Successful TANG Expo in the West

Published on Mr David Gamble (author)

Location(s): HMAS Stirling, WA

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling

Personnel from Royal Australian Navy, ADO and USN observe demonstrations of the latest software technology from Adobe and Google at the Australian BYG-1 Tactical Advancements for the Next Generation (TANG) Expo held at HMAS Stirling. (photo: CPOIS David Connolly)
Personnel from Royal Australian Navy, ADO and USN observe demonstrations of the latest software technology from Adobe and Google at the Australian BYG-1 Tactical Advancements for the Next Generation (TANG) Expo held at HMAS Stirling.

A team of facilitators, subject matter experts and sailors from the United States has joined RAN submariners and human systems researchers from the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) to conduct an important workshop in Western Australia.

The Tactical Advancement for the Next Generation (TANG) Workshop kicked off at HMAS Stirling with a Tech Expo which featured displays of equipment and software by Adobe, Google and Microsoft. The displays were designed to challenge workshop participants. After gaining inspiration from the potential of the technology on display, workshop participants spent three days identifying opportunities for functional improvement and proposing solutions to identified problems.

The workshop was held with the cooperation of DSTO at HMAS Stirling and was organised by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Everyone at HMAS Stirling benefited from the Tech Expo which, after an initial private session for workshop participants, was thrown open to all personnel.

TANG is a process developed to gather insights into the needs of submariners using combat systems. This TANG workshop was the first of its type in Australia after a series were conducted by the US Submarine Fleet, dating back to the initial one in San Diego in November 2011. TANG is facilitated by innovation and design consultants, IDEO. It aims to discover the needs of submarine combat system operators and to explore innovative ways to satisfy those needs. The workshop is aided by IDEO’s design thinking, a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer's toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for operational success.

The goal at the TANG workshop is to effectively leverage the knowledge and enthusiasm of the submariners as experts in their field and as consumers using modern technology. Users of devices like smart phones and video game consoles expect technology to be instantly useable. TANG helps to marry that technical savvy with the expertise of operators.