What is Situational Awareness and Why It is Important

Through experience and recognition of the need to have situational awareness, soldiers develop internal situational awareness.

What is Situational Awareness and Why It is Important
Photo by Mitchell Hollander / Unsplash

Situational Awareness is knowing where you are, for how long you are there, why you are there, and how to get out of there. To be situationally aware is to have a 360-degree view and appreciation of your surroundings. The military trains soldiers to be situationally aware as enemy and enemy forces can infiltrate the location of the soldiers at any time, and without notice. The same kind of vigilance is essential for every one of us as a way to allow us to navigate modern living and to ensure security and safety.

The Beirut Explosion and How the Lebanese Government Lacked Situational Awareness

Our condolences to the families who lost their loved ones to the Beirut, Lebanon blasts; Our hearts and prayers go to them. We wish all those who were injured and in the hospital a speedy recovery. As seen in this particular occurrence, we cannot always be situationally aware at all times, and some tragedies happen in the blink of an eye. The blasts in Beirut included a fire at first. It was flashing in a way to indicate that there were likely fireworks in the burning warehouse.

In a matter of moments, the city was shaken and shattered by the blast. The implosion was so massive and had packed such force that it was visible. For an explosion to cause a visible wave, it takes a lot of explosive energy. In this case, it became suspected that ammonium nitrate caused the colossal explosion. Ammonium nitrate is used as fertilizer, among other uses, and is highly explosive. It is the same material used to blast quarries and construction sites. The Lebanese government lacked situational awareness as someone should have been concerned about the Ammonium Nitrate stored at the port.