Presentation on theme: "Strong Angel II: Designing the Edge"— Presentation transcript:
1 Strong Angel II: Designing the Edge Design and implement a far-forward capacity forrapid and appropriate humanitarian information managementfrom global resources within and across civil-military boundaries.Strong Angel was held in the summer of 2004 to pursue this tasking. The director of the demonstration, Navy Commander Eric Rasmussen, had been a medical doctor on the Disaster Assistance Response Team before, during, and after the Iraq war and had returned with constructive criticism regarding the effectiveness our effort at civil-military collaboration. OSD requested he demonstrate proposed solutions to his critique and the result was ten days of task performance.Kailua-Kona, HawaiiJuly 2004
2 Mission:Complete a set of tasks demonstrating techniques and capabilities designed to achieve secure, edge-based information flow across the civil-military boundary during complex humanitarian emergencies in austere environments.This was the mission from OSD to Strong Angel. The focus was edge-based information flow, supporting staff deployed far-forward, working with multiple agencies on difficult humanitarian problems.
3 Participation: National Representatives Canada Egypt France Jordan SPAWAR Systems Center - EuropeTIDES World Press Reports (DARPA)UK Foreign and Commonwealth OfficeUK Royal NavyUnited Nations Joint Logistics CenterUnited Nations World Food ProgrammeUS Army (352nd Civil Affairs)US Marine Corps (3rd Civil Affairs Group)US Navy (Third Fleet and others)US State DepartmentNational RepresentativesCanadaEgyptFranceJordanOSD (Office of the Secretary of Defence)DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)DHS (Department of Homeland Security)ARC (American Red Cross)BBN (Bolt, Baranec, and Newman)Buckminster Fuller InstituteCENTCOM (US Central Command)Coalition Provisional Authority (Baghdad)George Mason UniversityGroove NetworksHarvard Brigham and Women’s HospitalInternational Medical CorpsMindtel (Syracuse University)MITRE Corporation (Mass Inst Tech Res & Eng)National Virtual Translation CenterNATORocky Mountain Institute (Aspen)San Diego State UniversityA further listing, still partial, of those directly participating (on-site or remotely) in Strong Angel. The breadth and depth of experience in this collection is rather striking, and would be difficult to replicate.Of particular interest was the presence of a NATO team from Brussels, evaluating the usefulness of the Strong Angel model for the Provisional Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan, the joint military services from the US evaluating changes in policy, education, and exercise integration, and the US State Department, assessing the possibilities for the new Embassy in Baghdad.
4 A few guiding principles… Disconnected operations are the rule, rather than the exception.Agility is more valuable than planning.Effectiveness depends on inclusiveness.Trust only grows on neutral ground.Open pipes and open eyes: protect your data--not the network.Expect to wage war and peace simultaneously.(wait for the reading…)In an environment where the communications infrastructure is not functioning, field personnel critical to data gathering and logistical operations may lack the capability for synchronous, real-time communications with either headquarters or one another. Explore asynchronous alternatives that allow for disconnected participation.Emergency operations are characterized by unpredictability and rapid change. Field personnel must often compromise or improvise in response to evolving requirements without waiting or depending on headquarters to deliver a solution. Provide a full complement of modular, adaptable tools that may be useful in unforeseen circumstances.Finding solutions to problems arising during complex emergencies often depends on applying expertise in areas such as politics, economics, health, ecology, religion, culture, literature and history. Knowledge of how to interpret and respond wisely to events is critical to the success of the mission, yet such knowledge often resides only in individuals and cannot be captured in training manuals or expert systems. More often than not, these individuals are civilians, and possibly foreign nationals. Work to ensure that civil-military reach-back is possible for far-forward personnel even during combat operations.Civil-military cooperation requires negotiated compromise. A certain minimum level of mutual trust is required for efforts to be productive. Unless a system intended as a common information sharing environment is perceived as neutral ground by all parties, it is unlikely that cooperation and unity of purpose will prevail over territorial, defensive behaviors. Whenever possible, deploy information sharing technologies that do not depend on centralized servers or other resources that are owned and operated by any one party.With the growing role of the military in complex emergencies, information security based on closed networks (e.g. SIPRNET, CLASSNET, CENTRIX) is, increasingly, of limited value. We must be able to share mission-critical information anywhere in the world with coalition partners, civilian contractors, foreign nationals and even select elements of the local population, yet we must do so without compromising operational security. Adopt technologies that employ content-based, dynamically-allocated security for protected communications over the open Internet.The last, is arguably the most important. We have to train as we fight. Or, rather, train as we respond. We need to explore the requirements of waging war and peace simultaneously because it’s happening to us all over the world, with multiple partners and opponents, in complex environments where we are often NOT the best trained, equipped, or experienced, and where understanding the cultural environment may be one of the most critical tasks. Civil Affairs personnel are increasingly involved in humanitarian work, and humanitarian NGOs find themselves now direct targets of terrorist attack. If asymmetric threats are leveled against a humanitarian mission, those executing the mission must adopt a flexible yet secure mode of operations not so different from that of the enemy. Extend the concepts underlying Network-Centric Warfare to Phase IV and beyond. We must learn how to wage Network-Centric Peace.
5 - United Nations mission This single photograph is an example of the complexity found in modern conflicts, and this is often how foreign crises are managed in the post-Soviet world. The 1999 war in this area then called Kosovo, now known as Serbia and Montenegro, demonstrated the need, once again, for close collaboration between disparate organizations with intertwined agendas. US forces managed to succeed admirably under complex authority, complex logistics, and within a complex hybrid of responsibilities. Within the Coalition that was trying to understand the full scope and breadth of the problems, effective communication was often the critical determinant of success or very public failure.The photograph itself was taken by Jody Daniels, an aerospace engineer at Lockheed-Martin, called up for six months during the Kosovo war, and now in Iraq for a year as a member of an Army Reserve unit. These were members of her battalion.Kosovo (S-M), 1999- US Army soldiers- German foodRussian helicopterNATO leadership- Civilian support- United Nations mission
6 In this café in Nasseriya in May of 2003, only a few weeks after the war, what might have been done to effectively defuse the confusion, anger, disappointment, and frustration already brewing in this town? How could we have been seen early as an asset in the reconstruction of post-Saddam Iraq, instead of invaders and occupiers as often described by the local religious leadership during these weeks? How could we have effectively countered that calculated and destructive impression?Cultural insight
7 Koran published in Zulu funded with $1 million through a personal donation fromOsama bin Ladenthrough theIslamic Propagation CenterinDurban, South AfricaThe young men in the café in Nasseriya had been steeped in a tradition of conservative Islam. That tradition, Wahabiism, is the law of the land in Saudi Arabia and may well have been a part of the schooling for the young men in the café. If so, they will have mixed feelings about Osama Bin Laden, as noted here.The point, of course, is that we often have only vague ideas about the difficulties underlying tasks we undertake. The historical complexity is often far deeper than we pursue and there are consequences when we take a public position that runs counter to direct local experience. Osama Bin Laden is not universally despised. To some, even in the mainstream of Islam, he’s been a positive figure for many years.It’s critical for us to understand, to the deepest level possible, the environments in which we must work, or we risk alienation and failure. Making an effort to incorporate experts in myriad intersecting topics, from all parts of the globe, in many languages, can optimize our chances for an effective intervention and a peaceful, stable exit. Tools exist to do that now, with no requirement that the experts be physically present.Regional perspectives…Osama viewed by others
8 And languages… (always languages…) It needs no elaboration to recognize that we’re at a significant disadvantage when we cannot understand either direct or indirect communication. Graffiti, posters, newspapers, radio broadcasts, and television stations are all just as opaque to us as conversations in cafes, shouted slogans in a demonstration, and questions from a mother at the gates of our compounds.These two Arabic quotes are the same phrase from the Koran, and it’s a very positive statement, well-recognized by any Muslim, enjoining us to do our best work. The graffiti appeared one night on the outside wall of the Humanitarian Operations Center in Kuwait immediately before the Iraq war. Deciphering it was of some importance to us that morning. Having it state “Kill all the infidels within” was a very real possibility. We did not know. And that’s a weakness that needs to be minimized or overcome.
9 Consequences when misunderstood… A 127mm French-made rocket landed in the Green Compound in Baghdad as one of a long line of assaults since June of It completely destroyed eight vehicles critical to the transportation required to get to the Ministries in Baghdad, further isolating the Coalition from the Iraqis they were there to serve. Through events like this, security precautions became the dominant concern, not reconstruction. Weeks were lost and fragile relationships suffered because there was no secure, neutral, and transparent method for collaborative work for those occasions, like this, when face-to-face was not possible.Effective and widespread communications capabilities might have helped overcome the loss of transportation, but we did not have them. That civil-military planning piece needs to be rock-solid before any future efforts requiring such cooperation.Consequences when misunderstood…
10 A complex refugee management problem… Strong Angel 2000In June of 2000 a civil-military exercise was held to help address a few of these problems. Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the UN agencies UNICEF, OCHA, World Food Programme, and UNHCR all participated in the first of the Strong Angel series, a model of the Kosovo refugee management problem. The US military worked with each of the UN relief agencies, incorporating them as an integral part of the development of the exercise from the earliest possible planning conferences and the results were both challenging and quite positive. The exercise, integrated into the naval wargame “Rim of the Pacific”, demonstrated the value of close and detailed collaborative planning between military and non-military agencies in support of a humanitarian relief operation. The results were directly briefed to the CNO, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the Secretary of the Navy.
11 From Strong Angel 2000 to Iraq…UN staff who were present for both This photo shows the United Nations staff from that exercise, Strong Angel, in The military and UN teams spent months planning together, then weeks together both shipboard and within the refugee camp, solving problems in common, learning of mutual professionalism and common experiences, and then working toward urgent solutions with a solid foundation of mutual understanding. There was nothing even close to universal agreement, and there did not need to be much trust, but there was effective collaboration and reasoned discourse about genuinely difficult problems.Such a model deserved wider replication, but circumstances vary across operations and administrations and little has been done since that point to integrate UN expertise at the deepest level for mutual training. That is, perhaps, unfortunate, since everyone with a red arrow in this photograph was directly involved in the Iraq war, some in very senior positions, and there was no ability to optimize the established relationships before the war. Collaborative work began through chance encounters in Iraq.From Strong Angel 2000 to Iraq…UN staff who were present for both
12 “The area of interest was perhaps more complicated These are a few examples of the gaps noticed early after the start of the Iraq war. At the upper left, deaths from roadside bombs were considered an expected risk before our crossing into Iraq. But the rest were less obvious.The upper-right painting of the Imam photographed hanging on a building in Basra in April 2003 was originally explained by an Iraqi translator as “a 10th Century scholar, and that school is dedicated to him”. Actually, it was an early political statement from Moqtada al Sadr, and the painting is of his father, murdered by Saddam Hussein. The text below the painting, in Arabic, introduces the idea of countering the Coalition. We missed that signal.The photo of Saddam over the Medical Director’s desk in the hospital in Umm Qasr was still present in late March 2003, deep in the war. During this conversation the hospital director was asked when it would be coming down. He answered “when you show me Saddam’s head on a plate. I was here in 1991 when you told us to revolt. We did, and you abandoned us, and my family died on these steps. Let us see if you keep your word this time”. Resentment of our 1991 performance ran very deep in the Shia population. The hospital director mentioned that General Garner of ORHA was apparently chosen to lead ORHA because of his work in the northern Kurdish humanitarian response after the war. That humanitarian response was needed because Saddam was killing Kurds as he’d killed the Shia, when both revolted after the Gulf War because we’d told them we’d back them. To have chosen General Garner was, to this man, a very surprising message to send to Iraqis.At the lower-right is the quote from COL John Graham, Royal Army Medical Corps, the senior medical officer for the British in Basra. That photograph is within the living quarters of the water-purification plant employees and the point of the photograph is the flags around the upper wall. It is a string of two alternating flags, encircling the room, and is available in any market in Iraq. The flags are Iraq and Palestine. The identification of ordinary Iraqis with events in the Palestinian Territories cannot be overstated. Anything the US did with Israel was viewed with suspicion by Iraqis, and any passive position taken by the US during Israeli aggression into the West Bank or Gaza was deeply resented.Based on conversations in Kuwait before the Civil Affairs teams went in, no one of these points was made clear to any Civil Affairs team prior to deployment, yet each had important consequences for our post-Saddam reception.“The area of interestwas perhapsmore complicatedthan we first thought.”-- COL John Graham, RAMC
13 MERPI Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Program for Iraq One responsibility held by the Coalition was the care of non-combatant civilians sick or injured as a result of the Iraq war. The Coalition had very little experience in civilian evacuation and had security concerns that occasionally surpassed the obligation, so the actual evaluation and transfer coordination of injured civilians was soon taken by the International Organization for Migration. IOM is a United Nations agency that performed more than 800 civilian evacuations from Timor, a similar number from Kosovo, and so had deep experience in the coordination of civilian evacuations from a war zone into accepting countries around the world.It was incumbent upon the Coalition to work effectively with IOM because IOM needed to move patients that were the Coalition’s responsibility, and the Coalition owned all airfields and air transport coordination. This was a striking example of the need to transparently and reliably collaborate on complex logistics between civilian and military organizations working to a humanitarian goal. Eventually more than 230 civilian patients were evacuated to one of eight countries using a 26-page protocol developed by IOM. These photographs were taken by Dr. Eric Rasmussen, a Navy Commander serving as the physician to the Iraq Humanitarian Operations Center, and are four patients from the first evacuation flight out of Kuwait in April, 2003
14 Strong Angel II Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i 17-22 July 2004 OSD-NII sponsorshipDARPA fundingAfter the Iraq war and through the early months of reconstruction, a number of individuals and organizations developed lists of lessons learned that generally focused on how their particular organizations could have improved their performance. To our knowledge, very few collection efforts looked specifically at the impediments to post-conflict humanitarian support at the civil-military boundary. Those few were collated into a list of civil-military tasks in humanitarian support that needed to be performed better than they were during the war, and that list of tasks became the blueprint for a demonstration of those tasks under similar conditions, but optimized, with better capabilities present, and better performance documented.That demonstration, called Strong Angel II, was held during the height of summer 2004 on a dry lava bed north of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. It was co-located and simultaneous with the 2004 Rim of the Pacific international wargame. On the demonstration design matrix there were 83 tasks to perform, across seven categories of activity, all reflecting some problem documented during the war. The final tasks were selected by the Office of the Secretary of Defense from suggestions collected during and after the war, and funding was provided by both OSD Networks and Information Integration (OSD-NII) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
15 Strong Angel Topic Areas TranslationCollaborationCommunicationCultural awarenessInformation managementThese Strong Angel topic areas encompassed the vast majority of the civil-military boundary problems encountered during the war. We’ll talk about each of them briefly. They are roughly in order of importance as the Strong Angel team evaluated them.
16 Strong Angel Topic Areas TranslationCollaborationCommunicationCultural awarenessInformation managementThese Strong Angel topic areas encompassed the vast majority of the civil-military boundary problems encountered during the war. We’ll talk about each of them briefly. They are roughly in order of importance as the Strong Angel team evaluated them.
17 Near-real-time broadcast translations This screenshot shows an example of the DARPA machine translation resources on-site. The live news broadcast is to the upper right, the automated transliteration from spoken Arabic to written Arabic is visible as the Arabic script in the center, with the translated English on the left, all written within an ordinary Microsoft Word document.The caliber of the automated translation is not even close to what a live human translator could give under ideal circumstances, but it’s enough to give a flavor of the content and help us understand where to put scarce human translator resources; machine translation is in a sense, a screening tool.At the lower right is an Arabic translator for Ambassador Bremer’s office within the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. Although blonde and blue-eyed, she was a superb resource and had left Baghdad less than a week before she arrived at Strong Angel. She was present to evaluate the effectiveness and utility of the Arabic machine translations and delivered a very helpful (and quite positive) report. She has now returned to Iraq.Near-real-time broadcast translationsHuman and machine-based
18 Simultaneous multi-lingual chat ( English-Arabic-English ) One of the striking successes within Strong Angel was the introduction of a secure, collaborative simultaneous multi-lingual chat tool known internally as Babylon Chat. While imperfect, this early effort was improved during the demonstration using feedback from multiple native Arabic speakers and local children. It’s been developed by MITRE Corporation with help from DARPA and integration by Groove Networks. The tool supports near real-time machine translation between 16 languages, including Arabic, Farsi, Dari, Hebrew, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Russian.As all machine language efforts, it’s currently a rough approximation of the detailed meaning but is improving monthly as the underlying translation engines evolve.Babylon:Simultaneous multi-lingual chat( English-Arabic-English )
19 Since language is such a critical component of all humanitarian operations Strong Angel had a special focus on translation resources that did not require a human translator. A few were found.TIDES is a DARPA five-year research program in automated machine language translation and analysis that was hardened for field use in May of 2004 and first tested in deployment within Strong Angel. The system allows the collection of foreign language text (daily newspapers in Arabic, for example) and subsequent translation into English with no human intervention. The system requires reasonably high bandwidth, but once that was established late on Day One the system performed very well and, in fact, was used as one source for the publication of a daily newsletter on foreign press opinions from the Strong Angel site.TIDES is an acronym for Translingual Information Detection, Extraction, and Summarization. The architecture for TIDES was designed by MITRE Corporation and BBN Technologies, with the translation engine from Language Weaver. Human translation backup was provided by the National Virtual Translation Center near DC. Groove Networks designed the collaborative software in which TIDES operational implementation was developed, Virage did much of the video-capture for spoken-word transliteration. Carebridge is a non-profit consortium of supporting humanitarian organizations and individuals, and all editions of the TIDES World Press Report are edited and published by Mark Prutsalis in Brooklyn.
20 This was another version of the DARPA machine translation services, this one from Virage. It has a somewhat similar interface, but uses only a standard web browser (instead of Microsoft Word) and adds (in the left column) a list of answers to a query. The search term is upper center-right, the name “Gharbawi”.
21 Be prepared to communicate with those who do not speak your language. Strong Angel placed a lot of attention on civil discourse with the local population. When visitors arrived there was a special effort to explain the purpose of the site. On those occasions when visitors arrived that did not speak our language, we asked permission to film their statements and questions in their own language. We then made it clear (through diagrams) that we’d get the video to a translator and formulate a response for them and that they should return in two days.Here you see two files in a Groove shared space dedicated to visitor translations. The files directory contains two files: a Windows Media File video of the visitor, who was Japanese, and a text translation performed by a Japanese translator remotely. Dr. Eric Rasmussen took this screenshot as he began to formulate the response to this visitor. At the upper right is a Japanese translator converting Dr. Rasmussen’s response into Japanese for the visitor.While such effort is laborious and a bit clumsy, the attention to place and culture, such simple courtesy, did much to integrate Strong Angel participants and the ideals of the site into the local community.When there was a local denial of service attack on the site network, technical resources were unsuccessful at determining the site and the culprits, but local members of community who had been visitors to us came forward, identified the source, and arranged for those attacking us to stop. That intervention was successful and we had no recurrence. The effort at community integration, cultural courtesy, a bit of extra effort, and a little humility paid significant dividends during a serious problem that would have seriously degraded our connectivity and the effectiveness of our demonstration. Force and technology would not have been successful in this case.Visitor translations
22 As noted previously, Mark Prutsalis, the editor of the TIDES Iraq Reconstruction Report published daily around the world, drove to a remote section of the island and used one of the Strong Angel community wireless stations placed on top of a lighthouse to publish this report globally on the 21st of July.The message he was making was that you need to provide comms to the local population, use it yourself regularly to make sure it works as advertised, and then leave it behind with trained locals capable of maintaining it in the condition it had when you owned it.Providing reliable global communications pathways is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to help move an oppressed and uninformed people into the 21st century. The amount of goodwill, increased security, and exposure to democratic ideals is incalculable.
23 Strong Angel Topic Areas TranslationCollaborationCommunicationCultural awarenessInformation managementThese Strong Angel topic areas encompassed the vast majority of the civil-military boundary problems encountered during the war. We’ll talk about each of them briefly. They are roughly in order of importance as the Strong Angel team evaluated them.
24 Distributed collaboration… “Distributed collaboration inside CENTCOM won the war”Statement from CENTCOM and the Army Lessons Learned LabQuoted by an OSD official, 11 July 03Secure file encryption at 192-bit thresholdVoice-Over-Internet (encrypted)Bandwidth optimizedAlerting cuesImport-Export as XML with any databaseWeb download for free if neededTransparent – all organizationsAdaptive architecture (instantly flexible)Distance learning (and teaching)Remote presentationsReference library of pubs and docsLogistics delivery calendarInstant Messaging (encrypted)Secure chat (encrypted)Annotated mapsAnnotated satellite photosWho’s available, instantlyImmediate feedback on commsSends only binary changesPeer-to-peer, so no ownershipThe core tool used by Dr. Rasmussen for the design of the humanitarian assessment collection sequence was a relatively new piece of commercial software designed for collaborative work across a peer-to-peer architecture. Importantly, there was no server needed to accomplish the required tasks. That neutral-territory design proved critical for acceptance and participation across the civil-military boundary. The columns here on the screen describe the capabilities available within the designed system.On several occasions the free and encrypted Voice-Over-IP was the only voice communications available between users.
25 Emergency Communications Since communication was the dominant theme in Strong Angel, we made a particular effort to ensure the most important users were connected all of the time. We designed a protocol for alerting to any threat perceived by any member. Here we picture three of those capabilities:Upper left: The emergency intercom system allowing any participating site to have immediate voice and video reporting to a defined set of locations over an encrypted data link. We linked the main Strong Angel tent to local police, local fire, the Baghdad palace, San Diego State University, International Medical Corps in Baltimore, and Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. All were linked in real-time through encrypted VOIP over an alerting and monitoring system that sat on the desktop constantly. We established the monitoring sites to be locations that were manned 24x7 and which had the ability to listen to speakers while going about daily business. The police headquarters receiving desk was one example.Center: We linked VHF police and fire radios into a Groove workspace by plugging the VHF radio audio into a laptop and converting every radio transmission into an MP3 file. Each file then received a unique time-date stamp and was placed into a Groove shared space. We then wrote a small tool that watched that shared space on each member’s machine and played any new file that appeared. That effectively allowed the monitoring of local emergency radio broadcasts anywhere on the planet in near-real-time. It also gave a preserved archive of all transmissions, in order, allowing reconstruction of events both locally and remotely.The last was a Groove form for reporting Incidents. It has tabs for Summary, tracking, resources, maps, and so forth, and it resides within a collaborative workspace, distributed to all members as soon as it’s entered. As always, every entry has a unique time-date-person stamp with auditing capability.
26 Pony Express Mobile 802.11b cloud TESTED Discussion, Calendar, Instant Messages, FilesVideo files from VSee (.wmv)Arabic and English translations (.mp3)Babylon ChatToucan Navigate locationsForms: submissions, templates, and updatesAssessment Forms, Request Forms, etc.Pony ExpressMobile b cloudgiving the disconnected synchrony through commercial toolsThe Pony Express was a method for including disconnected users in information sharing and collaboration using mobile wi-fi routers and encrypted collaboration services powered off autos.Strong Angel identified sites not normally provide with any internet access. We then stationed participants in those places with wi-fi enabled laptops and Groove workspaces shared with members elsewhere on the planet.We installed a wi-fi router in a 4WD jeep, with a Groove mobile relay server. We then drove a route twice each day that allowed the formation of a temporary wi-fi cloud for 2000 feet around the car, thereby synching all waiting information in Groove workspaces between the relay server in the vehicle and the users within the temporary cloud. That did NOT synch with the rest of the users remotely, because there was no internet access – just the peer-to-peer architecture and the relay server holding encrypted information.The vehicle drove a route, dropping off and picking up the encrypted mail. When the vehicle returned to the base camp, it hooked up to the larger internet and synched all outgoing information from the disconnected users, picked up they mail waiting for them (“deltas” in workspaces) and began driving the route again, dropping off the encrypted mail and workspace content.It worked very well, conveying information of all types as listed on the slide.
27 VSeeLab is a small video-teleconferencing company owned by Milton Chen, a post-doc from Stanford pictured here with his lead engineer, Erica Davis, another Stanford Engineering post-doc.Their flagship product, VSee, is able to run off a simple combination of webcam and the ad-hoc network able to be generated between any set of wi-fi enabled laptops. It is fully encrypted using the same Crypto++ dll that Groove uses, so has an equal cryptographic legitimacy. Beyond simple teleconferencing, VSee can share desktops and files, in addition to video and audio, and can generate encrypted chat. It runs as a tool within any Groove workspace and serves as the VTC capability within Groove.We tested VSee in ad-hoc mode, using only laptops with no special infrastructure, between vehicles. As seen here, we were able to generate video over more than 1000 yards, with vehicles interposed. Here in the upper center you see a $30 webcam showing the road ahead to the last vehicle in the convoy, and, on the left, a $15 webcam in the back vehicle showing the road now past to the vehicle in front. Please note the chat window discussing convoy protocol while both are watching the surroundings of the other.We were also able to broadcast similar video from an aircraft to a vehicle on the ground, giving a nice view of the surrounding area to ANYONE in the workspace. All it takes is a single member to have internet access and all members of the workspace could see the encrypted broadcast, even if in Geneva or New York.VSee
28 Medical Status Reports Medical Joining Reports Rumor reportingIncident reportingMedical Status ReportsMedical Joining ReportsLogistics delivery schedulesMaps and annotated imagesCasualty evacuation requestsBriefing documents and presentationsRefugee tracking on UNHCR standardsField requests for humanitarian assistanceContact rolodex with GIS location mappingLibrary of important publications and agreementsThis list from Dr. Eric Rasmussen shows the tools developed within Groove while supporting the war effort, first in US Central Command in Tampa, then Kuwait, then inside several cities in Iraq, including Basra and Baghdad.The range of tools developed for civil-military collaboration is broad, and each of these tools was available, immediately and at no charge, to all humanitarian support participants during and after the war. Some remain in use within Iraq today. Each has been refined over the period since June 2003 and was tested again within Strong Angel.As with all Groove-based tools, every change a user makes is automatically digitally signed and can be correlated with that user’s unique digital fingerprint.
29 Among the information requirements commonly overlooked in disasters is the mechanism for sharing specific information needed by almost all of those providing humanitarian aid.In Strong Angel we commissioned experts from a wide range of agencies to assess the required information and design Groove-based forms to meet those needs in a manner acceptable to both civilian and military agencies.The forms are tabbed, with summary views, and stamped internally with a comprehensive audit trail. They can be updated by any member of the collaborative workspace, and we developed policies and protocols for walking through the forms and mapping their information onto GIS layers.Forms developed includedOver-flight requests,inbound relief supplies (as pictured here),incident reports,rumor reporting,refugee registration,casualty evacuation,medical support inbound,relief plans,rapid humanitarian assessment forms,water/sanitation assessment,health assessment,warehouse inventories,road assessments,professional contacts,and local contracting resources.
30 ToucanNavigate interactive Groove GIS tool. Brings collaborative GIS to the edge of the networkProvides coordination and decision supportContains geospatial layers in standard GIS file formatsMay add objects, layers and metadata directly to mapsMay also track movements using standard GPSWithin the Groove collaborative suite there were individual tools, chosen for their utility. By common agreement the tool from which we derived the greatest functionality was ToucanNavigate, a collaborative GIS and tracking software developed by InfoPatterns of North Carolina and Skye, Scotland.With the capabilities listed here, we found ToucanNavigate to be a remarkable asset in several areas of immediate relevance.
31 LibraryOne of the most basic yet valuable forms of information sharing during emergencies is a shared library. Yet digital libraries are typically implemented as center-based portals, file servers, and databases, and as such are often of little use to far-forward staff working in austere network conditions. For SA II, building on recent successes during the war in Iraq, we chose to construct a distributed library based on a Groove Synchronized Folder.The Library Space seen here contained files such as maps, GIS layers, field manuals, legal references, standards, treaties, articles, reports, electronic books, videos, dictionaries, encyclopedias, glossaries, presentations, software patches, and useful data in spreadsheet form. All users invited to the folder could contribute their own files and selectively download files from the nearest copies available on the network that they needed to have available offline. Having the shared library implemented in a peer-to-peer architecture not only provides offline access to files, but it shifts much of the burden of file transfer from the Wide Area Network to the Local Area Network, resulting in less overall impact on network performance.
32 Information feeds: Automated push from a request (pull) Users at the edge of the network do not have access to center-based information repositories and thus must rely on colleagues or automated systems to filter out and distribute important information. During SA II, Groove was used as a tool for intelligent push from Washington, DC to Kona. This slide depicts a shared space in which a crisis management center in Washington DC has posted news items selected from topics requested by the Strong Angel participants.The larger recognition was that the searching of information sources performed at the center (Washington), makes optimal use of the typically limited bandwidth found far-forward at the Edge. Strong Angel participants were able to request (“pull”) information – whether accounting templates or pest control guidelines – and then take that information with them deep into the remote Waipio Valley on laptops. As expected, the ability to carry that “pushed and pulled” information with them, offline, proved to be a daily requirement.Information feeds:Automated push from a request (pull)
33 Lightweight and collaborative GIS ToucanNavigateKGVAD-1ToucanNavigate is a collaborative GIS tool inside any Groove shared space. It allows members of the workspace to work on maps inside the space generated in any standard GIS file formats. There are layers available (for example, warehouses, rivers, roads, villages, and airfields), and special icons related to disaster response. ToucanNavigate also can accept feeds from standard GPS receivers. Anyone stationary (or without a GPS) can simply enter their best-guess coordinates onto the map.The system in Strong Angel was also linked to the Garmin Rino 130 GPRS radios that contain GPS receivers and can optionally transmit self-coordinates to any other radio. We hooked one of the radios to a laptop running ToucanNavigate and we were able to have any keyed transmission from a radio in the field show up as a yellow dot with a unique ID on our map. That dot was, in turn, simply a part of the layer and so was replicated to every member of the space. That allowed partners in Washington and Geneva to keep track of staff in the field in real-time with only a single keyed microphone click every 15 minutes if they were anywhere within five miles of the base.We now have the ability to use VHF and UHF radios with similar capabilities, but a much longer range. The advantages are readily apparent.Lightweight and collaborative GISUsing standard file formatsWith GPS integration, co-navigation, and movement tracking
34 Groove collaboration tool The collaboration tool used in Strong Angel was a commercial and proprietary system that was blocked by many corporate policies regarding the installation of unfamiliar software. As a result, Strong Angel issued temporary licenses to PopG, a third-party tool that allows Groove to be used within a standard browser window, much like webmail is often used instead of Outlook when a user is traveling.PopG allowed secure collaborative participation within Groove spaces from any Internet Café on the planet. It was also found acceptable within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, since an SSL-encrypted, browser-based, system poses little risk from outside attack.Browser-basedGroove collaboration tool
35 Related to the ability to monitor emergency radio traffic was our ability to import public information from police and fire responses and map those on a GIS layer that allows trends to be spotted quickly. Again, this was automatically imported into a collaborative workspace and distributed to participants on several continents for analysis and feedback to the reporting agency. It was the first time the reporting agency had been able to aggregate and assess events within a large geographic area.Of note, there is no violation of confidentiality here – this is public information – but it was still held within a workspace encrypted at the 192-bit level. The Fire Department information was displayed on a high-resolution map of the area even before Strong Angel was completed.Police Blotter
36 During the Iraq War Dr. Eric Rasmussen was tasked with the implementation of a system to distribute, collect, and analyze the Rapid Humanitarian Assessment form previously designed and approved by a set of non-military agencies for use in Iraq. When Dr. Rasmussen received the task two weeks before the war there was no system for that implementation, but an ad hoc method proved successful and more than 100 forms were collected from the field.Of interest, the approved form itself, not the system, was rapidly recognized as flawed by all participants and a rapid review and re-design was performed to meet the requirements unfolding in Iraq. That form continued to evolve into a far smaller set of data elements and Strong Angel accepted the task of final interim design, with a link into both a database for analysis and for publication into a website using a GIS interface that displayed need-based mapping. The final form is available at no charge from Dr. Rasmussen.
37 No military in the design No staff No training logistics No authority No fundingNo communicationsNo civ-mil networkAnd yet no other option.The evacuation of patients was only one of many humanitarian needs addressed early in the war, and that information collection was very challenging. The need to rapidly gain humanitarian information from Civil Affairs teams and NGOs during the war led to the design of a new Rapid Humanitarian Assessment form, developed by, and accepted by, the non-military community of humanitarian organizations outside Iraq before the war. Unfortunately, the form was cumbersome and complicated, with more than 300 data points requested on each multi-page form.There was a four-member Forward Military Liaison Team (MLT) assigned to the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) in Kuwait before the war. Those four were tasked with designing a system for distributing the Rapid Assessment form, teaching the proper collection of information for it, retrieving the completed forms from the field, then distributing the collected information to everywhere it was needed to help speed the provisioning of humanitarian relief. As noted here, there was no warning of the requirement, and no support for any piece of the task. It arose as a need in Kuwait on 02 March 2003, roughly two weeks before the war.The design and implementation of the system fell to a Navy Commander on the DART, a physician-specialist in humanitarian medicine, Dr. Eric Rasmussen. The system he designed was taught to more than 800 members of Civil Affairs teams for both the Army and the Marine Corps, and – despite its complexity - more than 100 forms were eventually collected from the field and analyzed effectively during the weeks through and after the war.
38 Distributed peer-to-peer collaboration The premier software tool recommended from Strong Angel was the newly-released Groove Virtual Office 3.0. Pictured here is the collection of Rapid Assessment Forms submitted from the field during the war and entered by Dr. Eric Rasmussen into Groove Workspace 2.5, using feeds from the collaborative system he designed for the purpose. Down the center of the list you’ll see the range of organizations submitting forms, including the British Royal Army, USAID, Doctors Without Borders, US Marine Corps Civil Affairs Groups, and the US Army, both Civil Affairs Teams, and the 30th Medical Brigade.The software, Groove Workspace 2.5, was available as a free download from the web for anyone that needed to participate. The software is “distributed”, meaning everyone in a workspace has a complete copy of the data and it’s multi-password protected and encrypted on their laptop. The software operates peer-to-peer, so no server resides in some domain that a member would find unacceptable. For example, no member of Doctors without Borders would link through a server residing in a DOT-MIL domain. The members of this workspace are listed on the left column and visibly include CENTCOM-Tampa, USAID-DART, US Army Civil Affairs Brigades, CENTCOM-Quatar, Coalition Military Headquarters in Kuwait, United Nations MineAction landmine clearance teams, UN humanitarian relief agencies, microlending experts, Geospatial Information Services experts, the State Department, UN Food for Peace, the Humanitarian Operations Center in Kuwait, and the United Nations Humanitarian Information Center in Cyprus.Distributed peer-to-peer collaboration
39 The Casualty Report designed within the collaborative software suite is designed to meet or exceed US Navy NWP-4.02 standards and NATO STANAG standards. It has been further refined and now incorporates GIS tracking as well. It is NOT military – it is, rather, for casualties of all kinds, including non-combatants needing evacuation by civilian relief agencies across complex boundaries.This is an example of information that must be protected, but must also be shared with people who do not necessarily have access to US classified networks. The answer is to encrypt the data and send it over wide-open networks, including those within any Internet café anywhere in the world.
40 Plone to Zope to Groove to Zope to Plone Strong Angel approached software with a desire that as much be open-source and public-domain as possible. Any software we used also had to adhere to international standards. Besides the obvious reduction in cost and in the logistics of having commercial licenses, such an approach also affords an opportunity to develop local skills and a bit of micro-enterprise. One class of software we incorporated was a database, and we chose Zope and MySQL as representative, and we used Plone as a content-management system. It proved possible to accept information from a Groove form, push it into a Zope database, then publish the information on a Plone web interface, all automatically. We then wrote the tools to have the reverse take place: enter information into a web form, write that to the database for later analysis, and simultaneously have it appear on an encrypted Groove form within a workspace. All automatically.In software we found we could build a very capable system for almost free so, using an old 386 laptop and, with Linux as the operating system, we provided all of the necessary functionality, including reading and writing of standard Microsoft Office formats, using software that, like Linux itself, is available for free.Open-source collaborative website
41 Contacts with GIS mapping… Geographical reference information was a task in Strong Angel and the contact list reflected that. The contact list was an example of the forms designed specifically for humanitarian response and contained three different reference locations for each entry: Home, Professional, and Current. Current was for those times (like Strong Angel itself) when a participant was neither home nor usual place of work but, rather, deployed to some event.Each site entry had GPS coordinates associated with it, and we had a layer in Toucan Navigate that showed all of the members of the contact list and their Current location, plotted as entered in the form. That allowed immediate localization of a critical staff member in the event of an emergency, and it worked well.Contacts with GIS mapping…
42 Strong Angel Topic Areas TranslationCollaborationCommunicationCultural awarenessInformation managementThese Strong Angel topic areas encompassed the vast majority of the civil-military boundary problems encountered during the war. We’ll talk about each of them briefly. They are roughly in order of importance as the Strong Angel team evaluated them.
43 On the list of necessary tasks, the Strong Angel team wanted to establish secure wireless comms that could be used to push requested GIS information to users farthest forward. We succeeded, and the solution set became a part of our critical guidelines: protect the data – not the network.Using ToucanNavigate, a GIS tool, within Groove, a collaborative software suite using 192-bit FIPS certified encryption, we were able to exchange Emergency Services response reports on a GIS layer through an encrypted software over wireless b.Many participants within Strong Angel were able to describe incidents where information critical to a humanitarian response was made inaccessible through inadvertent classification, or by having the unclassified information present only on SIPRNET and so unavailable until declassified. To cure that obvious, and occasionally tragic, mistake, it seem apparent that encrypting the information that needs to be secure on a wide-open network (even, as we proved, from a foreign internet café with an obvious anti-American bias), with multiple layers of protected access, offers many benefits and few drawbacks. Protect the data – not the network.Done.
44 Comms in Iraq 3 1 X 2 1. UHF 2. VHF 3. HF 4. SATPHONE X. PA system 4 A particular focus within Strong Angel was the ability to move electrons for both voice and data. As an example of a superb solution to that requirement, this photo shows the communications suite present in the USAID-Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) vehicle issued daily to Dr. Rasmussen for his humanitarian efforts in Southern Iraq during and after the war. The intelligent design, the careful maintenance, the required user protocols and the mandatory training, all helped ensure an effective communications capability with anyone, anywhere in the world, at any moment, from this vehicle. But it is not for military support, and there is no ability to reach across the civil-military boundary for collaborative information sharing, and that’s a problem.This vehicle communications suite is standard-issue for a DART team member during any crisis, anywhere. The US government vehicles like this one used by the DART within the Iraq War were no different from those used by DARTs in earthquake, flood, and fire responses around the globe. But they are very different from the vehicles used by the military civil affairs teams. Those teams were charged with humanitarian assessments during the war and often had no method for filing those assessments, even by radio. They also could not talk with the UN relief agency teams, nor the NGOs, working in the same village, although those agencies could talk to each other and to their headquarters. The limitations were occasionally embarrassing.4
45 across all boundaries… Bring superb and open comms……use them dailyacross all boundaries……teach them to everyone……and leave them behind.If there was a single core statement that emerged from the week of collaborative integration and post-conflict reconstruction design, it would be “COMMS FIRST”. Whether the communications was language translation, data transmission, voice-over-IP, reference library accessibility, or cultural explanation, the overarching concept of communication proved far more valuable than political, diplomatic, or religious statements.Of importance, Strong Angel teams began working with the community near where we wanted to work several months prior to the event, establishing an understanding of local communications resources, and then asking about emergency communications resources, needs, and desires. The technical resources within Strong Angel were very deep and so we listened to the local requests and then took the opportunity to equip, train, and incorporate local Emergency Services staff into the communications and collaboration systems we were establishing for the demonstration, focusing on their specific requirements. Those requirements were clearer once we explained the resources and capabilities we could bring to bear.When Strong Angel ended, all of the equipment and software we brought to the Island for the collaboration demonstration was evaluated by the local Emergency providers we’d incorporated into the event. We were able to donate to the County Emergency Services director superb resources that had proven their utility and which had already been incorporated into their internal training program. This was a significant improvement over their usual capabilities, and may pay real dividends in lives saved during upcoming real-world responses.Our collective opinion on the value of such a model was so positive that we titled the final outbrief “COMMS FIRST”. Bring the best and most inclusive language, communications and collaboration tools you have, incorporate everyone into your comms sphere daily with a constant expansion of service, teach the locals – especially police, fire, and medical – what they need to know to keep it all running when you leave, and then give them everything when you walk away.
46 Do daily work over those shared comms so you ensure they work properly Another important facet of the comms lesson was that, when the comms arrive for your team, begin to include the local community within the first hours that it’s available. This is Mark Prutsalis, New York editor-in-chief of the World Press Update and publisher of the Iraqi Reconstruction Report. He took his laptop to the first wireless node we established on the Island’s northernmost lighthouse and prepared his newsletter from that remote site, working with the same resources we had given to the local community. He found two wireless node programming errors on the first day, filed them from the site, and they were corrected remotely before he returned to the base camp.The WiFi node seen here at the top of the lighthouse blanketed the northern communities with communications access. It was the first step to linking the upper half of the Island with wireless repeaters. The hardware we used was developed for the arts festival called Burning Man, held annually in a remote Nevada lakebed and worked very well. The wireless project has remained a focus of the County’s Emergency Services director, generated enormous local goodwill for very little cost, and will provide significantly improved domestic and emergency communications capabilities for the island using sustainable, inexpensive, and low-maintenance solar powered repeaters.Do daily work over those shared comms so you ensure they work properly
47 Establishing community usefulness quickly Immediately upon arrival of the Strong Angel technical team, two days before starting the demonstration, we looked around and determined what might make the statement that this place is important in the world.We established a weather station, at almost no cost (less than $100), and began submitting to a website and to the National Weather Service. For a few weeks in July, Strong Angel was a site broadcasting comprehensive local weather information to the world. That information was not available from any other public source on the island, and the local Emergency Services teams were quite pleased.
48 Bring hardware suited to both the environment and the tasks. The upper center photograph outlined in light blue shows the laptop of Royal Army physician Susanna Roughton, epidemiologist for southern Iraq just after the war. After only three weeks in the field much of the machine no longer functioned, despite several layers of Ziploc bags. Decisions to deploy of such fragile tools to the field when they had been designed for a climate-controlled indoor office, did not serve anyone usefully and impeded the daily work of those tasked with post-conflict reconstruction.Strong Angel reviewed laptops designed for harsh environments and selected the Panasonic Toughbook CF-73, used frequently by United Nations relief agencies in the field, as a reasonable balance between cost, functionality, and resilience. The CF-73 features a magnesium shell, shock-mounted components, a touchscreen, a water-resistant keyboard, and integrated Centrino wireless. We brought several to Strong Angel, chose one we could spare for a day, buried it in deep sand and crushed lava, allowed the evening rain to soak it through the night, then resurrected it the next afternoon. We knocked the sand off it, used an ordinary paintbrush to clean the surface, and powered it up. It worked flawlessly and we restored it to network monitoring and weather reporting. And we watched a DVD on it later that evening.In our opinion, hardware destined for the field should be appropriately selected for environmental challenges. The cost differential is small, especially when compared to the loss of capability and historical record when a less appropriate machine dies. The evaluation was done on-site by Steve Price, pictured here, the network administrator for Baylor College of Medicine and a expert in remote telemedicine requirements.Hardware resilienceBring hardware suited to both the environment and the tasks.Panasonic Toughbook CF-73
49 A task that had been specifically requested by OSD was the capacity to monitor a site or a roadway effectively at very low cost, and with expendable resources in the field.Strong Angel evaluated a number of options and chose two. The first is the Broadware multispectral surveillance system. ( Broadware is a commercial enterprise with significant experience at exactly that sort of problem and we used the Broadware software with the Pelco multispectral camera and two sensors: one for motion and one for noise. With either stimulus (motion or noise above background) the camera swiveled automatically with an on-target latency of less than a second. The photos here show the software replaying a recent archive, a Pelco camera (upside down – the black hemisphere under the red arrow holds the camera and would be pointing down), and Clif Cox mounting the camera atop a light pole not far from the Strong Angel site.There was a second surveillance option with a new piece of software called VSee, developed by Milton Chen, a PhD computer science engineer at Stanford. More about VSee later, but it is a remarkably adept, useful, secure, and flexible video stream and is worth further attention.Remote surveillance…
50 FotoNotes Annotation on-screen On the list of technical successes was a new piece of software that featured annotation of photographs using a roll-over editor.As seen here, simply use a mouse to draw a rectangle, then enter text to be associated with that rectangle. That tool, called FotoNotes, was developed for the Cascade collaborative program within OSD. It is now available for use on each of the several thousand photographs that are now present on the Strong Angel website.
51 Interactive tele-journalism in the field Interactive Tele-Journalism was an experimental tool brought to Strong Angel from New York University. Shawn VanEvery, seen here in the pale brown shirt, filmed many people at Strong Angel with a simultaneous webcast combined with interactive chat, so that visitors to his website could not only observe the webcast but could actually interact the with the tele-journalist, the subject, and one another. In effect, website visitors are able to suggest questions that the tele-journalist should ask.This capability, if developed, could have significant potential as a tool to enable multimedia reach-back for far-forward personnel, as well as remote direction of data-collection activities. In response to an emergency, experts in relevant sectors anywhere in the world could log into the website, while someone in the field is dispatched to the scene with Interactive Tele-Journalism gear. These individuals could then, by working through the tele-journalist, ensure both that video and audio recording capabilities are put to their best possible use, and that the right questions are put to the right people.
52 Strong Angel Topic Areas TranslationCollaborationCommunicationCultural awarenessInformation managementThese Strong Angel topic areas encompassed the vast majority of the civil-military boundary problems encountered during the war. We’ll talk about each of them briefly. They are roughly in order of importance as the Strong Angel team evaluated them.
53 Post-Conflict Reconstruction Indicators It is always difficult to assess progress if you are not looking at where the meaningful changes are taking place. That was true immediately after the Iraq War and remains true today. In order to ensure progress in the right direction it is necessary to have a selection of meaningful indicators that can be collected and assessed objectively by disinterested (and so trusted) parties.Strong Angel looked closely at the 575 indicators used by the World Bank, as well as several lesser-known indicator sets that measure the well-being of a population through assorted yardsticks. We chose, as the evaluator, the research director for an NGO with world-recognized expertise in women’s health issues. Her task was to look at the question of reconstruction indicators, using all of the resources she chose to use.She selected a set that has meaning and value for a post-conflict reconstruction, and they are being vetted through other post-conflict assessment experts, including Dr. Nancy Mock of Tulane University, a world leader in the topic.The Indicators have been placed in the public domain and are available from Dr. Rasmussen.Post-Conflict Reconstruction Indicators
54 Strong Angel II: The Onsite Team There were 51 participants on-site for Strong Angel, from such diverse organizations as US Central Command, CPA-Baghdad, NATO, Syracuse University, Harvard Medical School, the United Nations Joint Logistics Center, The United Nations University of Peace in Costa Rica, International Medical Corps, the Burning Man arts festival, the United Nations Special Ambassador to the Environment, Stanford, the US State Department, the Civil Air Patrol, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, New York University, the US Navy, the NASA Mars Co-laboratory, Orange County Emergency Medical Services, and more. Off-site there were more than 70 participants within eight countries on four continents.The site was located on a cleared and leveled acre of lava, not otherwise improved. No external infrastructure support was present on-site – everything was established from scratch.
55 The task solutions were designed along lines that reached… …across competing organizations…During Strong Angel spontaneous mini-conferences developed when specific problems needed to be addressed. In the upper corner are members of the US Institute of Peace, International Medical Corps, Groove Networks, and the UN Joint Logistics Center designing a set of civil-military guidelines in accordance with existing references, and incorporating lessons learned in Iraq.At the lower left are members of the US Navy, NATO, International Medical Corps, and DARPA discussing the tools required by the Provisional Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan. The recommendations will be briefed at the NATO Conference in Brussels during November 2004.…and across civil-military boundaries
56 …and into the community. Across cultures…Special effort was made to inform Strong Angel participants of the value of cultural understanding and local integration. Dr. Amr Abdalla, dean of academics at the United Nations University of Peace in Costa Rica is a native Egyptian, a Muslim, and a Special Advisor to both the US State Department and to US Central Command on relations between Muslims and the West. He lectured on programs available for informing non-Muslims of issues of importance to the Arab and Muslim world, in addition to enhancing on-site machine translations of Arabic by incorporating cultural and religious nuances missed in a simple literal translation.Another exceptional effort was the specific including of local children in explanations of Strong Angel tasks and methods, encouraging pro-social activities and social responsibility by modeling them for the children on-site, and by setting aside special explanatory resources for local schoolteachers. The task statement included language specifying that the Strong Angel demonstration had to be understood by local schoolteachers to a level allowing them to accurately explain Strong Angel to their classes.…and into the community.
57 Donations to the local community Strong Angel made of point of informing the local community of who we were, what we were doing, and what we might be able to do for them should they ask. We began inviting influential members of the local administration onto the site months before we built it, and we asked them what they might like to see from such a site as we were proposing. They gave us a list of desirable goals, including providing emergency communications to remote sites like the Kapa’au Lighthouse and the Waipio Valley, seen here.We demonstrated the emergency communications capability in Strong Angel, then left the communications in place and provided both extensive train-the-trainer style training and documentation granting ownership of the tools to the County of Hawaii.Donations tothe local community
58 Rogue WiFi disturbance MEGABEAMRogue WiFi disturbancePACOMJointFrequencyManagementOfficeAnd MelanieDuring the Strong Angel demonstration the internal wireless network was disrupted by an illegally high-powered b transmitter with the SSID of “MEGABEAM”. It happened three times and each occasion was brief, but powerful, and reduced the effective network bandwidth at Strong Angel to almost zero.A rapid assessment of the location of the broadcast seemed to indicate it was located out at sea, and a pirate broadcast was considered the most likely possibility. Our opinion was that this was a Denial-of-Service attack directed toward Strong Angel.Local authorities were contacted and were unable to help. Third Fleet recommended we contact PACOM and, gradually, we learned that very few organizations are able to respond to an attack on a domestic wireless network.On the third day PACOM sent the Joint Frequency Management Office field staff to the Strong Angel site and began an investigation. Unfortunately no broadcast was heard during their assessment and they were unsuccessful.As it happened, it was NOT a denial of service, but merely two young employees at a fishing company on the beach who were using their employer’s broadband to download music, then uploading that music to their home on the mountain behind us. We happened to be in the way. We heard rumor of the truth and sent word through local contacts that we were affected. The kids sent a very quiet apology and said they’d hold off further transmissions until we were gone. We had no further issues with MEGABEAM.An important message was that technology was unsuccessful, but our integration with the local community, and the trust we’d developed, allowed us to defuse a very tense situation that was increasing through our presumption that we were under attack, and turn it into a smile, a solution, and a rewarding recognition of confidence and support from the community to us.Local community trustsolved the problem…not technology.
59 Distributed energy production and use allows a resilience not otherwise found in central power production. Our experience in Iraq demonstrated the fragility of centralized power systems and the importance of electricity for the provisioning of security lighting and educational opportunities in the evening, cool air in the baking Baghdad heat, and communications around the clock.In Strong Angel we were able to demonstrate a network operations center powered by the flexible solar panels seen here, a small battery bank, and a 1500-watt inverter. Total cost was less than $3000. That small system fit in a large suitcase and provided reliable network power, wired and wireless, for more than forty Strong Angel participants.Flexible solar array
60 Ethical consultationOne unique aspect of Strong Angel was the inclusion of a neutral, non-affiliated ethical advisor tasked with the assessment of actions and opinions present on the Strong Angel site.We chose for that position the United Nations Special Ambassador for the Environment, Dr. John Francis, a PhD environmental scientist who authored the oil-spill recovery protocols for the United States Coast Guard. Over the course of the demonstration Dr. Francis talked with almost every member of the Strong Angel team and briefed each night on the issues that concerned him. He was valued for both his personal philosophy, and for his effectiveness in eliciting concerns from those trying to make the Strong Angel model work, responding to those concerns constructively.One of the early recommendation from the Strong Angel outbrief was to have a similar role present in both exercise development and operational implementation of civil-military support to humanitarian relief. We found it helped ensure the effort remained on track.
61 NATO has responsibility for the Provisional Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan. The description of the Strong Angel tasks seemed to indicate possibilities for more effective implementation of the PRTs, so NATO and the US Mission to NATO sent representatives to work at Strong Angel, evaluating demonstration capabilities for immediate field use.The representatives found so much of value that Strong Angel participants have been asked to brief the large NATO C3 Conference in November 2004 in Brussels.NATO contingent
62 Re-stating the guiding principles… Disconnected operations are the rule, rather than the exception.Agility is more valuable than planning.Effectiveness depends on inclusiveness.Trust only grows on neutral ground.Open pipes and open eyes: protect your data--not the network.Expect to wage war and peace simultaneously.Restating the principles:Supporting those farthest forward means ensuring that even permanently disconnected users (and there will be many…) are able to participate in both vertical and horizontal information flow.Provide your users with tools that they may use to solve their own problems after they arrive.Make sure your information sharing tools are both highly flexible and highly secure: they must be just as good at including the right people as they are at excluding the wrong ones.In order to foster a spirit of cooperation, avoid information sharing solutions that require any one participating organization to own hardware, software, data, or administrative responsibilities.Software encryption, while less secure than hardware, has distinct advantages over traditional closed networks: it is content-based and dynamically-allocated, allowing safe transmission of information through any network.Finally, humanitarian support takes place in hostile environments with uncommon friends. We have to talk with them. Get used to it.
63 This sunset photograph was taken during Strong Angel from a remote site on Parker Ranch near Honoka’a, Hawaii. The area was receiving a wireless node for emergency communications as requested by the Disaster Services branch of the County of Hawaii.Information on Strong Angel can be found atOr from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Navy Commander Pete Griffiths ( )Or from the director of the demonstration, Navy Commander and physician Eric RasmussenQuestions?