Researchers from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory recently returned from participating in the joint military exercise Key Resolve held in the Republic of Korea. Dr. George Calfas, program manager, “Contingency Base Site Identification for the Tactical Environment” (CB-SITE) addressed the 8th Army leadership on the ERDC-CERL contingency base portfolio of planning tools prior to the start of Key Resolve exercise. Calfas provided staff planners with the capabilities and functions of CB-SITE, Virtual Forward Operating Base and the Army Facilities Components System.
Two researchers embedded for the exercise observed techniques, tactics, and procedures of the 916th Forward Engineer Support Team- Advance and the 378th Forward Engineer Support Team- Main. The FEST-M primarily supported Reception, Staging, Onward, and Integration and the FEST-A focused on Noncombatant Evacuation Operations.
CERL researchers embedded with the 378th FEST-M to learn about site survey for contingency operations through the development of a relationship with the FEST community. In particular, the researchers were invited to observe/participate with the FEST-M and subordinate FEST-A(s) to document missions, capabilities, and technologies of the FEST(s) to provide customer input and improve research utility. “This was a great opportunity to see how Solders use our technology in the field and to observe firsthand the problems Soldiers face to focus our research to solve those problems”, said CERL Civil Engineer Noah Garfinkle.
CB-SITE is constructed as a collection of software capabilities developed for integrating and visualizing data of the built, natural, and the social environment to support deployed force infrastructure analysis in answering the following questions.
- What resources and infrastructure are locally available?
- Are operations likely to affect the life patterns of the local population?
- Where will the construction of a base camp best leverage local resources and minimize social impacts?
- How do we build a base camp for a specific intent as well as for a sustainable lifecycle?
CB-SITE is transitioning into two of the Army’s Programs of Records—ERDC’s Map Based Planning Services and Army Geospatial Center’s Instrument Set, Reconnaissance and Surveying. CB-SITE assists MBPS with strategic decision making, and supports ENFIRE with site selection and surveying for Engineer Units.
CB-SITE provides the following benefits.
- Supply a common set of tools for connecting tactical operations to the strategic planning cell.
- Reduce logistical burdens through optimal CB site selection design.
- Improve the local population’s acceptance of military presence, and improve the military’s considerations of sociocultural values.
- Decrease negative long-term effects on natural resources and local populations.
“This was a developmental activity that put the current state of CBSITE research in the field with Soldiers while providing hands on observations and lessons learned for our researchers to accelerate the development of CB-SITE.”, said Calfas
The lessons learned such as improving the logistical computations (fuel, water, and waste) for refugee camps were already implemented within two weeks of the completion of Key Resolve.
CERL has established a collaborative relationship with the 416th Theater Engineer Command, the FEST-A and FEST-M parent organization a look forward to future opportunities to support the Warfighter.