Experience using Collaborative Technology with the United Nations and Multi-National Militaries: Rim of the Pacific 2000 Strong Angel Exercise in Humanitarian Assistance

Abstract

The Center for the Management of Information (CMI) at The University of Arizona engaged in a joint research project with the U.S. Navy’s Commander Third Fleet (Third Fleet) and The MITRE Corporation (MITRE) to use and evaluate collaborative technology during Strong Angel, a humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) exercise. Strong Angel was a part of RIMPAC 2000, a five-week multinational exercise that involved seven nations with over 22,000 people, fifty ships, and 200 aircraft. RIMPAC 2000’s Strong Angel set out to satisfy three goals: (1) Develop a mutual understanding of respective capabilities, limitations and expectations among multinational militaries and the main United Nations relief agencies; (2) Create a replicable system for the safe conduct of Strong Angel and subsequent exercises in civil-military interaction for humanitarian support; and (3) Deliver a coordinated response to a population in crisis. CMI, Third Fleet, and MITRE teamed to achieve four objectives: (1) provide a collaborative environment both at sea and ashore within an austere environment; (2) use collaborative technology to establish a forum for the exchange of relevant information between civilian humanitarian organizations and the military; (3) document the flux of combined activities each day; and (4) evaluate the utility of collaborative technology during a civil-military exercise in humanitarian relief. The team met each objective and reports the results in this paper. CMI, MITRE, & Third Fleet In 1996, CMI partnered with Third Fleet to develop collaborative processes and technologies to overcome the limitations of performing closely coordinated staff 0-7695-0981-9/01 $10 work aboard a U.S. Navy ship. The Third Fleet staff is required to collaborate with hundreds of people internally and across militaries, civilian organizations, and governments during daily operations and in crisis situations. Collaboration across time and space occurs regularly at Third Fleet, so the opportunity to research the impact of collaborative technologies and processes is ideal. The Third Fleet Commander is a Vice Admiral (three stars) and is stationed aboard the USS Coronado in San Diego, California. A detailed description of the mission for Third Fleet is provided in Adkins, et al., (2000). CMI has a long history of creating and fielding robust collaborative application prototypes and corresponding facilitation methods to enhance the performance of teams working toward a decision or common goal. The result of that work is now embodied in GroupSystems, a suite of collaborative software tools. As the nature and composition of organizational teams have changed in the last few years, CMI has begun to research opportunities for distributed collaboration. This research has led to the development of a suite of collaborative tools that are designed to operate over the Internet and/or an intranet. These tools allow teams to collaborate on various types of projects in several different settings: same-time/same-place, sametime/different-place, and different-time/different-place. Distributed teamwork has also presented new challenges in meeting dynamics, which is also part of the current CMI research focus. The Information Technology Center at MITRE brings extensive experience in developing collaboration environments and evaluation methodologies for collaborative technologies and tools (Drury, et. al., 1999). Its computer-human interaction (CHI) research

DOI: 10.1109/HICSS.2001.926247

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Adkins2001ExperienceUC, title={Experience using Collaborative Technology with the United Nations and Multi-National Militaries: Rim of the Pacific 2000 Strong Angel Exercise in Humanitarian Assistance}, author={Mark Adkins and John Kruse and Laurie E. Damianos and Jo Ann Brooks and Robert Younger and Eric Rasmussen and Yelena M. Rennie and Beatrice T. Oshika and Jay F. Nunamaker}, booktitle={HICSS}, year={2001} }