News story: Army conducts largest ever virtual battlefield simulation experiment

#1
Ministry of Defence said:
Exercise Urban Warrior 5 uses advanced science and computer technology as part of a cutting-edge experiment designed to help the Army better understand the battlefield of the future.
Using virtual computer simulation technology at the Land Warfare Centre in Warminster, more than 200 soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh have been playing out battlefield scenarios in a virtual environment based on the real-world Urban Warfare Training Centre (CENZUB) in France.
In the experiment soldiers control avatars and vehicles in a similar way to popular video games such as ‘Call of Duty’.
By changing certain variables, such as the number of troops on the ground and the amount of surveillance and communication available, the experiment seeks to discover how best to equip and command the British Army in possible future conflicts.
The experiment follows a previous real-life simulation exercise in December 2012 at CENZUB where soldiers worked with Warrior armoured vehicles and Challenger 2 tanks in one of the most realistic battlefield scenarios ever created.
Combining the real-life exercise with the virtual experiments and other computer modelling is offering commanders and MOD scientists a level of detailed and objective analysis of possible force variables hitherto unseen in the British Army.

A soldier from 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh taking part in Exercise Urban Warrior 5 [Picture: Corporal Steve Blake, Crown Copyright/MOD 2013]All the information captured from the experiment is being collected for further analysis by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in partnership with Niteworks who developed the simulation programme together.
Colonel Tim Law, Assistant Director of Concepts and Experimentation at Army HQ, explained:
It is all about the Army looking to the future. We have established this experiment to determine what we need in order to win the battles that we will face.
He said that the final analysis will not be completed until July this year, but already several lessons have been learnt. For example, that placing Intelligence Corps personnel in the battlefield HQ and feeding information down to front line commanders is preferable to embedding those personnel with combat units.
Brigadier Simon Deakin, Director Army Force Development, said:
This experiment gives us a unique view into what is required for the British Army to operate successfully on future operations. By testing our soldiers in a number of demanding scenarios we can determine the optimum tactics, equipment and training that are required for us to shape the Army of the future.

A soldier from 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh taking part in Exercise Urban Warrior 5 [Picture: Corporal Steve Blake, Crown Copyright/MOD 2013]Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, added:
Science and technology has a crucial role to play in growing our understanding of the battlefield. Evidence gathered from this experiment will be used to guide decisions on the type of equipment we need to fight conflicts on all terrains.
Simulation is playing an increasingly important part in delivering cost-effective training solutions across all our defence domains.
The analytical results of this programme will provide evidence-based advice to the Army on the critical capabilities required in order to operate in the future urban battlefield, and the most cost-effective approaches to developing the Future Force.



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#2
When I joined they used to do big exercises with 50,000 real soldiers and lots of tanks, now the MoD boasts about playing computer games.

How times have changed...

Rodney2q
 
#4
...
He said that the final analysis will not be completed until July this year, but already several lessons have been learnt. For example, that placing Intelligence Corps personnel in the battlefield HQ and feeding information down to front line commanders is preferable to embedding those personnel with combat units.
...
Lessons learnt my old and hairy arse. More like lessons forgotten and relearnt because the Army is unforgivably awful at knowledge management.

And if anyone from LWC is reading this my rates for pointing out the blindingly obvious are a lot less than you're paying for these experiments.
 
#7
When I joined they used to do big exercises with 50,000 real soldiers and lots of tanks, now the MoD boasts about playing computer games.

How times have changed...

Rodney2q
Lying git, we've never had 50,000 real soldiers AND loads of tanks.
 
#8
Lying git, we've never had 50,000 real soldiers AND loads of tanks.
Don't judge everything in terms of your own service - there was a time not too long ago that we had more Divisions than the Football League.
 
#9
So we've now got 200 potential claims of RSI from overuse of the right hand - negating any counter claims of self-abuse.

Do the avatars in these simulators have the stamina of those of Call of Duty?

Why aren't the players cammed up? I know its a game, sorry, simulation, but they should really get into character. Maybe set off the fire sprinklers and open a window as well.
 
#11
Colonel Law said ".....but already several lessons have been learnt (learned!?). For example, that placing Intelligence Corps personnel in the battlefield HQ and feeding information down to front line commanders is preferable to embedding those personnel with combat units."

What's lesson learned No2....women are weaker than men?
 
#15
More seriously, how much better (if at all) are these things able to simulate the military-ops-that-are-not-war scenarios that seem to be more probable than simple warfighting?

Not knocking their value as prep for the most serious (but least likely) threat scenario, just doubtful of their value as far as prep for the myriad of more probable military commitments (Mali anyone?)

I remember only too well the hours wasted at the US warrior prep centre near Ramstein in the mid-90s, as they tried to re-jig a warfighting computer program that was utterly unable to simulate UNPROFOR withdrawing from BH under NATO escort, in the face of sit-down protests by large number of unarmed Bosniac grandmothers and their grandchildren - the kind of contingency for which we were required to prepare.
 
#17
What's lesson learned No2....women are weaker than men?
No - it is that players like to shoot their team mates when they are not looking. Just like playing Doom!

Rodney2q
 
#18
lots of glitches the first week- but by the end of the second week it was pretty well swept up. lots of benefit for commanders but not too sure about how great it was for lower levels
 
#19
lots of glitches the first week- but by the end of the second week it was pretty well swept up. lots of benefit for commanders but not too sure about how great it was for lower levels
Didn't you look out of the window? Feet up, drinking coffee, playing video games or trogging out in the snow?

Did you play the night exercises in real time or press pause and start again in the morning?
 
#20
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My Console and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...
My Console is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its monitor and its gamepad. I will keep my Console clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...
Before God, I swear this creed. My Console and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviours of my life.
So be it, until victory is Microsoft's and there is no enemy, but peace!
 

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