Adaptable command and control system allowed Georgia Air Force base to track and prepare for Hurricane Dorian
The Leidos-developed Command and Control Incident Management Emergency Response Application (C2IMERA) is an automated command and control (C2) system in place at various U.S. Air Force bases across the continental United States and Europe. During late August of the 2019 hurricane season, C2 specialists at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. used C2IMERA to track Hurricane Dorian, prepare the base for an incoming hurricane, and to identify fly-away options outside the path of the storm.
The Moody team initially updated the storm cone and track by importing the National Hurricane Center-produced Keyhole Markup Language* (KML) files to provide a visual indicator of likelihood of a tropical storm-force wind impacts at the base. As the base stood up their emergency response nodes, they updated key C2 nodes with the latest HURCON levels across the fully user-customizable Conditions Board. Correspondingly, the base sent out commander’s directives and preparation checklists that corresponded with the associated HURCON level. While not the original intent of the tool, C2IMERA’s flexibility allowed Moody personnel to adapt the tool to their immediate needs and convey much needed, time-critical data to base leadership in the face of the approaching storm.
Four days after hearing of this alternate use of the system, Leidos introduced a new epic into their agile backlog that would allow C2IMERA users to view weather data as a layer on the Common Operating Picture (COP). Instead of users employing a manual process to continually update the KML file representing the storm track, the team created a capability that would allow C2IMERA users to ingest Web Map Server (WMS) services from external WMS servers, including from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) geospatial services.
Now, in a much more real-time way, wing leadership is able to respond to changing weather faster and more accurately. Developers at Leidos’ Morgantown, W.Va. software factory built the new capability and released it to the field in less than a month after first seeing Moody’s inadvertent ‘prototype.’
The capability of the C2IMERA application to meet existing requirements and future-proof against new requirements like hurricane tracking is a tribute to the open system architecture underlying the C2IMERA design and the Agile SecDevOps process that delivers new functional software every two weeks. SecDevOps goes hand-in-hand with Agile. SecDevOps automates the development pipeline through continuous integration, continuous security scanning, continuous testing, and iterative delivery to the customer. It’s rapidly delivering fully tested, operational capabilities into the hands of Air Force users. Leidos implemented SecDevOps solutions in conjunction with our Agile approach on the C2IMERA program. This methodology has allowed the implementation of NOAA data feeds and others in the next iteration of the production software.
The C2IMERA system provides an integrated composite picture of wing/unit resources used for planning, force employment, emergency management, C2 monitoring, and C2 reporting. C2IMERA provides a “single pane of glass” for Air Force commanders to identify, assess, understand, and cope with any situation affecting the base; from the moment it first occurs to the point that recovery procedures conclude. C2IMERA allows commanders to use an automated and integrated C2 system to execute C2 across the full range of military operations, spanning peacetime, contingency operations and full scale military operations to minimize the impact to air, space and cyber operations.
Features of C2IMERA include the Common Operating Picture (COP), Directives, Tailorable Dashboards, Checklists, Event Logs, Conditions Board, Personnel Recalls, Alerts and Notifications, and a wide variety of resource pages. Commanders have immediate access to relevant checklists and updated lists, as well as locations for transportation, security response, aircraft and firefighting units. C2IMERA is designed to support Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) response through the COP and sweep tools. The COP is an interactive map which can plot Incidents, place Incident Responses, manage Sweeps, and visually display changes to Facility, Airfield Aircraft, and Road status. Additionally, it easily links to functional systems that support other aspects of the installation’s mission, thereby delivering a fused C2 picture to leadership and other C2 nodes.
*KML is a Google data format for map-based geospatial data.