4 min read | May 19, 2022
CANSEC 2022: How Military Forces Need to be Agile, Adaptive and Trained in Cross-Domain Scenarios to be Successful–Jay Ballard, Calian, Military Training and Simulation Lead
Calian is a leading deliverer of military training for clients across the world. This article will examine Calian military training initiatives with the Canadian Army and NORAD to exemplify how Calian is utilizing cross-domain training scenarios to create training environments which accurately portray real-world environments. The article will then examine how Calian intends to adapt this approach into the future.
Military Training Delivered by Calian
Calian effectively delivers military training exercises for customers around the world. Notable military training contracts include the Canadian Army Simulation Centre (CASC) and the newly signed North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) training contract at the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) in Stavanger, Norway to provide a 360° Comprehensive Production Environment.
The Calian CASC team works to design, develop and deliver training exercises to fulfill numerous Canadian military contracts through the CASC. Calian aligns the training experience within a rich synthetic environment to trigger and test desired training objectives. Training programs range from individual to large-scale collective training. Explains Jay Ballard, Calian Military Training and Simulation Lead and CASC Contract Manager, “Our exercises wrap a realistic simulated environment with supporting documentation and role players around the primary training audience so they can be stimulated by injects or challenges that require them to work together to solve problems that are aligned with the training objectives.”
Calian also works with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) on the US/Canada bi-national exercise VIGILANT SHIELD—an exercise focused on North American defense through joint efforts by major headquarters across Canada and the USA. Calian CASC activity leaders deliver extensive and comprehensive exercise development projects for VIGILANT SHIELD. These projects involve a complex series of injects testing a full spectrum of domestic and North American homeland defense responses and consequence management scenarios.
Calian has a 13-year history of supporting NATO training by designing and delivering more than 70 exercises at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. The recently signed contract to deliver training and exercise support to NATO demonstrates how Calian plays a leading role as a mission partner for the Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, Norway. The training scenarios developed include role-playing, advising and mentoring—all aligned with computer assisted exercise play.
The Calian Approach to Multi-Domain Training Development
Calian approaches training development and delivery with an overriding focus on creating training environments that reflect real-world scenarios. In creating realistic training environments, Calian relies on the use of simulations coupled with integrated training. This allows Calian to create a “cross-domain” training experience that most accurately reflects reality.
Simulation is an important tool in creating effective cross-domain training exercises. Successful simulations accurately recreate the real-world so the training audience can operate in a safe environment. Simulations provide an additional advantage in that they are less costly than creating the same scenario in the field.
In developing effective simulations, Calian prioritizes immersion. Developers are aware that a successful simulation needs to offer immersion that is similar to what a user might experience in the real-world. Without realistic and accurate immersion, a training environment can provide inadequate training or even improper training. Immersion also needs to include the possibility of failing. Explains Jay Ballard, “The beauty of simulation is that if you get something wrong you can always freeze the simulation and reset to try something again, while a similar failure in the real-world can be expensive or deadly.”
In building and delivering training scenarios which accurately portray real-life situations, Calian emphasizes scenarios with cross-domain environments. Cross-domain environments feature multiple events happening simultaneously, similar to what trainees would experience in real-world operations. Military forces must be agile, adaptive, and trained in a variety of scenarios to find success, and cross-domain training exercises respond to this requirement.
Cross-domain scenarios test a trainees’ ability to respond to simultaneous challenges, which will stress the training audience and expose any capability gaps if they exist. It is imperative that this happens during training and not during operations, which is why these environments need to be built to exact specifications. Says Ballard, “I’d much rather work through a complex problem like this the first time in an exercise than in real life.”
Going Forward—The Future of Integrated Training
Calian intends to utilize the Future Integrated Training Environment (FITE) concept to inform future cross-domain exercises. FITE is a concept utilized by the Canadian Army, providing simulation technology with an interoperable and multi-level training environment—a true integrated training experience. FITEs incorporate and synchronize several virtual training environments, with the eventual goal of providing a persistent, across Canada training network of common hardware standards and protocols. Explains Ballard, “Having a common and integrated playground that can incorporate multiple levels of training is the Holy Grail of immersive environments,” and it is a goal that Calian has in their sights.
Please join us at CANSEC 2022. Drop by our booth, #701, to see first-hand how Calian is delivering their synthetic training environments to the Canadian Armed Forces.
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