Strong Angel III: Integrated disaster response demonstration

Working together to save lives by improving information flow across boundaries

In 2006, more than 800 volunteers from a diverse group of organizations gathered in San Diego, California, to undertake Strong Angel III, a disaster response demonstration. The demonstration explored how military, humanitarian, local government, and private organizations work together during man-made or natural disasters. Strong Angel III focused on simulating those aspects of post-disaster conditions that specifically impact communication, information-sharing, and coordination.

Through this intense exercise, team members from different organizations were able to work together more effectively, improve individual impact from the field, and more easily fuse data from various sources, strengthening situational awareness and creating more useful information for decision-making.

Watch the video

• Strong Angel III: Disaster response demonstration
5:08 Min; Windows Media file
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The challenge The challenge

The challenge

Simulating a lethal pandemic and cyber-terrorist attack, Strong Angel III addressed common communication and collaboration challenges that cross-organizational teams experience when working together during the plan, respond, and recover cycles, including:

• Easily working together when systems are incompatible.
• Coordinating roles and responsibilities across discrete organizations.
• Providing one central place to access and share information for situational awareness.
• Supporting and maintaining continuity of operations.
• Remaining effective offline or in bandwidth-constrained environments.
• Easily and rapidly communicating field intelligence back to the command center.

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The participants

Participants in and sponsors of Strong Angel III came from military, humanitarian, and private organizations that included the U.S. Navy, the American Red Cross, Microsoft, and ESRI.

• See a detailed list of participants and sponsors

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The results

Using available technologies from Microsoft, the Strong Angel III team was able to:

• Easily communicate and collaborate across geographic, technical, and environmental boundaries before, during, and after an event.
• Improve bidirectional data flow by building bridges between applications, devices, and operating systems.
• Help mobile first responders to act immediately with instant alerts and notifications.
• Address issues more quickly and directly by sharing and working with dynamic information, geographically represented on detailed digital maps.
• Coordinate faster and more effectively, with the right tools, people, and information available in one place.
• Remain productive and effective throughout the simulation with the ability to continue working from the field when offline or in a bandwidth-constrained environment.

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The technologies

Microsoft technologies highlighted in the Strong Angel III demonstration include:

• Microsoft Office Groove 2007
• Microsoft Virtual Earth
• Microsoft Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT)

About Tim McDowell

Colorado ACFEI Member's Homeland Security Weblog
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