Optimizing the mobilization of wireless communications systems for disaster response efforts
MacKinnon, Douglas J.
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Hastily formed network (HFN) deployment teams provide critical services to disaster areas. The coordination and control systems they deploy save lives and valuable property. It is critical that HFN deployment teams work quickly and effectively so that the widest range of services can be distributed throughout the widest geographical area. The Military Wireless Communications Research Group and the Hastily Formed Networks Group at the Naval Postgraduate School recently supported the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection response to a wildfire in Mendocino County, California, successfully deploying a portable coordination and control system, including both wired and wireless capabilities, in support of fire management. During the deployment, there was a lack of inventory control and a very limited ability to share instructions for configuring equipment. If not corrected, these problems can reoccur, potentially affecting the team’s ability to deploy effectively. This research describes options for developing process improvement strategies based on organizational design as a framework for systematic process evaluation and improvement. Observing, documenting, and improving processes allow the team to improve and become more effective with every deployment.
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