NEWS | May 7, 2021

Infrastructure a key focus in improving readiness during service-lead transfer changes

By Tech. Sgt. Corey Hook 11th Wing

JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, Washington D.C. – As Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling continues work to fully transfer base functions during the first-ever joint base service lead transfer from Navy to Air Force responsibility, the 11th Civil Engineer Squadron Requirements and Optimizations section is checking off a long list in verifying and tracking all of the real property assets on the installation.
 
From fire hydrants to buildings, the Requirements and Optimization Flight, or R&O Flight, is working to ensure the transitioning Air Force team on the base has a solid grasp of the property for which it is now responsible. This ongoing challenge to ensure that the base’s assets are tracked and maintained more efficiently will ultimately improve overall infrastructure readiness.
 
The R&O team is made up of 16 members to include Airmen, Air Force civilians and one U.S. Navy officer, who provides critical continuity for the team as the base continues through the service-lead transfer actions.
 
After the official transfer of authority from Navy to Air Force in October 2020, the 11th CES R&O team took responsibility for approximately 9,000 Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling real property assets. With that, they’ve also gained the responsibility to either track, fix or maintain those assets.  
 
To keep the process and the information organized for all of those assets, the 11th CES R&O team is migrating asset data from the Navy’s database to the Air Force-operated NexGen, or TRIRIGA, system. TRIRIGA is newer system that consolidated two previous databases in use since the 1980’s. The R&O team now tracks more than 4,000 JBAB assets in the new system and continues to regularly add items.
 
The optimization section of the R&O team inspects real property assets and collects data used to validate projects, advocate for funding, and inform decision makers at the organizational level to the higher headquarters levels.
 
“Some of the challenges the optimization team has encountered is missing data after the migration from Maximo to our NexGen system,” said Tech. Sgt. Remick Loudon, the 11th CES R&O section chief. “We are manually inputting real property assets into our system as we are creating preventative maintenance plans. We have to collect the data and then input it into our system to track everything properly.”
 
“With proper preventative maintenance the system's life will be prolonged and be less likely to fail unexpectedly,” added Sergeant Loudon.
 
The tracking and data in the TRIRIGA system is critical to validating and elevating information for unit leadership awareness and advocating for funding approval. This is especially important now at JBAB as previous lack of funding required difficult decisions in how to maintain non-critical infrastructure at many Department of Defense bases. Though previous year continuing resolutions presented challenges for all services in prioritization, recent year budget approvals have helped all services address infrastructure issues that were not mission critical. 
 
In planning for the service-lead transfer, the Air Force initiated a Space Utilization and Facility Condition Assessment in cooperation with the Navy and joint basing partners to determine available space, usability, and how to best utilize the installation’s infrastructure.
 
“We have not performed facility condition assessments yet, but once we do, we will have a more accurate picture on what shape the base infrastructure is in,” said Loudon. “This will start in the summertime.”
 
This information combined with the R&O team’s assessment while inspecting buildings on base helps leadership decide where to prioritize critical funding. This process can’t flow smoothly without first converting and updating how they operate in the tracking system. 
 
The requirements side of the R&O team, also known as customer service, serves as the JBAB focal point for receiving, processing and tracking of all work requests from internal and external customers. They also train facility managers on responsibilities and expectations. This function is vital to the real property asset management process as occupants of buildings take true ownership of the areas where they work on a daily basis, as opposed to having an outside unit manage and track all of their needs.
 
“A big challenge for the requirements section has been letting the facility managers know that the concept has changed,” said Master Sgt. Brian Ogbonnaya, 11th CES operations engineering flight superintendent. “With our process, they now have the ability to not only input requests themselves but also look in the system and check for real-time status updates.”
 
Ogbonnaya said his team is trying to educate as many facility managers as quickly as they can so there is no lapse in service.
 
As the first base to transfer lead responsibility from one service to another, this is a unique situation for the R&O team, especially while transitioning to new programs and processes. Ogbonnaya likened the situation to standing up operations on a new deployment.
 
“There are a lot of times where we will go to a deployed location and we are the first there, and we literally have to stand it up from nothing,” said Ogbonnaya. “So, I’ve experienced that before, but never at a stateside location.”
 
Obgonnaya said he is glad they will get to see the projects they begin through to completion.                         ”Whereas when you’re deployed, it’s six months and you’re gone and you never really see how it all turned out,” said Ogbonnaya.      
 
As the R&O team helps to institutionalize these new, critical processes across the installation, they’re also focusing on ancillary goals to improve infrastructure services for the base. Some of the future goals of the R&O team are to develop a U-Fix-It store that allows facility managers to collect routine items for building upkeep, a sharepoint site to streamline civil engineer updates across JBAB, and a customer feedback program that anyone can use to ensure all building concerns are heard.
 
Anyone can call CE Customer Service at 202-284-4237 to report an emergency issue. Otherwise, facility occupants must contact their facility manager to report any non-emergent issues, discrepancies, or space utilization concerns.