Continuing Promise to Test Web-Based System Designed to Improve Planning for Medical Missions

March 08, 2017

TRUJILLO, Honduras—Continuing Promise 2017 (CP-17) will participate in the advanced testing phase of a web-based tool that will assist in the development of future cooperative health engagement (CHE) missions.

CP-17 is tasked with assisting the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) in building and testing the Web-based Mission Analysis and Assessment Reporting System (Web-MAARS), a web-enabled program that will enhance CHE mission planning, execution and assessment processes.

“Web-MAARS originally was not a web-based program, but a database that we could use to capture from missions what is successful and gather the requirements for a successful engagement for us and the host nation,” said Capt. Christine Sears, 4th Fleet Surgeon and Commanding Officer of the CP-15 Military Treatment Facility.

Sears said the unique change with the development of Web-MAARS is the ease of accessibility and delivery.

“The difference is taking something from a standalone database, being able to only share between different laptops or desktops, and converting that over to a web-based tool using assessments created during CP-17. So in the future, teams in the Pacific can see what we’ve done here in Central, South America and the Caribbean. In case of a contingency, teams worldwide can look up previous missions and be better able to plan missions.”

The program has a goal to provide CHE stakeholders with the tools, templates and data for improving missions over time, establishing the value and effectiveness of each mission, said Dr. SaWan Young, a senior healthcare, policy and program analyst, and Web-MAARS team member.

“We are gathering user requirements and building the system during CP-17 to be operationally ready for use for similar missions in the future,” said Young. “The plan is to provide planners and mission personnel with a tool that enables them to effectively plan, execute and assess all aspects of the CHE mission.”

Lt. Cmdr. Amy Zaycek, CP-17’s Assessment Officer in Charge, will take lead in organizing and packaging the data collected from all aspects of the mission to aid in the development of the program.

Sears said Zaycek will be responsible for a new phase added to the CP mission.

Trained in international global health assessments and evaluations, Zaycek has the task of interpreting all of the data and giving it meaning in relation to global health.

“Team leads fill out assessment forms every day to create a report after every event,” said Zaycek. “I will be working with the Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 40 staff to complete assessments for the overall mission from the Web-MAARS perspective and the cooperative health engagement mission that will provide long-term accountability for future missions.”

This data will validate the prototypes that form the requirements and user specifications being built into the Web-MAARS system. Young said commands will be able to use the system to develop a humanitarian assistance or disaster relief plan from start to finish.

“It will have the capability to provide planners with a list of specific personnel for planned events, which can be used to create the Request for Forces (RFF). It will also have the capability to provide a list of equipment that can be used by planners to request items they need for a mission,” said Young.

Young added the most exciting development of the program is the ability to create and utilize a mission event schedule based on and driven by the mission’s scheme of maneuver.

“Web-MAARS provides planners with an event planning form, which will aid mission staff to plan all aspects of the event from personnel, equipment and logistics to event itineraries,” said Young. “Everything planners and mission personnel need for planning medical mission events will be available in Web-MAARS.”

The expansions of the program will lead to future advancements in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response or aid.

“By improving the definition and planning of medical events within each host nation, Web-MAARS will be able to identify and capture the strategic and operational effects of its activities to capture mission-event data at a level that will allow for significant and meaningful improvements in the execution of events over time,” said Young.

Sears said CP-17 will also serve as a platform to help the Navy analyze the deployment of medical sites ashore using an expeditionary fast transport ship.

Web-MAARS is expected to be operational by next year.

CP-17 is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored and U.S. Naval Forces Southern/U.S. 4th Fleet-conducted deployment to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian assistance, training engagements and medical, dental, and veterinary support in an effort to show U.S. support and commitment to Central and South America.