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NPS Hosts Advanced Digital Advisor Partnering Technologies Workshop
U.S. Navy photo by PO2 Michael Ehrlich

NPS Hosts Advanced Digital Advisor Partnering Technologies Workshop

By PO2 Michael Ehrlich

NPS defense analysis student Army Ranger Maj. Eric Roles leads a discussion during the Advanced Digital Advisor Partnering Technologies (ADAPT) Workshop in Glasgow Hall, Nov. 29. Roles began developing the ideas that would become ADAPT while forward deployed in Iraq in 2014.

"Our goal is to enhance special operations capability,” said Roles. “Overall, our strength is enabled with partners. Whether we are with them our not, we’re trying to leverage our partners and our mutual objectives to make things happen in support of U.S. policy.”;

Roles, while troop commander of a Crisis Response Force in Mosul, Iraq, began finding ways to safely share information with partner allies when policy prohibited his team from accompanying them into combat.

“We were prohibited via our rules of engagement and our authority, we couldn’t go out with them,” said Roles. “That being said, we wanted to, and we wanted to bring this digital collaboration capability that we now call ADAPT.

“We had the software we needed, we acquired the technology, and began networking to create high-level situational awareness. We then used this as a means to provide advice and assistance if we couldn’t be there. But, it equally applies if you are there, you’re going to want the same capability,” explained Roles.

U.S. Special Operations Command had recently created a piece of software called Team Awareness Kit (TAK). Roles applied the TAK suite of tools including smartphone applications, windows programs and other plug-in systems, to adapt to their needs on the front lines in Iraq.

“It’s not just smartphones, it’s a whole bunch of sensors, voice radios, trackers, cameras, and laser range finders. And all that information is being sent back over a network so you can have the user interface into a shared digital situational awareness environment, which is part of the TAK suite,” explained Roles.

The ADAPT Workshop was a gathering of several U.S. departments and agencies, as well as Special Operations Forces from several international partners. Through several discussions and working groups, ADAPT was quickly received as the next big step for SOF operators and international collaboration.

“The thing that came out of the workshop was the way ahead, the pathway forward,” said Roles. “What does ADAPT need to look like to make them internationally releasable? What kind of research do we want for the capability, concepts and technologies, that will in the end enhance our abilities?”

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Today@NPS showcases some of the speakers, conferences, experiments, lectures, and other events that take place at the Naval Postgraduate School on a daily basis. If you would like more information about any of the highlighted activities please contact the public affairs office at pao@nps.edu.

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