OpEx Bravo is supported by:

For more information about design, delivery and evaluation of courses, visit: FITTEST Training Services

OpEx BRAVO

Preparing an IT force for emergency response

 

April 2012

Humanitarian emergencies are becoming increasingly complex. With each disaster there are more people who need urgent assistance, spread over a larger physical area, in a more insecure operating environment. In these desperate situations, efficient and effective communications is paramount.

So what are we doing about it?

Check the training calendar for dates of upcoming courses

OpEx Bravo

OpEx Bravo is a large-scale inter-agency operational exercise designed to further advance emergency response capabilities of the global ICT humanitarian community.

This intensive one-week field simulation is prepared in conjunction with ETC partners - World Vision International, UNICEF, the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW).

Closely supported by the German authorities and the Government of Luxembourg, OpEx Bravo is held near Stuttgart, Germany at the THW training centre.

Participants from UN agencies, Stand-by Partners and NGOs are invited to attend.

Who

OpEx Bravo is open to IT managers and technicians from all humanitarian agencies that respond to emergencies.

Technicians will need to have had prior training or experience in the tools and technologies being used*. There will be three deployment teams plus a Coordinator and support functions. The exercise is planned for 20 participants in total.

Participant profiles are listed below.

* Applicants from a non-IT background are unlikely to get full value from this training. It is recommended that only those with an IT background apply.

PARTICIPANT PROFILE NUMBER SKILLS REQUIRED
ETC Coordinator  x1 Strong management & coordination skills, strong IT & emergency background. Has passed the IT EMT or an equivalent course.
ETC Coordinator ‘wingman' x1 Strong management & coordination skills, plus information management skills, IT background. Has passed the IT EMT or an equivalent course.
Deployment Team Leader x3 Strong technical skills, basic leadership of small teams, basic management skills. Ideally has attended the Intro to IT Emergency Management Training or an equivalent course. Good emergency experience.
Telecoms Technician x3 Strong VHF/HF skills. Has passed Let's Comm, UNICEF's "Wireless & Emergency Telecoms", IFRC IT&T ERU Technical Training Course or an equivalent course.
Data Comms Technician x5 Strong LAN/WLAN skills. Has passed Let's Net, UNICEF's "Emergency Data Responder" or an equivalent course. (One of the 5 spaces will be available to very strong networking personnel who have not passed these one of these courses).
Electrical Technician x1 Strong electrical skills. Has passed Let's Spark or an equivalent course. Ideally holds an electrical qualification & has experience with generators.
Desktop Support x3 Strong desktop support skills, including LAN cabling & setup.
Satellite Comms Technician x1 Experience with installing iDirect or VSAT.  Ideally a certified EMC installer, or trained in the ‘emergency.lu' satellite connectivity solutions.
Admin / Logistics x2 Support personnel with ability to work under pressure in a non-office environment.

 

To ensure the exercise is successful, it is also important that the facilitation team has sufficient senior staff with a spread of technical skills and emergency experience. Each agency sending candidates is invited to provide a facilitator. Up to five facilitators will join the core Exercise Management team. The following profiles are required:

FACILITATOR PROFILES NUMBER SKILLS REQUIRED
Senior non-IT Manager x1 Strong people skills, able to evaluate team dynamics & give constructive feedback. Able to provide the wider perspective of programme & other functions. Ideally with emergency experience in a large agency.
Senior Technical IT Expert x3 Very strong technical skills, people skills, ability to explain complex topics & give constructive feedback.  Ideally with strong international emergency experience.
Senior ETC Coordinator x1 Any individual who has been ETC Coordinator in any significant emergency response. Strong people skills, ability to explain complex topics & give constructive feedback.

 

These facilitators are in addition to exercise control staff. Together, they will provide important feedback to participants during the exercise and will play a critical role in the learning process and setting the expected standards for participants.

If you are interested in being part of the facilitation team, you should send your CV to wfp.opexbravo@wfp.org and indicate which of the above roles you believe you are best suited for.

When

The next OpEx Bravo will be in 2014. Dates will be announced here once available.

Where

Stuttgart, Germany

What

The goal of the exercise is to give solid, hands-on field experience to ICT technicians and team leaders in a complex, high-pressure environment. Participants will work in teams to deploy ICT services and equipment under challenging conditions and timeframes.

This exercise allows participants to get practical experience with the technical solutions adopted by the ETC for emergency response. The scenario scope encompasses IT, telecoms and electrical skillsets, including satellite connectivity and networking.

Operational Activities:

The exercise will require the participants to complete a number of technical and management objectives, and go through many non-technical experiences. In general:

  • Plan and coordinate provision of agency specific and inter-agency services
  • Deploy multiple distinct sites, providing local LAN, WLAN and electrical services.
  • Deploy  satellite connectivity, including the emergency.lu solution
  • Connect the sites using wireless links using the ETC response solution design
  • Deploy VHF and HF services, with Calling, Working and NGO channels.

Non-Technical Activities:

  • Participate in local ICT Working Group meetings
  • Participate in global ETC teleconferences
  • Negotiate a border crossing while carrying technical equipment
  • Respond to a medical and security situations
  • Use field navigation skills

Cost

Travel, accommodation and food costs will be paid for by the Vodafone Foundation and WFP partnership, and the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW).

Contact

wfp.opexbravo@wfp.org

 

How to Apply

If you wish to participate in OpEx Bravo, you should:

  • Request the appropriate manager in your organization (**see Nomination details below) to write a brief message officially nominating you for the exercise. No particular wording is required. It is critical the nomination comes from the right person - so please review the details below carefully.
  • Request your line manager release you for the dates of the exercise, allowing for travel time each side of the event dates. (We do not need a copy of this - it is between you and your line manager).
  • Update your CV and have it ready in either Word or PDF format. (Organization specific forms such as a P11 do not provide the detail we need for the selection process, so please avoid using these).
  • Once you are ready, fill out the online application form, which takes about 15 minutes. 
The next OpEx Bravo will be in 2014.  Dates will be announced here when available.

Nominations

Nominations must come from a manager that is responsible for emergency IT and telecommunications across your organisation globally (for example, a CIO). Nominations cannot come from individual applicants, or country level managers (unless your organisation does not have a global level).

Selection Criteria

Applications will be considered based on the following criteria:

  • Appropriate fit to the skills profiles
  • Sufficient technical background to be effective
  • Nomination from an appropriate global level manager
  • Emergency experience
  • Likelihood to be deployed in future emergency response and ability to apply skills learnt for the benefit of the community.


Click on the image for full size

 

Participants will normally be notified at least 8 weeks before the training starts whether they have been selected or not.