Simulations/Exercises

In emergency situations, having the right skills, training and knowledge could mean the difference between saving lives, and losing them.

Table of contents

What is practical capacity building?

Intensive training exercises like gear.UP and OpEx Alpha put participants through intensive simulations in field conditions over the course of several days. Simulations reinforce skills covered in other ETC training opportunities, putting them into practice. Gear.UP gives participants a chance to learn from their mistakes and get to know colleagues before deploying to future emergencies. By the time the exercise is over, a new network of responders is ready for situations that are both physically and mentally demanding.

About gear.UP

Applications for gear.UP 2019 are now open. Visit the event page for more details.

gear.UP is a large-scale inter-agency operational exercise and functional training event designed to further advance emergency response capabilities of the global ICT and Logistics humanitarian community. It integrates aspects of the full-scale field simulation exercise (OpEx Bravo) for the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) and the Logistics Response Team Training (LRT) for the Logistics Cluster and provides each cluster opportunities to practice and train on various emergency response functions, and to support each other as they would in a real emergency.

This intensive 7-day field exercise is prepared by the World Food Programme (WFP), as global lead of the ETC and Logistics Cluster, in conjunction with FITTEST Training Services, the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) and the Government of Luxembourg.

ETC Participants are expected to work in teams to deploy the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) technical solutions including satellite connectivity, common networking services and security telecoms under challenging conditions and timeframes.

  • Exercise Duration: 8 days (including travel)
  • Location: THW Training Centre, Neuhausen, Near Stuttgart, Germany
  • Number of Participants: 20
  • Exercise environment: Field accommodation with simulated field conditions

 

Objective

Opex Bravo: The goal of this operational exercise is to give solid, hands-on field experience to IT 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 gain practical experience with the technical solutions adopted by the ETC for emergency response. The scenarios cover IT and telecoms skillsets, including satellite connectivity, networking, VHF radio, and drone operations

Joint Objective: In addition to the existing and dedicated objectives for the LRT training and OpEx Bravo, gear.UP aims to exercise and train all participants on activation, procedures and set-up of the WFP led Clusters and their operational interaction in the field. The main aim of this joint venture is to mainstream and familiarize participants with the implementation of the services of both Clusters to improve the efficiency and cooperation in the field/emergencies.  Furthermore, the exercise simulation and training aims to strengthen the cooperation between both Clusters and to foster joint approaches in inter-Cluster coordination and access to funding mechanisms.

 

Target audience

Note*: The information on this page relates to the OpEx Bravo part of the exercise, which is relevant to humanitarians with an IT background. Those with a Logistics background should instead refer to your Logistics Cluster focal point for the LRT part of the exercise.

The simulation requires skilled and experienced Information and Communication Technology (ICT) technicians and emergency response managers. Technicians will need to have had prior training or experience in the tools and technologies being used, especially within a field / and or emergency context.

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

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

The following profiles are required:

PARTICIPANTS' PROFILE

 NUMBER

SKILLS REQUIRED

ETC Coordinator

x1

Strong management & coordination skills, strong IT & emergency background. Ideally has passed the ETC Coordination course, IT EMT, or an equivalent course or holds project management qualifications.

ETC Deputy Coordinator 

x1

Strong management & coordination skills, plus information management skills, IT background. Ideally, has passed the ETC Coordination course, IT EMT or an equivalent.

Information Management

x1

Strong Information Management skills in an emergency context, preferably supporting IT field operations.

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 skills, basic HF skills. Has passed Let's Comm, Let’s Comm Digital, UNICEF's "Emergency Telecommunications Training", IFRC IT&T ERU Technical Training Course or an equivalent course.

Data Communications Technician

x6

Strong LAN/WLAN and/or VSAT skills. Has passed Let's Net, UNICEF's "Emergency Telecommunications Training" or an equivalent course.

Desktop Support

x3

Strong desktop support skills, including LAN cabling & setup.

Drone Operations

x2

Trained and experienced in using drones to support emergency field operations. Ideally trained or experienced in coordination of drone services for humanitarian agencies. Must be able to bring own drone equipment to the exercise.

 

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
  • Willingness to be deployed in future emergency response and ability to apply skills learnt for the benefit of the community.

Applicants will be notified 6 weeks before the exercise on the outcome of their application.


Application Process

In order for your application package to be considered complete, please email wfp.opexbravo@wfp.org with the following:

 

  1. Nomination Letter

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).  Please refer to this list of official Nominators for various organisations.

The nomination letter (on organisation letterhead) should include the following information:

  • Full name, organization and position title of the candidate being recommended
  • Full name, organization and position title of the nominator
  • A statement indicating that the candidate will be released from 12 – 20 October inclusive (plus travel time) and that all expenses related to travel to / from the exercise and other incidentals (beyond the exercise duration) will be covered by the nominating organization
  • Confirmation of the candidate’s ICT experience from a technical, field and emergency perspective
  • A statement to the person’s character, ability to deal and manage situations under pressure with tight timelines
  • A statement indicating the likelihood of the candidate being deployed to the field for an emergency in the future

 

  1. Your C.V.
     

  2. Complete and submit the online application form here

About OpEx Alpha

Duration: 4 days

Operational Exercise (OpEx) Alpha is a small scale emergency simulation held near Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The purpose of the exercise is to deploy many of the new technologies that have been introduced into the ETC since the Haiti earthquake, and as a result of the Lessons Learned exercises following Haiti. This includes the ETC standard data and radios solutions, as well as the new emergency.lu solution created by Luxembourg in partnership with WFP.

The participants of the exercise include ETC technicians with additional participation from partner agencies. There are another 10 to 20 actors and exercise staff involved at various points during the 4 days.

Responders set up basic field facilities at a desert location to represent a new field office and warehouse, and will install both radio and data communications infrastructure in order to meet the requirements of the simulation.

 

Who should attend

OpEx Alpha is open to ETC partner agency team leaders and technicians by invitation. Technicians will need to have had prior training or experience in the tools and technologies being used.

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

PARTICIPANT PROFILE  NUMBER SKILLS REQUIRED
Deployment Team Leader

x 1

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 x1 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 x2 Strong LAN/WLAN skills. Has passed Let's Net, UNICEF's "Emergency Data Responder" or an equivalent course.
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 x1 Strong desktop support skills, including LAN cabling & setup.

 

Training goals

The goal of this operational 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 gain practical experience with the technical solutions adopted by the ETC for emergency response. The scenarios cover IT, telecoms and electrical skillsets, including satellite connectivityand 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 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.

 

Non-Technical Activities
 

  • Participate in local ICT Working Group meetings.
  • Participate in global ETC teleconferences.
  • Use field navigation skills.
  • Deal with other actors and stakeholders.