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Real-time Online Game-based Use-case Engine for Validation of Interagency Doctrine in Emergency Operations: Research exploring the use of synthetic environments to augment disaster planning, preparation, response, and recovery

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4 Author(s)
Walsh, W. ; Modeling, Virtual Environments, & Simulation (MOVES) Inst., Naval Postgrad. Sch., Monterey, CA, USA ; Blais, C. ; Englehorn, L. ; McDowell, P.

Emergency response operational systems often do not work as expected by users. Subject matter expertise is not always considered for system design when developing the system requirements, and interagency coordination is often absent. With the Real-time Online Game-based Use-case Engine for Validation of Interagency Doctrine in Emergency Operations (ROGUEVIDEO) project we are attempting to build a bridge between operational environments and synthetic environments. The ROGUEVIDEO approach is to capture subject matter expert (SME)-validated doctrine, plans, procedures, equipment, decision making and systems in an architectural framework, then build a transfer mechanism from the architectural framework to an open source synthetic environment. The integrity of the SME input will result in more relevant and accurate simulations to better prepare global emergency responders. Interagency and international planning and response to natural and man-made disasters require new capabilities for planners and responders. Emergency response practitioners require the ability to test, exercise and challenge existing doctrines, plans and equipment for a variety of emergency scenarios. Further, they need a system that will capture response best practices and subject matter expertise. Currently, we have found stakeholders do have limited tools to look at their own doctrines in isolation, but what is lacking is an interagency validation framework for working on the increasing complexity of multi-agency emergency response activities, as well as a sufficient training environment. One of the main tenets of the ROGUEVIDEO project is to leverage and build on existing efforts. To realize this, we have researched domestic efforts for modeling and simulation, training and exercises, and emergency planning and response frameworks. Our findings surfaced various national doctrine such as the National Response Framework (NRF) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as well as the Homeland- Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP) which provides a principal foundation for us to elicit data inputs from operators. To test this approach, we held an HSEEP Data Collection Workshop at the MOVES Institute on 24 February 2011. This served as our first step toward collecting SME input to inform development of the synthetic environment. By the HSEEP definition, this initial workshop was truly a hybrid of a traditional seminar and workshop, designed to acquaint participants with the ROGUEVIDEO project and approach before we move to the next step of discussing the plan or way ahead for using a table top exercise (TTX) to elicit SME data inputs. The subsequent TTX conducted in August 2011 in Long Beach, California, helped validate and highlight successes of symbiotic doctrine; tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs); standard operating procedures (SOPs); and equipment use, as well as surface interagency gaps related to National Planning Scenario 11, a radiological dispersal event. The information from this TTX is being used to inform software development efforts to provide a visual and interactive interagency doctrine validation experience potentially applicable to all fifteen U.S. Department of Homeland Security national planning scenarios.

Published in:

Technologies for Homeland Security (HST), 2011 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

15-17 Nov. 2011