The War on Records: The Mission to Capture, Organize and ...
THE WAR ON RECORDS: THE MISSION TO CAPTURE, PRESERVE AND ORGANIZE THE OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM COLLECTION AT UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND Joel Westphal War on Records
Creation Capture and Transfer Preservation Records Processing (First line organization) Archival Processing (second line organization) Declassification Final storage and caretaking and archival reference costs of permanent records The Fight NEVER ENDS! Collection Firsts The USF-I Records Collection comprised of many Records and Archival firsts First time in military history that the majority
of records created were digital (95%+) Largest single transfer of electronic data from a war zone during an ongoing military operation Largest single collection of electronic war records in history (so far, Afghanistan will dwarf OIF in total size) 1991: Mission Failure Only a small percentage of Gulf War Records ever made it to the National Archives
The change in the Operational Command Structure of the U.S. military had the effect of rendering records management to an unimportant endeavor The post-war investigation into the issue reported that many units actively burned their entire collection of operational records rather than be bothered to haul them back to their home stations Pre-OIF Mission Success The Abizaid/Franks Collection
As early as 2006 USCENTCOM was working on preservation projects designed to capture out going USCENTCOM Commanders records These two projects resulted in what is called the Abizaid/Franks record collection These 2 collections contains nearly 200,000 high level operational records from the early days of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM This entire dual collection was preaccessioned to NARA in 2011 as additional preservation precaution What have you collected? NARA formed War Records Group, April 2009
Joint Staff visits USCENTCOM, June 2009 Informs USCENTCOM of War Records Group creation Begins asking how much data has been transferred to USCENTCOM Records Policy stated that records be transferred back to USCENTCOM as a recommended, not a required procedure USCENTCOM at the time had limited authority to demand that records actually be transferred before mission end All efforts in the later part of 2009 was to get USF-I to
implement a fully functional RM program consisting of training staff, highlighting the importance of records preservation and working with USCENTCOM on a future transfer Joint Staff Assessment Coordination with CENTCOM began in late Fall 2009 5 day assessment conducted in April 2010 revealed the following Most data was unstructured, had little or no metadata and lay un-managed No RM draw-down plan in place Volume, location and size of USF-I collection unknown
The Joint Staff Assessment was in draft form The assessment was inaccurate on many issues The assessment was never staffed out for comment The success in the assessment was the elevation of the Records problem in Iraq The assessment helped in getting leadership in Iraq to listen to CENTCOM RM and cooperate with us Records Inventory
The Records Inventory was in the planning stages while the assessment was underway Mission was fact-finding How much data is there What data is there Were their gaps of records Was the data organized Results of the Inventory More than 50 TB located representing records as far back as early 2004 Little organization below main folders Procurement & Planning
June 2010 RM requested a technical transfer team be assembled by the technology team MAJ Hart assigned July 2010 Begin procurement of 80 TB SAN Begin working on requirements for contractors who will work on the collection August 2010
Drafted Concept of Operations (CONOPS) Begin to arrange processing team The Cut-off day On August 31, President Obama declared the combat mission in Iraq was at an end and that Contingency Operation NEW DAWN would replace it the following day The result of this declaration resulted in a records cutoff of unprecedented scale All records created by USF-I under this Contingency Operation immediately became the property of USCENTCOM Transfer team left for Iraq on 1 SEP to retrieve
all data held at numerous HQs in the Baghdad region The Capture Sept 2010 MAJ Hart departs for Iraq Oct 2010 Work is completed SAN is moved to Kuwait
Nov 2010 SAN departs Kuwait for CONUS (Continental United States) SAN arrives in CONUS Work begins on hooking up SAN to CENTCOM IT infrastructure Moving to Phase II SAN hooked up to network in DEC 2010 Backup solution sought 2 Backups created 1 for USCENTCOM
1 for NARA Focus on training processing staff Working with NARA on pre-accessioning agreement and MOU The Preservation Tampa is a Hurricane zone
Even a Cat 1 Hurricane would place a large portion of MacDill AFB under water Decision was made to transfer an exact copy of original un-weeded and unorganized record content for preservation in the event of a mission/natural disaster Records would be sent to NARA as part of a pre-accession agreement once the identified records sets were completed (several of these sets have already been sent to NARA as additional protection)
The Organizational Limited StaffProblems 40-50 million records Millions of emails Massive amount of transitory and nonrecord material Poor organization within the primary folders Little Records Management Foundation inherent in the collection (Share Drives were a mess) Large amount of redundancy Large amount of PII
OIF Taxonomy From CONOPS: OIF Taxonomy: The initial OIF Taxonomy design will be created prior to the records being made available on the network. The design will establish base criteria for ensuring that the original order of the records is preserved to the greatest extent possible. The information taxonomy shall be created using new Record Types whose use shall be restricted to the OIF Document Collection. The creation of specific meta types for this collection is required to ensure the separation of the three differing records collections within TRIM (Abizaid/Franks, USCENTCOM RM, OIF). This new taxonomy will ensure that once records are transferred to NARA as part of the pre-accession, a more accurate metadata picture will be provided for all the records. Emails
After a meeting with NARA following the April 2011 Joint Staff Records Conference in Tampa, a decision was arrived at how to handle the massive amount of emails within the collection by both NARA and USCENTCOM. GO/FOs were declared Permanent O6s and below for 10 years This hierarchical system is now being adapted for use for the entire Federal Government via the NARA Capstone project Utilizing Technology
Total Records and Information Management Selected by USCENTCOM in 2006 as the commands Electronic Records Management Solution Provides capability to instantly retrieve record material Material can be organized in a variety of ways Records collections can be segregated Ensures records are marked as FINAL so they
cannot be altered Has exporting tool so records along with metadata can be transferred to another location (NARA) Active Navigation and Document Analytics Its all a question of ROT (Redundant, Obsolete, Transitory) Assists in organizing unstructured content Things we can clean up quickly without a more detailed analysis 0 byte files Unknown file extensions Obvious policy violations Executable(s) in data-only directories
Personal files: vacation photos, music, mp3s Unused files Temporary or redundant folders Have not been accessed/modified in X number of years Policy based on records management standards PII Finding capabilities In less than a week Active Navigation cleaned 177,282 files on the F, I and M Drives on the OIF SAN totaling over 1.18 TB worth of useless data. Major Contributors Mr. Robert Bennett (USCENTCOM)
Dr. James Willson-Quayle (Joint Staff) MAJ David Hart (USA) Mr. Michael Carlson (NARA) Mrs. Donna Read (NARA) Mr. Raymond Ragland (Venetore) The War on Records Records = Legacy Fight Against non-legacy Records We are in the Era of Big Data Records creation is out of control Fight ROT! RM/IM need to utilize modern technology
to reduce the size of records collections Parting Thoughts RM needs to become more IT focused Become more involved in Document and Information Management Become a Project and Program Manager Develop a Document Analytics program The more you know about your records the better you can manage them DoD Acknowledgement
Non-existent While others in the DoD Community are currently under congressional inquiries for lost records, not one DoD civilian or other contributor to this mission has ever received a word of acknowledgement from anyone higher than an O6 (Colonel) Records Management does not function without senior leadership and this includes supporting and awarding those Admin staff who keep them out of congressional hearings
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