News story: Dstl analyst provides inspiration and support on operations


War Hero
Samantha Rose joined the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in 2008 from industry. Since that time she has consistently provided military commanders, both in the UK and deployed, with evidenced based decision support.

  • Her career highlights are:
    • Delivering analysis support directly influencing the Go: No Go decision to run a major operation in Afghanistan.
    • Delivering the evidenced based decision support to the planning and execution of the redeployment of UK forces from Afghanistan.
    • Leading the reachback analysis supporting operational decision making on the deployed capability for treating Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Soon after joining Dstl, Sam deployed to Iraq, providing science and technology (S&T) support to the Multi-National Division (South-East) and through the transition to control by the US forces. Whilst deployed she revamped an analytical tool designed to assist UK forces in patrol planning with a focus on avoiding setting predictable patrol patterns. She also co-authored the ‘Study of Change in Basra’, the UK campaign’s measure of effectiveness study which highlighted the reduction in kinetic activity and increase in the level of security and safety felt by the local populace within the UK’s area of operations.

A few months later Sam deployed at 3 days’ notice to Kandahar in Afghanistan to deliver surge support to the Brigade Headquarters which was suffering from attacks on military convoys. During her time there, she developed a tracking tool which enabled the UK to identify high risk areas and link attacks with tribal dominance.

In 2010, Sam was sent overseas again, this time to Helmand in Afghanistan as the senior Operational Analyst. Part of her remit was to provide decision support to Op MOSHTARAK, which was the largest military offensive ever launched by NATO troops in the country at that point. Sam worked on a novel way to estimate casualties and determine medical capability requirements. She continued to use this method to support medical planning throughout the drawdown from Afghanistan and again in support of planning for the UK’s military contribution to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.

Whilst deployed Sam was sent on loan to a US Headquarters in Kabul as the UK analytical expert to help them use analysis to inform decisions and to increase efficiency.

Later Sam moved to the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), the UK’s 3 star Headquarters from where all UK overseas operations are commanded, leading a team of analysts and scientific advisers. Her work consisted primarily of providing analytical decision support, metrics and measures of progress for the redeployment of UK forces from Afghanistan. She led joint civilian and military teams in Afghanistan helping the UK to redeploy its forces, saving time and money in the process. She developed numerous planning tools which identified bottlenecks in the plans for redeployment, and worked alongside senior military commanders to help them understand the effect of their decisions on the capability in theatre.

More recently, Sam has acted as Group Principal and Project Technical Authority of Dstl’s deployable S&T capability. She’s developed and delivered front line operational analysis training with delegates and observers from four nations (UK, Canada, Australia and Netherlands), receiving international recognition.

For her work in Afghanistan, Sam was awarded the Commander Joint Operations Commendation for distinguished service to United Kingdom Operations.

She is currently on maternity leave, returning to work in May 2016.

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