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Non-Tactical Infrastructure Education to Support Special Operations (In-Progress)

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Military and Veterans Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Military and Veterans

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Paper Authors


Rahul Verma P.E. United States Military Academy

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Rahul Verma is an Assistant Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY; and the Principal of Verma Engineering & Consulting- a civil engineering firm in Hopewell Junction, NY. Mr. Verma has been teaching at USMA since 2015, and teaches courses in infrastructure, mechanics and materials, and energy efficient buildings along with advising senior capstone projects focusing on infrastructure modernization. Mr. Verma is a registered P.E. in New York. His professional pursuits include low-impact design and sustainable infrastructure, along with STEM outreach to pre-college students.

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This paper is a work-in-progress, and will describe the development, delivery, and assessment of an infrastructure training course for the Civil Affairs Team of the Special Operations Command 98th Battalion. This training course is an outreach program to provide intellectual capital to the Army and is based on an existing course in the Civil Engineering curriculum. The training course will be developed and delivered as a distance learning course due to COVID-19 restrictions and will require innovative teaching and learning assessments to effectively convey the material and engage the audience. The participants will include the command and officer elements.

The course will focus on three infrastructure evaluation and engagement components: Stakeholder Analysis, the Infrastructure Component Model, and Infrastructure Assessment Model (ERDC/CERL TR-14-14). The course will be conducted over three days. The first day is conducted in a classroom and includes one hour modules on 1) Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources as defined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS CIKR), including an interactive exercise; 2) Stakeholder Analysis, including a desktop exercise; 3) the Infrastructure Component Model, including a desktop exercise; and 4) the Infrastructure Assessment Model, including a desktop analysis. The interactive and desktop exercises will include individual and team activities. On Day 2, the participants will conduct site visits to infrastructure systems including: water treatment plant, wastewater treatment plant, railhead, solid waste facilities, power grid, and airfield. On Day 3, the participants will return to the classroom to use the information learned on Day 1 to analyze the infrastructure systems seen on Day 2. The participants will analyze effects on infrastructure, stakeholders, and mission objectives by several non-tactical scenarios including flooding, mudslides, forest fires, severe weather, and a biological pandemic.

Learning assessments will include an assessment prior to the course, “Checks On Learning” during the course, assessment after the course, and comments received during the After Action Reporting (AAR). The Prior Assessment will ask the participants to evaluate their familiarity and proficiency with the DHS CIKRs, current methods of infrastructure evaluation and analysis, and technical understanding of the infrastructure systems. “Checks On Learning” during the course will be used to verify that participants understand and retain the material. The Post Assessment/AAR will be used to determine increase in familiarity and proficiency in the course materials. The course will be delivered and evaluated in November/December 2020, so the results will be available for the paper.

Verma, R. (2021, July), Non-Tactical Infrastructure Education to Support Special Operations (In-Progress) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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