14-17 September 2021, Excel London                       

Collective Training for Modern Task Group Operations

South Theatre - Naval


Collective Training for Modern Task Group Operations

13 Sep 2019
South Theatre
Modern maritime strategy is focusing attention away from single unit to task group operations, with the capability that the Queen Elizabeth class carriers and their F35Bs will soon offer to the UK’s Joint Expeditionary Force.  The collective efficiency of ships’ crews and their maritime battlestaffs is becoming increasingly important and their effectiveness to fight is based on in-depth equipment knowledge, robust operational doctrine and the highest quality training. 
Training is the key to success in complex situations with a focus on teamwork, drills and using realistic scenarios. Good quality simulation ensures that specific scenarios can be rehearsed and as many times as required. Benefits include in depth debriefs and the cost savings made from the reduced requirement for live assets.  Navies already train using simulation and are reaping the benefits from basic operator training to team building, from navigation to warfare skills.
However the strategy shift requires the focus to be moved onto collective training to improve the force generation of efficiency of multiple units operating together where cost, sparse availability of live assets and an inability to fully reflect peer adversary capabilities and tactics currently restrict training opportunities and effectiveness. Some of the challenges are:
• Mastering complex under and above water simulated environments.
• Developing advanced computer generated forces that reflect current naval doctrine.
• Getting sensor and weapon model accuracy right. 
• Ensuring real time behaviour.
Modern maritime threats are diverse and widespread, from trafficking, piracy to  terrorism, and naval forces face adversaries which quickly become more aggressive and unpredictable.  This task requires a real-world common picture to enable a timely response to any attack.  In addition to these asymmetric threats, it is obvious that states are behaving more assertively, as international relations flex in a multipolar world with more competition for resources and influence.  The adequate response to a tense, global maritime situation is a network organization, thinking of the Cooperative Engagement Capability to face new high speed threat or, just a real time Task Force

Maritime collective simulated training offers the following benefits:
• Real life equipment with high fidelity models.
• Detailed weapon and sensor environments with realistic propagation and seabed models.
• Brief/debrief with advanced analysis of data.
• Freedom from organizational constraints: units involved, areas of exercise, safety protocol allowing mission critical events to be trained and rehearsed in a safe environment.
• Classified training conducted out of sight of current and potential adversaries.

Collective training, ultimately through a mix of live and synthetic assets, provides quality training outcomes by offering complex training scenarios that can be quickly upscaled for real-life operations. Ultimately, collective training at task group level is about generating and not simply training maritime forces. The ability to train and generate as they fight is the concern of every maritime commander.  Therefore collective training capabilities must be realistic, relevant, coherent with Allied and Joint forces and able to generate forces at all collective levels from team to battlestaff to Allied and Joint.  However simulation will not generate capability on its own and it has to be blended with live training in line with each maritime commander’s requirement for warfighting at scale.  The future is collective!
Laurent De Jerphanion, Naval Product Line Manager - Thales

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