Situational Awareness and Communication Experiment for Military Operations in Urban Terrain: Experiment I

Report No. ARL-TR-2583
Authors: Elizabeth S. Redden, Cynthis L. Blackwell
Date/Pages: October 2001; 118 pages
Abstract: The U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the Soldier and Biological Chemical Command-Natick Soldier Center, Natick, Massachusetts, developed a situational awareness (SA) assessment center (AC) for squad members, fire team leaders, and squad leaders at the McKenna military operations in urban terrain site, Fort Benning, Georgia. The AC was used to conduct a two-phase SA experiment. In Phase I, tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for the intra-squad radio were evaluated with the goal of selecting the most effective TTP for the intra-squad radio in urban conditions such as those evaluated. Five Army Ranger squads conducted three mini-vignettes five times using different TTPs and a different script each time (a total of 75 trials). The vignettes were scripted (i.e., OpFor activity, platoon leader communication, etc.) and were of short duration to minimize the number of uncontrolled variables. In Phase II, the contribution of the intra-squad radio to the SA of the individual squad members was evaluated. The TTP selected from Phase I was incorporated into Phase II procedures for communications. Each squad conducted each of six different vignettes twice (once with and once without the intrasquad radios) and used a different script each time. The AC methodology content validity index was 0.99, had high face validity, and allowed successful discrimination among a variety of conditions (e.g., day and night, five different TTPs, radio and no radio, etc.). Critical informational requirements were identified by echelon for each of the vignettes. The use of the intra-squad radios significantly increased the SA of the squad.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2001