Author(s): Drifmeyer J, Llewellyn C
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Abstract Although the purpose of the Department of Defense humanitarian and civic assistance (HCA) projects is training, there is no system to evaluate HCA training or humanitarian effectiveness. Few after-action reports (AARs) document the number of personnel trained, skills taught, or proficiency before and after HCAs. Nevertheless, HCAs are positively viewed by participants and offer great potential for training service personnel as well as donors, expatriates, and host nation representatives. Linking unit training calendars with HCA projects and vice versa, would improve both projects and training. Mission essential tasks should be incorporated into HCAs, and conversely, HCAs into training. Training objectives should be clearly stated early in the planning and shared with all participants (subject to security). Proficiency to training standards and performance to international humanitarian standards should be documented in after-action reports. Mandatory after-action reporting (ideally, in a standardized, easily retrievable format that supports postproject analysis) should be implemented. Reported training benefits of medical HCAs include a large number of patients treated in a short amount of time, often under austere conditions, and the opportunity to treat diseases of military importance that are not endemic in the United States. The vast majority of medical HCAs have involved direct patient care, but this scope should be expanded to include public health-oriented developmental and infrastructure-building projects that would provide lasting humanitarian benefits and training for additional personnel and units.
This article was published in Mil Med
and referenced in Journal of Defense Management