EARTH EX is a global, all-sector response exercise to a transnational hazard. Now more than ever, an extreme regional disaster could easily become a complex and global catastrophe affecting everyone. EARTH EX addresses this risk by hosting an interactive, all nation, all sector, whole of world exercise. Everyone is invited to take part from all over the world. EARTH EX uses a “black sky hazard” scenario to bring together public, private, and non-profit sector participants from around the world to exercise their level of preparedness and resilience. The event is facilitated using a technology called Battle Rhythm Manager (BRM) which is an application that G&H International Inc (G&H) developed to support the National Information Sharing Consortium’s (NISC) virtual CHECKPOINT 16 exercise in 2016.
Since 2017, G&H has supported the Electric Infrastructure Security (EIS) Council’s annual EARTH EX exercise series through G&H’s BRM application, which enables planners, emergency managers, and other teams to design and conduct virtual tabletop exercises. As a virtual exercise facilitation platform, the BRM application makes the virtual EARTH EX exercise possible by supplying a centralized, software-as-a-service system that sends the same information and media to all players, keeping every participant on the same page as they navigate the tabletop exercise in a self-guided fashion. Since the inaugural exercise in 2017, EARTH EX has enabled thousands of participants every year to test their preparedness and resilience capabilities to various “black sky hazard” events.
The BRM tool has evolved into a highly configurable and dynamic tool for virtual exercise play. Several of the benefits of the BRM tool include:
- The ability to show text, graphics, and videos, to enable scenario immersion for exercise participants;
- Supports flexible configuration of the tool to present scenario-related discussion questions to stimulate problem solving and conversation within a group of participants;
- Captures participants’ answers to questions, which can be used by participants and to supply data for exercise reports, analysis, and future exercise planning; and
- Accommodates multiple functional areas of activity so that interaction can be tailored to specific groups, such as the energy sector.
For more information about the Battle Rhythm Manager and its role in the EARTH EX exercise, see the following video.