The United States (US) military conducts frequent Humanitarian Assistance missions. In terms of numbers of operations, the US military has conducted more of these missions since the end of the Cold War than it has traditional war-fighting missions. Despite the frequency of these operations, the performance of the military is often criticized for not understanding the humanitarian operating environment or failing to make the best use of available assets and resources.This research develops models of the information requirements, internal organization and processes that military staffs use when conducting a war-fighting operation and then when conducting a Humanitarian Assistance Operation. The models are then analyzed to determine how the staffs develop Situation Awareness in each case. Specifically, for each case it is determined how the staff perceives, or gathers, information required for performance of the mission; how well the staff comprehends or understands this information; and then how the staff uses the information to predict or project the impact of military actions on the future state of the environment.Based on the results of the analysis, proposed changes to the current Humanitarian Assistance model are developed to enable the staff to achieve the same level of Situation Awareness as the staff conducting a war-fighting mission. Additionally, proposals are made for how a staff conducting a war-fighting operation with humanitarian aspects, such as a counter-insurgency operation, can leverage aspects of Situation Awareness development from the Humanitarian Assistance Model.
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