Story – first part

Our solution was born from the lessons learned by the U.S. Special Operations community overseas. U.S. Special Operators mastered the art of operating in unfamiliar areas while coordinating their activities with partners who did not share a common doctrine, training background, or even language. Not unlike the dynamic emergency situations that first responders confront, U.S. Special Operators are presented daily with time-sensitive critical incidents in unfamiliar locations and face the challenge of communicating with partners who are equally unfamiliar with that location. They developed a visual communication tool, called a Gridded Reference Graphic (GRG), that combined a gridded overlay with high-resolution overhead imagery so operators could communicate off of a single sheet of paper about unfamiliar locations. The GRG is used in every counter-terrorism mission conducted overseas, and has been validated at the highest level, including during the raid on Osama bin Laden. The GRG allowed all mission participants, from the Commander-in-Chief in Washington DC to the Special Operator in Pakistan, to communicate from a common operational picture about Osama bin Laden’s compound.