US Army Corps of Engineers

US Army Corps of Engineers

 

US Army Corps of Engineers Coalition Munitions Clearance Knowledge Project (2005)

Challenge

In 2003, the U.S. military command in Iraq turned to the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for help after realizing the magnitude of stockpiled ammunition spread across Iraq. The Corps in turn tasked its Center of Expertise for Military Munitions in the Huntsville Engineering and Support Center with the mission of consolidating and destroying the captured ammunition.

The USACE immediately recognized the value of applying a knowledge management (KM) methodology to the Captured Enemy Ammunition (CEA) mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Applying a KM methodology to this mission would capture relevant lessons learned that could be leveraged in current and future operations.

Solution

Working KnowledgeCSP’s founder, Bill Kaplan, led this KM project to develop and implement a robust lesson learned program that not only would yield near-term lessons learned, but also would document the on-going activities of the CEA mission in such a way that the lessons could be quickly applied in other environments such as Afghanistan.

The KM strategy behind the program developed and deployed delivered three primary strategic objectives:

  • Improve CEA operations by implementing a knowledge process that created better visibility into what worked in the past, what could work better in current practices, and explore what might be possible in the future.
  • Integrate the lessons learned from knowledge capture for access and reuse into a web-based environment.
  • Leverage the collective experience of those involved in CEA operations to harvest their collective know-how, insight, and experience and strengthen the existing network of subject matter experts in the ammunition/CEA community.

Result

The evolving KM program, in collaboration with the USACE, applied KM concepts, strategies, and implementing practices to ongoing activities within the CEA mission including:

  • Learning from individuals who had significant experience and knowledge in the CEA mission
  • Sharing those experiences and insights gained through CEA activities
  • Interpreting those experiences and insights in the context of the problems at hand to create new learnings
  • Employing KM practices to reflect on the events that transpired throughout the execution of the project and accelerating the learning process while the project was being executed
  • Reflecting on how the results compared with CEA program expectations by regularly “learning after doing” to provide actionable insights to future CEA operations.

Deliverables included a web-based knowledge repository (core knowledge base), knowledge capture framework, and KM implementing practices to support the ongoing coalition munitions clearance program and mission in Iraq. The repository leveraged the critical operational know-how of those involved in the collection, storage, and demolition of captured enemy ammunition.

The project embedded a tested and consistent KM methodology enabling the USACE to capture relevant lessons learned to leverage in current and future munitions clearance operations.