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Why Cascadia?

The fictional country of Cascadia is used to assist in the construction of realistic scenarios. Humanitarian Response Teams require a training environment that can be altered and adjusted to suit the wide range of conditions, circumstances, and influences that they are likely to encounter in the real-world settings. The Cascadia Training Environment represented here offers discussion of Operating Environment (OE) conditions through the political, military, economic, social, information, infrastructure, physical environment and time (PMESII-PT) variables. 

The variable discussion explores the complex and ever-changing combination of conditions, circumstances, and influences that could affect humanitarian relief operations within the Cascadia OE. The PMESII-PT variables of the fictitious independent nation of Cascadia paint a picture of nature and characteristics of a multidimensional environment. 

This SMARTBOOK is a tool for the humanitarian relief training community to use across a variety of training events. It is a baseline document that exercise planners can use to maintain a vital sense of scenario fidelity that enables trainees to more fully immerse into the training 
event while minimizing the need to “suspend disbelief” to participate. While no event can ever eliminate all scenario discrepancies completely, reducing training distractions improves trainee performance and reinforces the lessons the scenarios are designed to teach. 

This SMARTBOOK focuses on the fictitious nation of Cascadia; however, it is important to note that there is a real-world origin for the concept of an independent nation in the Pacific Northwest. 

The term “Cascades” was originally applied to the Cascade Rapids of the Columbia River as early 
as the Astor Expedition of 1810-1813. The botanist David Douglas (after whom the iconic Douglas fir tree is named) was the first person known to have applied the term to describe the mountain ranged that dominate the region. Over the intervening years Cascadia, as it is now conceived, has come to be understood as a bioregional concept that is closely aligned with the 
environmental movement.

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