A Case Study: Flattening the Battlefield through a C4 Knowledge Management System

10-2-4.jpg
10-2-4.jpg

A Case Study: Flattening the Battlefield through a C4 Knowledge Management System

9.95

Author(s): Ron Caro; Mark Flournoy; John Quinn
No pages: 7
Year: 2007
Article ID: 10-2-4
Keywords: c2, command support systems, command systems, knowledge management
Format: Electronic (PDF)

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Abstract: The purpose of this study is to describe the effects that a C4 (command, control, communications, and computer) knowledge management system (KMS) had on increasing the situational awareness (SA) level of network monitors maintaining a very large, dynamic, and complex communication network during wartime. This case study utilized triangulation and analysis of the multiple interviews, audiovisual material, archival records, and documents that formed the basis for the findings of this study. During Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), the First Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) G6 developed an automated Marine Air Ground Task Force Communication Control Center Event Log (MEL), a web-based KMS that replaced the physical logbook to track communication network status for this large network that supported over 86,000 personnel over four months. The MEL enhanced SA, the sharing of information directly related to the operation of the communication network, as well as the sharing of tacit and explicit knowledge of system readiness. Limitations of the study revolved around collecting data in a real battlefield situation. Considering the unusual nature of the events, the results may or may not be replicated outside of simulations until there is another major military offensive. The findings reveal the practical benefits of automating physical logbooks. The results also shed light on behaviours of individuals within a network under situations of moderate and high stress. Overall behaviours of a community of practice under wartime conditions are revealed. This case study documents behaviours in the unusual context of an invasion of enemy territory. As such this research fills the gap between theoretical considerations of knowledge management and the practical and organic implementation of a KMS.