Grads undertake big quake shakedown


A new program is helping the Canadian Armed Forces enhance the effectiveness of its response to earthquakes and tsunamis.

The Lesson Learned Program was recently tested following the training Exercise STAUNCH MAPLE, conducted by Joint Task Force Pacific. It focussed on the military’s operational readiness to support the Province of British Columbia in the event of an earthquake disaster.

With the exercise complete, recent graduates of the Lessons Learned Staff Officer Course are analyzing the feedback in order to change what didn’t work and ensure successes are repeated.

“Most organizations in the public and private sector are about continuous improvement and often perform functional solutions analysis similar to these,” says Lieutenant-Commander Angus Fedoruk, Lessons Learned (LL) coordinator. “Unlike the private sector, which uses lessons learned programs to improve profitability, our bottom line is to increase effectiveness, save resources and equipment, and most importantly people.”

He says that while no training program, exercise or operation can ever reach 100 per cent effectiveness, lessons learned is a methodology to make things run more smoothly. For STAUNCH MAPLE, two recent graduates of the course are developing those solutions.

Although the July 6 deadline for submission of feedback from the exercise has passed, LCdr Fedoruk says that any additional data received will still be valued and added to their notes.

The Lessons Learned Program is not about the “blame game” and that responses from lower-ranked personnel were weighted just the same as senior officers.

“There is a tendency in our organization [the CAF] not to voice criticism; however, criticism is the emphasis of this process,” says LCdr Fedoruk. “This is about getting the facts and learning from them, and not finding someone to blame. It is simply here’s what happened and why. This information is very valuable to us.”

The inclusion of the most recent graduation class from the program now brings the total number of CAF personnel qualified for lessons learned to 300.

(Left) Lt(N) Angus Fedoruk, MARPAC HQ, Lt(N) Justine Aucoin, JTFP N7 and Lt(N) Sonya Sowa, HMCS Starr go over their Lessons Learned notes on Operation Staunch Maple at the Wardroom June 17, 2016.

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