.
The combat systems complex design includes
some functional redundancy.
The test results and operational fault directories
relate problems to their effect on system
functions rather than to the basic operation of the
Readiness assessment uses two basic types of
techniques, quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative
techniques involve the extensive use of mathematics and
reports based on graphs and numbers. Past shipboard
experience has shown that without computer support,
quantitative assessment is not easily managed. Its
numerical reporting lacks meaning or requires extensive
explanation. Qualitative assessment (an application of
engineering analysis) is based on system knowledge,
experience, and judgment; and normally is reported
Qualitative assessments depend on the personal
experience level of the users; therefore written guidance
and report forms are needed. The impact of no-go
conditions, revealed by PMS results, must be
determined for each mission capability.
After an assessment is made, each major function is
assigned one of the following readiness criteria:
1. Fully combat-ready
2. Substantially combat-ready
3. Marginally combat-ready
4. Not combat-ready
Fully combat-ready status indicates that all
equipments associated with that function are in the
highest state of readiness with respect to that function.
Substantially combat-ready indicates that, although
all equipments may not be fully operational, redundancy
permits the mission to be continued, with a high
probability of success.
Marginally combat-ready indicates a function that
can be performed, but with a much reduced probability
Not combat-ready indicates complete loss of
These readiness criteria provide the basis for a
summary report of readiness in each mission capability.
The mission summary report (fig. 4-7) should be supported
by a combat system daily fault report (fig. 4-8) listing the
subfunction faults of the day, their individual impact,
alternative recommendations, and expected time of repair.
Materiel readiness does not end with successful
completion of tests and scheduled maintenance. In
addition to testing, other actions such as visual inspection
for cleanliness, corrective maintenance, quality control,
and complete integrity are a necessary part of SERT
responsibilities. Also, having the commanding officer
conduct materiel inspections, assigning SERT personnel
to inspection teams, and conducting random equipment
inspections without prior notice can provide excellent
results. Such inspections should be for electronic and
mechanical materiel readiness and preservation. The
SERT representatives should also provide results of such
inspections to appropriate authorities and provide follow
up inspections to ensure that corrective action is taken.