Sponsored by Meggitt Training Systems
24 Sep 20. Completion of training facility at RAF Waddington. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has completed the refurbishment of a hangar at RAF Waddington to convert it into a joint training facility.
Simulators allow certain forms of training to be undertaken without the need for flying, which represents a significant cost saving. The new facility at RAF Waddington acts as a central hub which connects existing RAF simulators around the country, allowing multiple simulators to work together in daily repeatable exercises.
The work has been undertaken by Henry Brothers Midlands at a cost of about £8m.
The project team faced a number of challenges including working around RAF training periods and carefully timing noisy work to reduce disruption. RAF personnel were training only three metres away from parts of the work so the team built a temporary wall and adapted their construction techniques and hours of work to make sure they did not interrupt training. A great relationship with the Air Battlespace Training Centre was vital to make sure they could continue training to maximum effect.
Like everyone, the team also had to deal with the impact of COVID-19. Work halted in March for four weeks while steps were taken to ensure the project could continue safely. It also understandably caused a delay in delivery of materials needed for the project but a proactive attitude and close working relationships between DIO, Henry Brothers Midlands, the RAF and Boeing Defence UK helped to reduce the impact.
DIO’s Project Manager, Dan Wilmott, said: “I’m really pleased with how everyone pulled together not just to deal with the many challenges presented by construction in the age of COVID-19, but also throughout the rest of the project. The end result is a tremendous facility which will be of great benefit to the team at RAF Waddington and RAF aircrew community across the country.”
Air Commodore David Bradshaw, Senior Responsible Owner for the Gladiator programme, said, “The completion of this infrastructure project is the first stage of a larger programme of the Royal Air Force’s future synthetic training capability. This new capability, known as Gladiator, will provide a step-change in the ability of our front-line Forces to train together in operationally realistic situations to meet an ever-increasing adversary threat. The successful completion of this project is a shining example of collaboration between the Royal Air Force as an end user, DIO as the delivery agent and Henry Brothers Midlands as the construction partner to deliver a facility to meet the future requirements of collective synthetic training.”
Wing Commodore David Williams, Officer Commanding the Air Battlespace Training Centre, said, “My team and I have been working closely with the programme and DIO teams throughout the design and construction process to ensure our requirements were fully understood and met. I have been really impressed by the collaborative approach everyone involved has taken to work as one team to deliver this new facility. We are very excited to take over this facility and work towards the delivery of the next generation collective synthetic training exercises.”
Managing Director at Henry Brothers Midlands, Ian Taylor, said, “This project is the latest in a number of defence projects undertaken by Henry Brothers Midlands in recent times and the third consecutive development at RAF Waddington. We are delighted to have handed over the facility and look forward to continuing our relationship with the base.”
The newly-refurbished hangar has now been handed over to RAF Waddington’s Air Battlespace Training Centre, who will run the facility and work with Boeing Defence UK, to co-ordinate the fit-out of the simulator equipment. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
22 Sep 20. USAF 354th Fighter Wing completes Arctic Fox 20-2 exercise. The US Air Force (USAF) 354th Fighter Wing (FW) has wrapped up the Arctic Fox 20-2 readiness exercise at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska, US.
The US Air Force (USAF) 354th Fighter Wing (FW) has wrapped up the Arctic Fox 20-2 readiness exercise at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska, US.
The five-day exercise was aimed at improving the capability of the wing to deploy the related cargo with a 12-ship F-35A Lightning II tasking.
As this process was new to Eielson AFB, 354th FW partnered with other F-35A bases to gain understanding.
This exercise marks a milestone for Eielson AFB in changing the mindset to combat-ready airmen.
The wing will apply lessons learnt from the exercise to ensure that the Eielson F-35A fleet is ready for deployment anytime.
USAF 354th Fighter Wing inspector general exercises and evaluation chief USAF master sergeant Chad Fleck said: “Arctic Fox is a readiness exercise to evaluate Eielson’s cargo deployment function (CDF) for an F-35A Lightning II operational deployment.
“The exercise was developed to identify constraints in cargo buildup and what processes need to be added or changed in order to meet mission requirements associated with an F-35A tasking.”
Fleck stated that the exercise was based on the 354th Operations Group (OG), 354th Maintenance Group (MXG) and the 354th Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS).
The cargo was built by the 354th OG and MXG to adhere to the specific F-35A deployment needs.
Meanwhile, 354th LRS provided support to the groups by providing airflow and cargo timelines along with cargo inspection before it was loaded onto the aircraft.
Fleck added: “The wing has done table-top exercises discussing all aspects of deploying F-35s.
“This exercise put those discussions into action and evaluated each step of the CDF process. This iteration was a first of its kind at Eielson, with many individuals getting their first look at tackling this unique F-35 problem set.”
In May, USAF 354th Fighter Wing activated the 354th Range Squadron (RANS), which will manage 77,000 square miles of airspace. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
22 Sep 20. Russia launches Kavkaz-2020 military exercise. Russia has launched the Kavkaz-2020 (Caucasus 2020) military exercise, which will be held at the training grounds of the Southern Military District. Russia has launched the Kavkaz-2020 (Caucasus 2020) military exercise, which will be held at the training grounds of the Southern Military District.
According to Russian news agency TASS, the exercise will primarily focus on combatting cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.
It will also feature 250 tanks, up to 450 mechanised infantry fighting vehicles and around 200 artillery systems on the firing grounds.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement: “The Kavkaz-2020 drills will particularly focus on combating cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as on fire and electronic warfare activities against entire enemy formations, on training airborne troops’ vertical envelopment capability and ways to rapidly shift between military activities.”
The Kavkaz-2020 exercise will also involve deep-penetration raids and the use of weaponry at different times of the day.
Additionally, the drill will include naval exercises conducted in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea.
Around 80,000 people will be associated with this week-long military drill, including up to 1,000 foreign military personnel from Armenia, Belarus, China, Myanmar and Pakistan.
Officials from Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Iran, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Sri Lanka will participate as observers.
The exercise will run until 26 September under Russia’s Chief of the General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov.
Last month, Russia conducted the Army-2020 forum where more than 1,500 companies and enterprises participated in demonstrating around 28,000 exhibits.
Local defence contractor Sozvezdiye unveiled the R-176-1AE radio station at the forum.
Russia also signed agreements to supply armaments to Sudan and Laos at the event. (Source: army-technology.com)
03 Sep 20. Collective simulations for improved air training. A new EDA research project, for which the Agency Steering Board has just given its go-ahead, will help participating Member States’ Armed Forces to step up their collaborative air training & exercise capabilities thanks to improved modelling and simulation.
The overarching aim of the project called MAJES (Modelling and simulation as a service applications for Air and Joint Exercises & Simulation) is to develop an interconnected and interacting system/network that will allow the military of participating Member States to perform training simulations for coalition operations in a distributed manner from different locations. This will allow much more realistic conditions than in the past when simulations were traditionally configurated and done locally, in isolation, which meant they were mostly unable to take into account external factors and changes and requested participating Member States to meet physically in specific training centres.
MAJES will thus help Member States in the preparation, execution and after-service of collective (but not physically joint) military trainings and exercises for air and joint operations using LVC (Live-Virtual-Constructive) technologies which suppose a mix of physical and simulated assets, including virtual adversaries. This will support as well the management and control of so-called ‘Battlelabs’ (digital distributed defence laboratories) for the concept, development and testing of System of Systems (such as the next 5th generation aircraft systems – FCAS) supporting experiment plan and data farming automation. The project also aims to improve the data collection from exercises for Artificial Intelligence learning in this distributed simulated environment which allows cooperation without joint physical presence.
The project will run over 36 months, starting from the signing of the project contract expected to take place early next year. Three countries are participating so far: France, the Netherlands and Norway (which is not an EDA Member State but has concluded an Administrative Agreement with the Agency). Industry from the participating countries is also involved. (Source: EDA)
23 Sep 20. Kongsberg Digital develops cloud-based simulators for maritime industry, with funds from Innovation Norway. Kongsberg Digital develops cloud-based simulation technology to support advanced operational studies, research and education in the maritime industry. The use of increasingly advanced equipment and an elevated focus on safety and sustainability has raised the bar for innovative new solutions to collect, simulate and share data to assist in optimization of vessel operations.
With its digital expertise, Kongsberg Digital is central to this industrial shift. Its advanced simulation technology has huge potential and is already in use by several international projects focused on developing digital twins and autonomous vessels. In addition, the company continues to develop its simulation technology in support of new competence requirements. It is this focus on improving the quality of maritime education and training which has led to a recent funding award from Innovation Norway of NOK 24 million, to be dedicated to developing cloud-based simulation solutions for teaching and practicing navigation.
“Digitalization and the use of big data will play an increasingly major part in improving safety, efficiency and, not least, in contributing to more sustainable maritime operations. Kongsberg Digital is intensifying its commitment to these goals, and is now establishing a new business domain – Digital Ocean – to deliver value-generating digital solutions in close cooperation with our industry partners,” comments Hege Skryseth, President, Kongsberg Digital. “This project to develop cloud-based training technology is one of many initiatives in which we will participate going forward. By combining our unique domain expertise in digital solutions with our broad experience in developing advanced simulation technology, Kongsberg Digital is in a strong position to raise the bar for quality training in the maritime industry.”
Haakon Haugli, CEO, Innovation Norway, added: “The solution developed by Kongsberg Digital has huge market potential and great scope for innovation. Norway is well placed to lead the way in digitalization, and the value and possibilities granted by this are clearly relevant considering the Covid-19 pandemic. Kongsberg Digital has previously succeeded with development and commercialization of cloud-based solutions, and there is good reason to believe that they will also achieve success with this project.”
By combining KONGSBERG’s world-leading simulation technology with Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-based infrastructure, Kongsberg Digital will develop a cloud-based simulation solution for navigation-related training according to the IMO’s International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). The resulting simulator will – unlike traditional simulators which are demanding in terms of space and hardware – be a highly cost-effective teaching tool, which can be made available to more students, at any time and in any place.
As an example, countries who do not normally have the resources to invest in expensive simulators will now be able to grant students the ability to carry out online learning (e-learning) according to STCW requirements, and to acquire key basic skills such as the use of RADAR, navigation and maneuvering. The cloud simulator will also assist in crisis management and other more advanced training, and will accommodate requirements for post-qualification education of navigators and help simplify the certificate renewal process.
The research community at the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) is also taking part in this innovative project, and will contribute to developing the professional curriculum and in necessary research activities to optimize the instructional technology and educational aspects of the cloud-based training solution.
20 Sep 20. RAF Hercules leads first Ukrainian parachute jump. RAF Hercules transport aircraft enabled a historic first jump into southern Ukraine by over 200 British paratroopers this week. Flying directly from their base at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire UK and carry out air-to-air refuelling on route, the C-130 aircraft dropped 250 soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade into the Ternivsky training area from a height of 600 feet as an opener for Exercise Joint Endeavour.
“The flexibility and agility of the RAF transport fleet was on show again this week with the C-130J Hercules clearly demonstrating the reach and versatility for which it is well known. While there have been plaudits for our recent humanitarian support efforts across the Globe, this week’s parachute insertion is a timely reminder of the unique role in we play in support of UK force projection.”
Air Vice-Marshal Al Gillespie
Air Officer Commanding Number 2 Group
Exercise Joint Endeavour, beginning on 22 September, will be the first multinational exercise in Ukraine since the country achieved NATO Enhanced Opportunity Partner status in June. The exercise will develop the relationship between the UK and Ukrainian armed forces, in turn providing both nations with vital experience of deploying rapidly from air to land to counter threats.
A total of 8,000 personnel including a small number from the USA and Canada will help Ukraine gain further experience of working closely with NATO militaries, sharing best practice and matching capabilities.
The UK and Ukraine have built a strong defence relationship in recent years, with British troops having trained over 18,000 members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the five years since the start of Operation Orbital, the UK’s training mission in the country. Established in 2015 following the annexation of Crimea by Russia a year earlier, Operation Orbital is a demonstration of the UK’s unwavering commitment to Ukrainian independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty. (Source: Warfare.Today/RAF)
19 Sep 20. Hundreds of UK troops parachute into Ukraine for joint exercises. Over 200 British paratroopers made history this week when they jumped into southern Ukraine for the first time.
Flying straight from the UK, 250 soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade dropped into the Ternivsky training area, where they teamed up with thousands of Ukrainian troops ahead of Exercise Joint Endeavour.
Building on the strong relationship developed between the two nations’ armed forces in recent years, the exercise provides both nations with vital experience of deploying rapidly from air to land to counter threats.
Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said: “Deploying directly to Ukraine from the UK, the Paras were straight into the action on Exercise Joint Endeavour. Our participation is an important affirmation of our commitment to our defence relationship with Ukraine, our partners in the Black Sea, and our ability to project highly capable troops forward anywhere, and any time, they’re needed.”
As the UK’s global response force, the paras of 16 Air Assault Brigade are able to deploy worldwide at short notice.
Alongside 200 troops from the Ukraine Airborne Forces, the Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade parachuted into the Eastern European country from 600ft from C-130 Hercules transport aircraft which had flown directly from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.
In doing so, the paratroopers demonstrated the ability of the UK to move at pace to support our partners around the world.
The 250-strong UK force also made up of personnel from the Royal Engineers, Royal Horse Artillery, Royal Signals, The Parachute Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps and The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, is now fully assembled on the ground in Ukraine for Exercise Joint Endeavour, which kicks off on 22 September.
Captain Harjot Singh Gill, 16 Air Assault Brigade: “We all bring something to this exercise. The Ukrainians bring their resolve and courage and we bring our constantly changing tactics and processes. Our shared values and the airborne nature of our units brings us closer together. This a welcomed opportunity and the hot weather just makes us realise that we are able to cope easily in all environments.”
Exercise Joint Endeavour, which will total up to 8,000 personnel and also feature a small number of troops from the USA and Canada, is the first multinational exercise in Ukraine since the country achieved NATO Enhanced Opportunity Partner status in June. As an enhanced opportunity partner, Ukraine will gain further experience working closely with NATO militaries, sharing best practice and matching capabilities.
The UK and Ukraine have built a strong defence relationship in recent years, with British troops having trained over 18,000 members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the five years since the start of the UK’s training mission in the country, Operation Orbital. Established in 2015 following the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia a year earlier, Operation Orbital is a demonstration of the UK’s unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace last month stepped up the UK’s support to Ukraine even further, announcing that the UK would lead a multi-national Maritime Training Initiative for the Ukrainian Navy. Courses will be delivered by the Royal Navy and naval personnel from Sweden, Canada and Denmark in a range of areas. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
19 Sep 20. Ex-soldiers Bring Front-line Training to the Boardroom. Inspired by the lack of leadership displayed around the world over the last 6 months, a group of ex-soldiers have decided to take their learnings from war to a different type of battlefield – The City. Alongside the Producers of award-winning film Kajaki – The True Story (also known in the US as Kilo Two Bravo), the one-day course for corporate and government audiences uses different situations from the film to create a dynamic, immersive, and inspiring training session that has received much acclaim during its beta-testing. Command and Leadership Under Extreme Stress (CLUES) is in your face training”, says Paul Katis, the Director of Kajaki. “Once the programme starts, you find yourself very quickly stuck with the patrol in the middle of an unmarked minefield, with no easy way out. You share their fear of who will be next, the sense of paralysis, the risk of losing the initiative and being trapped by indecision”.
Since their soft launch last month, the response has been remarkable, with law firms, tech firms and big pharma companies all signing up their management for the course. “There is very clearly a need for better training in decision-making during times of stress. From the government, to corporate leader, and even down to every individual, these unprecedented times require rapid, multi-dimension thinking,” explained Lieutenant General Jon Riley, the senior military adviser to the CLUES project and a decorated senior officer who served as NATO force commander in Gorazde, East Bosnia, and as the Deputy Commander International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan during his time in the British Army. ‘Death-by-PowerPoint is replaced by the real threat of being in a minefield”
No coffee breaks needed
Regular training programs are famous for death-by-PowerPoint. Not during a CLUES program. which creates an immersive experience that keeps up a fast pace from the very beginning. Owned and run by professional trainers who are also ex-forces, delegates are encouraged to consider situational awareness, preparedness, risk assessment, judgement, evaluation, the acceptance of responsibility and decision making. All of this is set up under conditions of limited time and information, a changing situation and sensory overload, in order to help them understand how stress and motivation can distort and impair rational decision making.
Based on a true story
In 2006, a three-man patrol of British soldiers near the Kajaki Dam in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, set off to observe a Taliban roadblock. In a dried-up riverbed at the foot of the ridge, one of the soldiers steps on a landmine that blows off his leg precipitating a desperate rescue operation. The situation goes from bad to worse which heightens the pressure on the leaders to find a seemingly impossible solution without endangering more lives.
This true event has not only been turned into a multi-million pound, award-winning feature film produced by Pukka Films Ltd in 2014, it is also used as an immersive case study for decision making under intense pressure during a CLUES workshop.
Through real life examples taken from the film, the CLUES training package examines the factors likely to contribute to poor operational preparedness, leading to miss appreciation of risk and cognitive impairment when a catastrophe inevitably occurs. The raw and graphic scenario, which is likely to fall outside the comfort zone of the delegates, presents them with a golden opportunity to identify the factors leading to a disaster and then, in the face of a worsening situation visualise workable solutions against the clock.
The training package also examines concepts of moral and physical courage and the need to do what is right, rather than what is easy. “These factors are very much part of the moral and conceptual components of fighting power, of why and how we fight and it’s no different in the civilian world”, explained General Riley. Now an author and defence and security consultant, General Riley has been closely involved in developing the training package and adapting it for the Corporate world as the key learning points are integral to command and leadership when all around is confusing and fast changing.
For more information visit www.cluestraining.biz or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meggitt introduces the next generation of immersive training — the FATS® 180MIL.
Delivering 180° high definition projection and 5.1 surround sound, the FATS 180MIL increases training realism, heightening awareness and proper use of force responses. Three borderless screens fit into almost any space with at least a 10’ tall ceiling, providing a 150” X 84” (16:9 aspect ratio) borderless projection surface. It also includes:
- Military Validation – The same high-fidelity ballistic engine validated by the US Army, USMC and other military customers.
o Provides accurate ballistic characteristics in flight.
o Supports and enforces the proper fundamentals of marksmanship.
- Immersive Training – Supports both 3D Marksmanship and Judgmental training.
- Courseware – Delivered with full array of training courseware.
- Hit Detection System – Three digital cameras interface directly with Off-CPU real-time (OCR) processor used by FATS® 100 system for easy upgrade path.
- Projectors – Ultra short throw projectors provide freedom of movement, displaying stunning visuals in 180°environment.
- Low-Light Subsystem (optional) – Practice in simulated low-light conditions with hand-held and weapon-mounted flashlights.
- Rack – Uses same transportable rack as the FATS 100 system.
- Realistic Sounds – Self-powered audio system plays scenarios in 5.1 surround sound. Using directional sound effects board, the instructor can incorporate unsettling sounds from any direction, including barking dog, crying baby, gunshots and more to elevate situational awareness.
- Supports up to 60 simulated weapons, including FATS weapons and ammunition types. Up to 4 simulated weapons can be assigned to a single user.
With the FATS 180MIL, users feel they’re in the action, facing decision-making pressures while maintaining situational awareness.