Producing A Staff Level AAR


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This brief provides "a way" towards producing a Staff Level After Action Review. The techniques presented are methods on how the lead facilitator can organize the AAR team to collect and format observations for final AAR production. This method works well for Command Post Exercises and Staff Exercises.

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Producing A Staff Level AAR

  2. 2. STAFF LEVEL AARS• There is no specific format for producing or conducting a staff level AAR• Typical AARs formats can be• Event• Time• Staff sections• Training Objectives• Focus areas• A combination• The most common Staff level AAR format is Focus Area based• BOTTOM LINE – Choose the format that is best for training audience to understand thelessons learned
  3. 3. EVENT BASED AAR FORMAT• The Event Based AAR uses critical events during the exercise to drive the learningprocess• Events are critical activities the training audience must perform to accomplish the missionor meet training objectives• Example events• Key Leader Engagements• Cordon & Search• Battalion Attack
  4. 4. TIME BASED AAR FORMAT• The Time Based AAR covers activities that were performed over a specified period of time• Time Based AARs can encompass everything from STARTEX to ENDEX or a portion oftime during the exercise• Not normally used for extend training exercises or at the Staff level due to the largenumber of activities during the exercise• Exceptions can be• Crisis planning or management• Battle Tracking• Battle drills
  5. 5. STAFF SECTION AAR FORMAT• Staff Section AARs cover activities performed by each staff section• Staff Section AARs are useful to describe activities performed by each section towardsaccomplishing training objectives• Staff Section AAR formats work best when• The training objectives target a specific staff section• The Focus areas target a specific staff section
  6. 6. TRAINING OBJECTIVES AAR FORMAT• Training objectives AARs cover activities performed to accomplish the Training Objectives• Training objectives AARs are best used when the training objectives are very specific• Usually staff level training objectives are very broad and contain numerous activities thatmight need to be addressed
  7. 7. FOCUS AREAS BASED AAR• Focus Areas based AARS covers a critical part of a training objective necessary to accomplishthe overall training objective or covers more than one training objective• Focus areas are usually approved by the director and training audience commander before theexercise starts• Focus Areas are derived from Training Objectives• A focus area may encompass more than one training objective• Focus areas are often used when there is too much material for OC/Ts to adequately covereach training objective or• There are too many training objectives for OC/Ts to cover or• There is limited time for the AAR to cover all the training objectives• Example of focus areas• The Training objective is conduct MDMP and the focus area might be mission analysis
  8. 8. AAR PRODUCTION• Producing an AAR can be a difficult if you do not plan ahead• Things to consider• Hold daily OC/EXCON Sync meetings• Interface with MSEL/RFI managers frequently during the exercise to keep advised of fluidand upcoming events• Maintain a log• Collect daily reports or storyboard format slides from OC/Ts after critical events• Have OC/Ts produce a doctrine slide before STARTEX for their respective area ofexpertise or by Training Objective or Focus Area• Take photos or videos• Collect simulation data or take computer screen shots of C2 systems• Develop metrics (where feasible)• Avoid waiting until the last day to assemble the AAR
  9. 9. OC/EXCON SYNC MEETINGS• Hold daily sync meeting with• Exercise Director• Chief Battlefield Control Cell• MSEL/RFI Manager• OC Team• Senior Mentor (If possible)• Training Audience Commander (If possible)• Meeting Activities• Review what happened in the last 24-hours• Discuss progress of accomplishing the training objectives• Review planned events for the next 24-hours• Discuss the pace of the exercise• Identify events that need to be repeated (director approval)• Review OC/T coverage plan
  10. 10. THE WALL WALK - A WAY TO PRODUCE AN AAR• On STARTEX produce a doctrine slide for each Training Objective or Focus Area• OC/Ts should produce the doctrine slide to ensure they understand the doctrine before theyobserve training• A doctrine slide is useful to present along with the observation storyboard that the OC/Tprepares after critical events• The doctrine slide is taped on a wall in a private area that only the EXCON and OC/Ts haveaccess• After each critical event a storyboard slide or observation slide is tacked underneath therelevant doctrine slide• The process continues each day building slides• The AAR Facilitator can adjust, move, change or delete slides to fit the planned AAR format• Everyone can see the production progress; Lead OC can quickly identify areas that need work
  11. 11. WALL WALKDoctrineSlideTraining ObjectiveOr Focus AreaTraining ObjectiveOr Focus AreaTraining ObjectiveOr Focus AreaTraining ObjectiveOr Focus AreaDoctrineSlideDoctrineSlideDoctrineSlideStoryboard Storyboard Storyboard StoryboardStoryboard Storyboard StoryboardStoryboard
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