By Kent Davis

Kent Davis is the Director of Training as a Service (TaaS) for Calian. He is a retired army artillery officer from the Canadian Army, with operational experience in the Former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. He has a record of leading and delivering joint and tri-service operational training programs.

Calian works with the Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre (CADTC) to deliver military training and develop military doctrine across this formation of the Canadian Army. This article will outline how Calian applies its unique simulation training solutions to help the Canadian Army meet their training goals.

Delivering Training for the Canadian Army

The Canadian Army’s doctrine and training missions are to develop land warfare training, guidelines, exercises, and curriculum, and contribute to the overall intellectual development for land operational training for the Canadian Army and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). It is the land operations training centre of excellence for the Canadian Army. Calian develops and delivers individual training, collective training, high readiness training, and command and staff training to meet the Canadian Army’s mandate.

Calian delivers this work at the doctrine and training centre headquarters in Kingston, Ontario and at army bases and installations across Canada using synthetic training environments, distributed training solutions, and simulation-driven training and exercises.

Advantages of Simulation-Based Military Training

Military training scenarios need to reflect complex and dynamic real-world situations. Calian develops and delivers training exercises that effectively simulate operational scenarios in a safe environment. Kent Davis, Director of TaaS (Training as a Service), explains “with simulation training, trainees work in a realistic and immersive environment in which they can practice and rehearse their responses and decision-making skills.”

Calian uses cutting-edge proprietary technology to design and implement simulation-based military training programs for the Canadian Army. To manage implementation of training scenarios, Calian uses MaestroEDE™, a software solution designed and built by the Calian team. MaestroEDE is an end-to-end solution which gives users the tools to plan, develop and deliver training programs. Calian has been using MaestroEDE for designing and delivering training for the Canadian Army since 2018.

To develop training scenarios for the Canadian Army, Calian uses three Army owned simulation systems—Virtual Battle Space (VBS), JCATS and ABACUS. Explains Davis, “We use three different simulation systems because, when the Army looked at what they wanted, they determined that a single simulation system does not produce the degree of fidelity and realistic environment that is required for extraordinarily complex exercises.” These systems are also being used by other NATO members for their simulation-based training. The interoperability of training systems is a major advantage for developing and delivering exercises in a joint, combined context.

Rather than have these simulation systems work in isolation, Calian develops training exercises that synchronize inputs across systems, creating a more in-depth experience for the trainee. The distributed nature of the Calian simulation-based training system is a powerful feature for delivering synchronized training at multiple locations. For example, for large army high-readiness exercises, simulations are managed centrally and delivered to a distributed audience of up to 1,500 people located across Canada. The simulation synchronizes data across 2D and 3D maps, so changes made in one system reflect changes made in others in real-time. Explains Davis, “Everything that happens in the simulation system is fed into the army battle management systems. Anything that happens from the training audience perspective in the army battle management system is fed back into the simulation systems.”

Next-Generation Simulation-to-C4ISR Interoperability

Integrating simulation data into a single environment—and creating a common operating picture—is achieved through the Calian Virtual Command and Control Interface (VCCI) Tool Suite (VTS). The VCCI Tool Suite is a system agnostic platform for agile and incremental integration or interoperation between live, virtual or constructive (LVC) simulation systems and Command and Control, Communication, Computers, Information, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR). This means—no matter the simulation systems required for an exercise—VCCI integrates the data streams into a single simulation environment.

The VCCI Tool Suite is based on an adaptive interoperability and integration framework and architecture (Paradigm) that promotes agile and incremental development of synthetic training environments. VCCI allows any group of simulation training technologies to be configured and initialized to support training in virtual and cloud environments. VCCI enables system-to-system connection management, system-to-system mapping, data flow, control, filtering, data transformation, data collection, data normalization and data exploitation supporting AARs, analytics and learning management. The same automation capabilities can be used to automate repeatable system integration and verification use cases, deployments or support system change management.

The clearest advantage of VCCI for joint, combined and multi-national training is the ability to integrate the simulation technology that each participant requires to fulfil the training need. Airborne ISR, land -based ISR, dismounted units, armoured units and any other group participating in an exercise can be integrated into the simulation environment. This provides versatility for high-fidelity simulation training, no matter the participants or scenario. VCCI can turn the concept of operations into a simulation-based training exercise.

Looking Forward

Calian understands the growing need for simulation military training going forward. Militaries learned how to deliver distributed training by default during the COVID-19 pandemic, opening opportunity for distributed training going forward. Through collaboration with the Canadian Army, Calian will continue to design, deliver and execute training programs, and will stay on the cutting edge of military simulation training to better serve their clients in Canada and across the world.

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