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Modelling Human Performance in Maritime Interdiction Operations

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Conference paper

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Maritime Interdiction MI operations are an increasing important element of the littoral environment. This is demonstrated by the International anti-piracy operations around the Horn of Africa and the establishment of the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre Crete, Greece. The type of MI operation described is the insertion of a ship boarding team, via high speed craft, from where the team are required to board the ship using a caving ladder. Once aboard, the team undertakes a high-tempo offensive operation where accurate target recognition and prosecution is essential for operational success. The maritime environment is arguably one of the harshest work environment in which humans must contend. In addition to either extremes of temperature, the repeated shock and vibration exposure of the high speed craft has been shown to result in high levels of post-transit fatigue which potentially reduces operational effectiveness during subsequent operational phases. On reaching the target ship, the climb up and onto the deck using a free-swinging ladder, whilst potentially carrying in excess of 50kg of equipment, is a physically arduous task particularly in poor environmental conditions. When the boarding team is on deck, the on-target phase of the operation can begin. This is a high-tempo task, made more difficult by the requirement for protective clothing and equipment, and carrying the heavy operational equipment load. This requires high levels of fitness and the ability to make accurate target identification decisions, and subsequently accurate shooting performance, whilst working at increased physical work-rates. To model the human performance aspects of the MI operation the factors influencing the insertion and on-target phases need to be quantified, initially via formal Task Analysis, so as to assess the potential degradation to performance and operational effectiveness.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Stress Physiology
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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