Gaming Haiti and the challenges of HADR operations

We recently posted some background material on the 2010 Haiti earthquake, in preparation for the Game Lab at this year’s Connections interdisciplinary wargaming conference. For those of you who will be attending, I urge you to skim through it before the actual conference. It is also useful to bring a copy of the material that you find most useful to the conference itself.

In addition to the material posted before, this powerpoint contains useful information on the tasks being performed by USN assets, and how they were expected to change over time. This presentation highlights the challenges of HADR joint planning, noting (among other things) that:

  1. Command and control (C2) relationships will be unclear and change often.
  2. Accurate, useful information will be scarce.
  3. Events will move quickly—The operational window will be short.
  4. Delivering relief supplies, such as water and food, will be the dominant, difficult, and enduring operational imperative.
  5. Determining the end of the operation is often difficult.

Finally, this presentation outlines key processes for HADR commanders to consider.

The challenge for Connections Game Lab participants: which of these key lessons can be embedded into the game, and how?

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About Rex Brynen

Professor, Department of Political Science, McGill University.
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