SATERN Strategic Plan Approved At Annual NDSC Meeting

December 16, 2016
William Feist | | (601) 421-1496

National Headquarters, Alexandria, VA (12/16/2016) - The National Disaster Services Committee (NDSC) unanimously approved a new Strategic Plan for the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) on December 6 during their annual meeting at The Salvation Army National Headquarters (NHQ) in Alexandria, VA.  National SATERN Liaison Bill Feist, WB8BZH, submitted the Strategic Plan during his annual National SATERN Report to the Committee.

Author, statesmen and political theorist, Benjamin Franklin once said that, “When you're finished changing, you're finished.”  The National SATERN Committee believes that statement to be true.  With Eastern Territory Disaster Coordinator Michael Orfitelli facilitating the discussions, the group invited key stakeholders from National Headquarters and others to spend most of 2016 developing a Strategic Plan that outlines how SATERN will grow and develop in the early part of the 21st Century.

The process began with conducting a SWOT Analysis that outlined SATERN's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats or “SWOT”.  The analysis led to several important results.

The first was a Vision Statement for SATERN that says, “The future Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network will bring together communications expertise and disaster services response to better serve those in need.”

The second result was the development of three Mission Impact Priorities.

The first Mission Impact Priority is for SATERN to expand, grow and diversify its services in order to address the issues of relevancy while appealing to the younger generation.  To do this, SATERN leadership will explore various new technologies and potential services to enhance communications within disaster services.  These services must integrate well into the disaster services program and enhance the diversity of those services.

This does not mean that current services will be eliminated or minimized.  It means that new services in addition to the current ones will be developed and added to SATERN’s “emergency communications tool box”.

The second Mission Impact Priority is to expand external and internal awareness of SATERN.  The SWOT Analysis clearly showed that The Salvation Army, as an organization, knows very little about SATERN.  It also showed that SATERN volunteers often don’t understand the organizational structure and culture of The Salvation Army.  As the Strategic Plan begins to be implemented, it is important that The Salvation Army, its partners and SATERN volunteers develop a better understanding of each other.

The third Mission Impact Priority is to expand, mentor and develop a leadership cadre for the future, including the development of Divisional SATERN Coordinators and a succession plan for current SATERN leadership as they retire.  The SWOT Analysis and a simple look at the current leadership of SATERN clearly demonstrated that the present demographics of SATERN is heavily weighted to those with vast amounts of experience, which also means a demographic that may not support future growth without an influx of younger people.  Beyond that need, is the demand for future leaders who will continue to develop the communication and technology component of disaster services, including new technologies that are being developed.

Each of the three Mission Impact Priorities have a set of Action Steps that form the implementation strategy.  It has been the experience of several National SATERN Committee members that too many Strategic Plans are written and then put on a shelf and forgotten.  The Committee is determined that this Plan will not be one of those.  However, the Committee also realizes that this is a long-term Plan that will take several years to fully implement.  As a result, the National SATERN Committee met on Thursday, December 15, to discuss implementatin of some of the key elements of the Strategic Plan during 2017. 

Throughout 2017 and beyond, the National SATERN Committee will continue to review and evaluate the progress of the Plan’s implementation during its monthly conference calls, its Annual Meeting in May and the annual NDSC meetings.

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