While the vast majority of the 2011 AFCEA West Conference in San Diego focused on new naval ships, weapons systems and supporting hardware and software technology, there was a large display in one corner which featured the STAR-TIDES project. In addition to their extensive war-fighting efforts, the Department of Defense is increasingly part of postwar stabilization and reconstruction, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions at home and abroad, and STAR-TIDES supports this effort.
TIDES (Transformative Innovation for Development and Emergency Support) is a research project in the Center for Technology & National Security Policy (CTNSP) at the National Defense University (NDU), which is part of the Department of Defense. Dedicated to open source knowledge sharing designed to promote sustainable support to populations under stress, TIDES is part of a broader research effort called STAR (Sustainable Technologies, Accelerated Research) that aims to save lives with technology.
The TIDES project addresses the dire needs of post-war, post-disaster, or impoverished populations in foreign or domestic contexts, for short-term or longer term (multi-year) operations.
As chaos is often the norm in times of regional crisis, the TIDES approach is to promote collaboration and shared situational awareness among stakeholders to improve readiness for, and responses to, disasters, instabilities, insurgencies, and food crises. Exercises, training and education are key to institutionalizing the lessons learned.
To accomplish this mission, links are actively being forged among the Defense Department (DoD), the State Department, DHS, other US government agencies, International Organizations, NGOs, a number of Private Volunteer Organizations (PVOs), the business community and academia.
The STAR-TIDES project concentrates on eight aspects of infrastructure:
- Water (sourcing, distribution, storage, treatment facilities, testing program)
- Power (restoring electricity, mobile energy solutions, renewable power)
- Shelter (inflatable or rigid structures, tents, tarps, sustainable buildings)
- Integrated Cooking (solar energy, combustion stoves and retained heat)
- Heating & Cooling (designed to prevent heat strokes and hypothermia)
- Lighting (bulbs and LEDs, flash lights, solar or mechanically powered devices)
- Sanitation (proper facilities, collection, storage, conveyance and treatment)
- Communications (radio, television, wired telephone, wireless cell phones)
A holistic approach takes into account the fact that all such basic necessities are interconnected and need to be addressed in concert. In addition to visiting their website you can support the efforts of STAR-TIDES on Facebook and Twitter or contact them directly for more information:Sam Bendett National Defense University firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 433-5235 LuElin Dwyer National Defense University email@example.com (202) 685-7284
We salute the work being done by this coalition of organizations to help those in need!