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.: Home > Canadian Military Journal > 2011 > Volume 11 Number 1 > Wayne M. Renaud and Anthony W. Isenor

Situational Awareness: Inspiring Operational Clarity

Wayne M. Renaud and Anthony W. Isenor
Wayne M. Renaud and Anthony W. Isenor
Abstract :

Between crises, the proverbial Canadian Forces (CF) ‘operator’ spent his time contemplating the military of the future. There were so many competing demands, and it was all very complicated. One day, the operator happened upon a magic lamp. When the lamp was rubbed, a genie appeared, endowed with magical skills in information technology (IT). The genie was called the ‘techie,’ and he granted the operator three IT wishes. The operator could not believe his good fortune, and he called upon the techie to solve the most vexing of his IT problems — how to use the power of IT to gain the ‘situational awareness’ needed to command and control modern military operations. For his first wish, the operator commanded: “Let there be machines to help us collect and display the information we need!” “Yes sir,” said the techie, and computers were given to the operator. And it was good, until the operator realized that the computers were not compatible with one another. So the operator called for his second wish: “Let all of our computers be interoperable!” And the humble techie readily complied with this wish by creating the concept of the Joint Command and Control Information System. And it was very good. The operator believed that with one more wish he would have the tools for complete situational awareness, and thus he blurted out “Let the computers talk to one another so we may share information and build our knowledge!” “Yes sir,” said the techie, and the computer systems of all the services and commands were joined in a series of remarkably efficient networks. And the result was brilliant. The jubilant operator shouted: “At last I have situational awareness!” Alas, it was not so in spite of all the computers and all the networks. Feeling the growing wrath of the operator, the techie scurried back into his bottle, leaving with these words: “You’ve had your three wishes, and I cannot grant you a fourth. Besides, you now have all the tools required to create the situational awareness you seek — all you have to do is make them work together!” And thus the operator returned to his contemplation, pondering the techie’s words and muttering to himself, “If only I had just one more wish

Keywords :
Situational Awareness: Inspiring Operational Clarity

Date Deposited : 08 Apr 2015 10:38

Last Modified : 08 Apr 2015 10:38

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Volume 11, Number 1, - 2011

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