Real-Time Online Communications: 'Chat' Use in Navy Operations
SPACE AND NAVAL WARFARE SYSTEMS COMMAND SAN DIEGO CA
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The ability to conduct a real-time conversation online has become a ubiquitous component of todays communications environment. Commonly referred to as chat or instant messaging, this mode of communication provides users with a format that facilitates multi-tasking conversation with other duties. Chat has also become a critical tool in military command and control, as evidenced by its extensive use during both Operation Enduring Freedom OEF and Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF. A recent survey of fleet users during OIF provided detailed information and insights about chat usage patterns and warfighter requirements for chat tools. The results revealed positive and negative issues related to chat use in an operational environment. Issues included the need to monitor multiple chat rooms simultaneously the lack of consistent business rules requirements for chat rooms with different access privileges and requirements for chat histories. The ability to work near real-time with peers is perceived to be a tremendous boost to productivity and greatly facilitates communication, cooperation, and coordination. This paper discusses the results of the survey and highlights areas where human factors and technology interventions may be able to facilitate chat use within US military command and control.
- Computer Hardware
- Command, Control and Communications Systems