USSOUTHCOM conducts multi-national crisis management experiment
December 14, 2006
U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), the Argentine Military, and the Honduran Permanent Committee on Contingencies (COPECO) concluded a four-day Crisis Management Experiment in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Dec. 7th.
The experiment with Argentina and included a virtual environment to collaborate in Honduras, the U.S. Southern Command in Miami, and with a representative from Brazil. The experiment focused on collaborative crisis planning and execution using emerging information sharing technologies and processes.
Last year, the first Crisis Management experiment, also held in Buenos Aires, opened the door to begin military to military Science and Technology collaboration between SOUTHCOM and the Argentine forces.
This year's Crisis Management II (CMII) was far more robust than the previous experiment. By implementing information sharing technologies from web based planning to continuous virtual collaboration, working groups in Honduras, Miami, and other U.S. Organizations, such as Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), were able to contribute problem-solving expertise from their permanent locations.
This year's experiment introduced Crisis Management Software produced by Argentina's Military Science and Technology Center, a Cross Domain Collaborative Information Environment sponsored by JFCOM, and Weapons of Mass Destruction Collaborative Advisory Response System sponsored by DTRA. These technologies were tested by Argentinean and U.S Military personnel under simulated catastrophe scenarios involving a hurricane, a chemical incident, a disease outbreak and civil unrest in conjunction with peacekeeping operations on a hypothetical island.
The new technologies and innovative processes used to facilitate virtual collaboration, distributed execution, instant messaging, automated and simultaneous translation, crisis management software, digital mapping, forecasting of chemical propagation and disease tracking at low costs, are tools that will increase the region's capabilities to respond to disasters.
This experiment points to a future when leaders anywhere can contribute their expertise to any activity at any time to mitigate human suffering and damage in a crisis situation.
When summing up the experiment, Brig. Gen. Rico Aponte, U.S. Southern Command's Director of Transformation, said, "When disaster strikes, responding forces are best aided by familiarity of response procedures. This experiment attempted to bring technological solutions to language barriers, knowledge management, and geographical information challenges. With Crisis Management II, we have taken another step to solve these difficult problems; and I am confident that the spirit of cooperation shown demonstrates a lasting commitment between partner nations."