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Operation Tomodachi
Lessons Learned
Bob Stephenson
Technical Director Fleet Readiness Directorate
U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command
Deputy J6/Science Advisor Joint Support Force
Operation Tomodachi
Operation Tomodachi
U.S. Military support to Japan after Great Eastern Japan Earthquake
•Combined effects of earthquake , tsunami, and radiological accident
• 125,000 people homeless, 21,000 dead or missing
• Tidal wave caused power outage at Funukoshi Daichi Nuclear Plant
-3 reactors with partial meltdown of the core
-3 reactors with spent fuel pools damaged
- Reactor fission products (Iodine, Cesium, stronium, cobalt) released
into the air and sea resulting in 30 KM “hot zone around the plant
-Lethal radiation levels inside the reactor buildings
• Assist to JSDF to
•Locate survivors/remains
• Assess damage
•Assist in cleanup/restoral of ports and airports
• Monitor reactors and measure radiation levels
• Radiological consequence management
Things that helped us succeed
• Pre-existing Infrastructure to support large influx
of personnel
• Strong US-Japan alliance with robust
CENTRIXS network
• Communicators from all four services with a
knowledge of each services unique capabilities
and talent to make rapid changes in a hurry
• Local DAA allowing rapid and flexible network
Things that helped us succeed
• Development of an Information SOP early
in the operation that facilitated information
• On call mobile communications assets we
could modify to meet our requirements
• Ability to locally develop an application for
a common operational picture to permit
informed decision making by senior
Radiological COP
• Needed to show laydown of US and JSDF
• Needed to show location of air and water
radiation plumes
• Needed to show HA/DR info (roads,
shelters, major damage
• Need to show radiation sensors (US and
• Based on CENTRIXS Google earth server
on GCCS-J at JSDF HQ Ichigaya
• Wrote tools to data mine sensor and other
source data. Applications written, tested
and employed by an O-1, and E-3 and a
contractor (Fleet Systems Engineer)
• RADIANT Mercury repaired. New rule set
to trasfer .KML files from unclas to to
Things to improve in the Future
Enterprise networks cannot support crisis
No process exists for rapid changes to
support Commanders urgent needs
In a crisis, you don’t drive the timeline
Complexity and size of the enterprise
does not support rapid injection of new
Enterprise does not support coalition data
Mission secret networks are a must, but
they must have common tools with the
Enterprise, and they must be able to
communicate to and from the enterprise.
A Common Operational Picture is critical,
but it must be more than GCCS
Geospatial Information Services are a
powerful data fusion tool
Crisis requires quick response
Must be able to rapidly add seats to
existing networks
Must be able to bring in new capabilities
to meet operational requirements
Must be able to do this without having to
contract (fee for service does not work in
a crisis)
Standard IM/KM practices are essential
as a starting point.
Current IA policy and practice supports
neither network security, or rapid
technology insertion
Need data services to the tactical edge.
Need web services that will work to low
bandwidth, high latency, disconnected
user (i.e. ships)
Need to balance access to a wide range
of users, with security