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Naval Postgraduate School Joint Task Force Katrina Relief Effort Unclassified Information Brief

Naval Postgraduate School

Feb 02, 2016




Naval Postgraduate School. Joint Task Force Katrina Relief Effort. Unclassified Information Brief. Purpose/Objective. Purpose: To provide NCOIC with a sketch of NPS’s Hastily Formed Networks deployed in support of the emergency response to Hurricane Katrina. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
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Page 1: Naval Postgraduate School

Naval Postgraduate School

Joint Task Force Katrina Relief Effort


Information Brief

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• Purpose: To provide NCOIC with a sketch of NPS’s Hastily Formed Networks deployed in support of the emergency response to Hurricane Katrina.

• Objective: To show relevance of Hastily Formed Networks and NPS’s Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief work to the global humanitarian assistance community.

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HFN Defined…..

• Skills to Learn:– Interagency / coalition ops (civ-mil boundary)– Collaborative coordination tool set– Capacity to Improvise– Leadership in a network

HFN Concept by Dr Peter Denning, NPS Cebrowski Institute Executive Director

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Conversation Space…..

• Medium in which all communications take place

• A set of interaction rules for effective coordination among all participants

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Aspects of Conversation Space• Physical

– communication systems– meeting places– distribution systems

• Community– players and organizations

• Practices– rules of interaction and coordination

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Physical Aspects…..

• mobile networks• telephony• Internet• satellite• power• fast configurability• meeting places• pre-positioning essential equipment• distribution systems

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Community Aspects…..

• including all players• transcending turf issues• civil-military boundaries• sharing information• situation awareness• planning• coordinating (action, OODA loops)• building trust

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Practices Aspects…..

• rules of engagement for multiple, autonomous organizations

• must be embodied -- not a step-by-step process

• getting “buy-in” on the rules

• decentralized control and decision making

• collaboration without hierarchy

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Instructive Examples…..

• NYC after 9/11– open, included all NY conditioned tendency to stovepipe

• SE Asian Tsunami Dec 26 ’04– collaboration w/out hierarchy, ad hoc, no common conversation space

• US Gulf Coast after Katrina Aug 29 ‘05– partitioned, protecting turf, finger pointing, red tape, citizens initially not included

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• Doing HFN well means mastery of conversation space

– What are the rules of the most productive “game”?

– What are the skills for successful play?

– Where does technology fit in (HFN is the key to the kingdom)?

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Hastily Formed Networks

NPS’s Katrina Relief Effort

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The Storm Surge…..

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Areas of Operation

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Law Enforcement EOCLaw Enforcement EOC

Waveland Police Station

Waveland Police Station

Relief Distribution


Relief Distribution


Hancock Medical Center

Hancock Medical Center

Bay St Louis Fire & Police Station

Bay St Louis Fire & Police Station

Relief Distribution


Relief Distribution



Tachyon Satellite802.16 Wireless

802.11 Wireless


Network InfrastructureNetwork Infrastructure

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The Images…..

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The Images…..

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The Images…

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The Images…..

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The Problem…..

• No power• No fiber/copper infrastructure• No push-to-talk comms to speak of• Cellular services totally jammed• Satellite phone service totally jammed• Not enough satellite eqpt suites available• No Internet access (web, email, VOIP)

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Surrounded by the Civil-Military Boundary….

and Improvisation

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One Viable Comms Solution…..

• SATCOM Internet Reachback

• 802.11 (WiFi) and 802.16 (WiMax)

• Broadband Internet, Web, Email

• Voice Over IP (basic dial-tone)

• Skype (free internet phone)

• Groove (collaboration solution)

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Tie-in to Earlier HFN Definition…..

• Skills to Learn:– Interagency / coalition ops (civ-mil boundary)– Collaborative coordination tool set – Capacity to Improvise– Leadership in a network

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Employed Technologies

Long Haul Wide Area Network Connection

54 Mbps

2 Mbps Down512Kbps Up

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The Team……• NPS Faculty Members (2)• NPS Students (19)

– Information Warfare, Information Systems and Technology, Joint C4I Systems, Space Systems Operations, Space Systems Engineering

– Multi-service, Multi-designator

• Others:– Naval Reservists (5)

• Naval Security Group Reserve

– OSD NII Observer• Active Duty Commander, USN

– Corporate Partners • Cisco, Microsoft, Redline, Tachyon, Mercury Data Systems,

Rajant Corp.

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• Created and extended full scale, timely, and self contained wide area network in an austere environment – expanded from Tsunami work

• First comms capability for *many* • Learned about civ-mil boundary issues CONUS

vs International from Tsunami work• Valuable student real world application of

technology (learned by doing – live lab work)

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Benefits / Observations• NPS:

– TCP/IP glue that binds– Practical value for students and faculty – Enhanced research opportunities and theses insights– New connections for collaboration (like with NCOIC)

• Navy: – Network Capability is a first responder necessity– Time Matters– Learned about adaptability in austere environments (improvisation)– Reconfirmed applicability of wireless to disaster relief (ship/shore comms)

• Joint:– JTF Operations - collaborative environment using Internet technologies– Comms interoperability one of biggest HA/DR issues– Social/Political/Economic (soft science) as challenging as technical– Civil/Military Boundary is a key with much work to be done

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Lessons Learned

• Effect of No Common Situational Awareness• VoIP Was HUGE Benefit• Physical Access Was a Challenge• PTT Radio Interoperability a Growing

Concern• Creature Comforts – You’re on Your Own• Pre-Positioning Assets and Contracts

– Can’t Negotiate in the Chaos !• Force Protection• Active Military vs Nat’l Guard (or both)?• Providing Internet Access to the Public

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Current NPS Research

• PTT Radio Interoperability• More International HA/DR Issues• Hastily Formed Networks that Enable…..

– Noncombatant Evacuation Ops (NEO) Tracking Systems

– Patient / Victim Tracking Systems– Ship-to-Shore Wireless for HA/DR and Hospital Ships

• Airline Luggage Capable Flyaway Kits• Smaller Form Factor VSAT• NCOIC CHD Case Study• Strong Angel III (Aug 20-26 San Diego)

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Conclusion and Challenges…..

• “We” must do better !• Who are “We” ?• How do “We” proceed ?• Are We ready for the next hurricane season,

international disaster, Japan’s “big one”, Global Avian Flu Pandemic, etc ?

• Need scalable, robust, interoperable comms !!• Int’l Community, Private Sector, DoD all have roles !!

Brian Steckler, Associate Chair for Special Programs,Naval Postgraduate School – 831.402.1584

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Bottom Line: No Way To Run A Railroad !!