Updated: 5/16/2006; 4:29:32 PM.

Digital Development
Communications and info tech in developing countries, especially wireless broadband and high-value applications

daily link  Friday, May 06, 2005

Operation Tsunami Aid: April 25 2005 collection of stories on comms in the tsunami response.  Highlights include fast deployment of wifi nets, extension of nets with new WiMax links, and military-civilian cooperation lessons.  "The Defense Department conducted an unprecedented humanitarian relief operation to aid victims of the tsunami. "This was the largest relief operation since the Berlin airlift" after World War II, Tapper said. To aid countries hit by last year's tsunami, the Air Force airlifted an average of 261 tons of relief supplies a day for 47 days, he said. The Navy deployed a veritable humanitarian relief armada off the shores of Indonesia and Sri Lanka, with a total of 18 ships and 35 embarked helicopters dedicated to tsunami relief [from December to April] ..

In early January, [at] the headquarters for a multinational force called Operation Unified Assistance, Monti realized he had a problem. He had more than enough military assets and personnel including deployed DISA personnel to provide SIPRNET and NIPRNET communications.  What he lacked, Monti said, was an unclassified network that could also be accessed by military personnel from Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and other countries, as well as representatives from the United Nations, other NGOs and U.S. civilian agencies, such as USAID...  a separate, shared unclassified network for purposes of trust, which he believed could not be achieved with U.S. personnel operating behind a classified wall.  ..

Rasmussen said DOD units also need to pay more attention to social networking, or person-to-person communications among U.S. military and UN, NGO and USAID staff, which "is the dominant part of collaboration in the field." Rasmussen wrote in the report that those relationships need to be developed through frequent exercises before a disaster hits. .

Steckler said the NPS team plans to use the Thailand experience as a model for quickly developing networks during future humanitarian and military operations. NPS officials are developing a WiMax and Wi-Fi kit that could be easily transported and quickly set up. .. Steckler returned to Thailand in March and, with the assistance of Marine Capt. Dwayne Lancaster, increased the power of the humanitarian network with another satellite terminal at the survivor camp and a dual-redundancy router. Officials at the World Wide Web Consortium have provided initial funding for survivor camp satellite connections, Steckler said.  They have also formed a partnership with California State University at Monterey Bay to set up an NGO training center. "

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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 4:29:32 PM.