Accession Number:



Cognitive Task Analysis of the HALIFAX-Class Operations Room Officer

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



This report details the results of a Cognitive Analysis of the Operations Room Officers ORO position in the HALIFAX class frigate. The purpose of the analysis was to better understand cognitive aspects of Command and Control C2 in the Operations Room OR as a prelude to preparing evaluation measures and methods to assess future Command and Control support systems. The ORO position was selected for analysis from among other OR positions as being the position with the most comprehensive responsibilities, most likely to provide a broad insight into C2 functions and to generalise to other positions. This choice was based in part on an earlier DCIEM report on opportunities for improving C2 support for the OR identified by members of the OR Command team the Commanding Officer, ORO, Surface Weapons Controller, and Anti Submarine Weapons Controller. This cognitive analysis was based on interviews with four pairs of experienced OROs, with each interview session lasting two days. Interviewees were walked through an operational scenario and prompted to describe their cognitive activities based on their experience with similar events to those in the scenario. The scenario was derived from a training exercise at the HALIFAX land based training simulator and stepped a Canadian Task Group TG through a series of threat responses as the TG passed through coastal waters with a high level of civil air and surface traffic. Threats included sub-surface, surface, and air in single and multiple combinations with periods of intervening surveillance. The ORO position in question was in a HALIFAX class vessel in the forward screen, with no TG warfare duties. Although, necessarily, conducted in the context of one position, and constrained by current technology and procedures, the objective was to identify functional goals for the ORO position and associated cognitive needs.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems

Distribution Statement: