Situational Awareness in the US Military Situational Readiness in Corporate Security

Security Management, September 2005 | Go to article overview

Situational Awareness in the US Military Situational Readiness in Corporate Security


In the military and in corporate security, Situational Awareness is the general concept of knowing what events are occurring in and around your facilities, with your personnel, as well as knowing about current events and/or incidents which could have an impact on your organization. Situational Readiness, a new term we are defining, occurs when information or a warning is received through the "Situational Awareness" process and, as a result more effective prevention, protection, response or recovery steps are then taken.

The US Department of Defense has been developing and using the concepts of situational awareness for several years. Although much of their work would not apply to the world of corporate security, a few concepts could prove beneficial. Situational awareness can be used at the individual level. For example, a fighter pilot needs to be constantly aware of activities, not only in his cockpit, but also in the air and on the ground. Focusing on only one aspect of his surroundings could lead to dangerous tunnel vision.

Organizational Situational Awareness

However, the Department of Defense also envisions a shared version of Situational Awareness, which would occur at the organizational level of all branches of the armed forces-army, navy, air force, and marines. This Joint Vision to transform the military into an integrated fighting machine is necessary because of the threat of nonconventional tactics and warfare. The military's approach of "Network Centric Warfare" refers to an organization that is networked on the battle-field. Shared situational awareness used on the battlefield will help fighters work together more effectively through "self-synchronization". In turn, this will improve the speed of command and "operational tempo", thus increasing overall mission effectiveness.

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Situational Awareness in Business

Businesses, like the military, can have issues with organizational size, scale, and culture which can impede the success of their missions. …

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