2013 - Present
Project Leader: Andrew Gordon

DisasterSim is a game-based training tool focused on international disaster relief. Trainees take on the role of a joint task force staff member coordinating the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts in a foreign country following a natural disaster.

Among the tasks, trainees must attempt to restore essential services, reconstruct civil infrastructure and provide humanitarian assistance, all while managing interactions with local civil authorities, non-governmental organizations, and other US government relief organizations. They must use their judgment to prioritize and execute lifesaving tasks while operating within DoD limits related to medical relief and infrastructure repairs. Trainee actions in the exercise can impact future interactions and may also influence overall scenario.

DisasterSim is built upon the UrbanSim platform. UrbanSim is an ICT-developed cognitive trainer widely used in Army classroom and operational settings to practice executing the “Art of Mission Command” in asymmetric or irregular warfare environments, including counterinsurgency and stability operations.

Both training games are driven by a novel story engine that interjects events and situations based on the real-world experiences and lessons learned. They include an intelligent tutoring system, which provides guidance to trainees during execution, as well as after action review capabilities.

UrbanSim officially transitioned to the Army as part of two program of records, Games for Training and the Low Overhead Training Toolkit. It is available at the Army’s MilGaming portal.

DisasterSim is funded by PEO STRI and is developed in partnership with the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).