SHIRLOC: a field-mobile information resource, Defence Science and Technology Organisation Fact Sheet, September 2007.
“SHIRLOC consists of a database with a large number of records that can be readily referenced during patrols, providing soldiers with an enormous amount of information not previously accessible. Records stored in the database for individual persons include cross-reference links to associated people, locations, events, groups and vehicles. Searches of persons in the SHIRLOC database can be carried out using input variables of name/alias, age (exact or within a range of years), and group. The use of digital technology means that information can be easily transferred to other PDAs and computers. By downloading new information into a central computer, a single database can be compiled and regularly updated, available to all members of a local task force. An additional improvement in process is that data is now gathered and presented in a systematic way across a task force – a big advance on previous ad hoc practices of record-keeping using unstructured Excel spreadsheets.
“SHIRLOC was developed by DSTO to assist Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel deployed in East Timor on peace-keeping missions to facilitate the compilation of information on local gangs, criminals, vehicles, and locations. The project was undertaken as a rapid-turnaround, reachback application by the DSTO Operations Support Centre (DOSC), which is responsible for managing DSTO’s support to ADF operations. DOSC support can include provision of specialist technical advice and operational analysis support todeployed forces in the field.”
Analysis and commentary