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Command & Staff Training

Enable Commanders and their staff to practice planning and execution skills, test tactics, and validate plans.

Use simulation to stimulate the training mode of real C2 systems.

Command & Staff Training  

MÄK CST: The Low Overhead Approach to Command and Staff Training

Whether you’re conducting an exercise, providing academic instruction, or managing a local crisis, simulation plays an important role in command and staff training. Simulation models the situation to provide learning opportunities for the trainees and to simulate the command and control (C2), or Mission Command systems, they use. Simulation helps trainees and instructors plan the battle or crisis, conduct the exercise, and review the outcome.

CST Solutions

MAK’s training systems have been developed in close cooperation with the US Army, Marines, and Air Force and deployed to governments across the globe.

Air Support Operations Center (ASOC) Total Mission Training - USAF/ UKRAF

Air Support Operations Center (ASOC) Total Mission Training

What's At Stake?

The ASOC (Air Support Operations Center) Battlefield Simulation fills a crucial gap in USAF and United Kingdom Close Air Support (CAS) and airspace manager training. The system provides six squadrons with the capability to conduct total-mission training events whenever the personnel and time are available.

How MÄK Helped

When the 111th ASOS returned from their first deployment to Afghanistan they realized the training available prior to deployment was inadequate. They sought an organic training capability focused on the ASOC mission that was low cost, simple to use, adaptable, and available now. With the assistance of VT MÄK, they developed a complete training system based on VT MÄK’s QuickStrike HLA-based simulation. Through more than two years of spiral development, incorporating lessons learned, the system has matured, and can now realistically replicate the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) in Kabul, Afghanistan, the TOC supporting the mission in Iraq, or can expand to support a major conflict scenario. The training system provides a collaborative workspace for the training audience and exercise control group via integrated software and workstations that can easily adapt to new mission requirements and TOC configurations. The system continues to mature. Based on inputs from the warfighter, new capabilities have been incorporated to add realism and simplify the scenario development process. The QuickStrike simulation can now import TBMCS Air Tasking Order air mission data and can provide air and ground tracks to a common operating picture; presented through either TACP CASS or JADOCS.

 

Tactical Operations Training – USMC MCTOG

Tactical Operations Training – USMC MCTOG

What's At Stake?

The U.S. Marine Corps Tactical Operations Group (MCTOG) uses advanced human simulation (ECO Sim) to model blue forces, oppositional forces, and civilian pattern-of-life to train captains two weeks prior to deployment in Afghanistan. ECO Sim trains IED defeat missions simulating sophisticated human networks of financiers, bomb makers, safe houses, leaders, and emplacers. These IED networks operate within a larger backdrop of ambient civilian behavior: farmers in fields, children attending school, families going to marketplaces and religious services. The Marine captain commands searches, patrols, and detentions, all while monitoring the battlefield using ISR data provided by UAS and stationary cameras. In addition, ECO Sim has a sophisticated report capability, mimicking the way Marines will actually convey and receive information in the battlefield.

 

MÄK CST simulates a full spectrum of operations at all levels – from squad leader through brigade commander. Whether you’re training for regular or irregular warfare, border and force protection, or civil emergency response, MÄK CST provides realistic scenarios to challenge the trainees so they can hone their decision-making and communication skills. Keep reading below for more details or download our MÄK CST Whitepaper.

The Right Tool for the Job

Commanders and staff officers in the field use MÄK CST to practice and teach decision-making skills and processes. It works in live, constructive, or virtual simulation environments and scales from a single computer to distributed networked simulation systems with sites across the world. MÄK CST can function in a stand-alone mode for training against computer generated enemies, while multi-player mode supports collaborative battlefield environments with multiple commanders and staff officers. It also allows multiple students in a classroom to practice individually under instructor guidance or on their own time.

The Cost-Effective Solution

MÄK CST accurately replicates the operational decision-making environment to create a realistic, yet easy to use “experiential learning” environment in the most cost effective way. MÄK CST allows you to train for your command and control tactics, techniques, and procedures. It can provide a mock-up of a command center with simulated C2 equipment stimulated with Intel and surveillance from a contextually rich force-on-force simulation environment. It allows you to create scenarios that challenge and inform, that provide mission commanders with decision-making opportunities. It provides an environment where the entire battle staff can learn to visualize the battle-space and make tactical decisions in a time-constrained and information-rich environment.

Learn more by reading through our MÄK CST Whitepaper or get in touch with us!

 

Stimulating C2 Systems

Tools and talent for developing a CST capability or integrating CST into a command & control system

VT MÄK has a long history of working with system integrators to build command and staff training systems. We can help design systems for training commanders and staff at the brigade, battalion, and company levels using aggregate level simulation, entity level simulation, and individual human character simulation. Our technology and support services enable you to deliver effective training solutions for your customers.

CST Stimulation Solutions

Have a look at a few of the CST systems that MÄK has helped stimulate with constructive simulation.

Wargaming System to Stimulate C4I System – Raytheon IDS

Wargaming System to Stimulate C4I System – Raytheon IDS

What’s at stake

Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems selected MÄK to develop the simulation system to drive the wargaming & training component of their Command View C4I system that was subsequently delivered to a Raytheon customer.

The C4I system is used for national defense and simulated Command Post Exercises at the division, brigade and battalion levels, providing opportunities for experimentation, doctrine development, and training.

How MAK Helped

MÄK used VR-Forces' flexible architecture to develop and deliver a MÄK Command and Staff Training System (MÄK CST) to stimulate Raytheon’s C4I system. MAK CST acts as the simulation engine for operational level training exercises — it feeds the C4I system with track data and reports from simulated forces.

Commanders and their staff lay down the Order of Battle and participate in the exercise using the same C4I system they would use in a real-world battle, while members of their organization direct the simulated forces by interacting with MAK CST in the simulation cell.

This two year project resulted in VT MAK delivering a fully compliant system, on time, and within budget. Deliveries included documentation, training, comprehensive test procedures, and on-site integration support. The newly developed software has been integrated into the COTS VR-Forces product for ease of maintenance and upgrade. The system includes the VR-TheWorld Streaming Terrain Server.

Army Command and Staff Trainer – Dutch Army

Dutch Army Command and Staff Trainer

What's At Stake?

In this use case, the trainees are military commanders who interact with the real C4I interface, which is configured to be in a training mode. Role players contribute to the simulation scenarios. And white-cell operators manage the exercise making sure the scenarios stay on track.

How MÄK Helped

Working as a subcontractor to Elbit Systems, VT MÄK delivered a modified version of VR-Forces that was used as the simulation engine for a Command and Staff Trainer for the Dutch Army. VR-Forces is used for scenario authoring, simulation execution, and as a role-player station for white-cell operators and instructors.

VR-Forces-simulated entities, and other objects, are displayed on the C4I system's map. Elbit, the developers of the C4I system, wrote a Gateway application using VR-Link and the VR-Forces Remote Control API that translates between the HLA protocols spoken by VR-Forces, and the C4I protocols used by the operational C4I system.

The Dutch system employs several VR-Forces simulation engines to share the load of simulating several thousand objects.

This project focuses on the tactical level more than the operation level.  For example, it had requirements for 3D views (UAVs camera displays and "pop the hatch" out-the-window views for operators playing the role of company commanders), thus, much of the actual simulation is at the entity level rather than the more constructive true aggregate level.

 

Air Defense Operations – Rheinmetall Canada

Air Defense Operations

What's At Stake?

Rheinmetall Canada delivered an Air Defense Operations Simulation (ADOS) for the Dutch Army to be used for decision-making training of the staff of the air defense units responsible for Command and Control (C2). The Dutch Army is fielding new Ground Based Air Defense Systems (GBADS) from Rheinmetall and integrating these with Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) systems, requiring new training systems for tactical decision-making as opposed to purely operation training. The ADOS system is also being used as an aid in the development of air defense Doctrine, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (DTTP).

How MÄK Helped

The training system comprises a simulation network connected to a copy of the operational C2 system. VR-Forces, MÄK’s simulation solution, provides scenario generation and modeling of ground and air threats and blue force including the mobile GBADS. VR-Vantage is used as the primary interface for the role players which include the Stinger Weapon Platform platoons, the Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) fire units, and opposing forces. All positions are connected via the High Level Architecture (HLA) through the MÄK High Performance RTI. Students, making up the Staff platoon, are at copies of the operational C2 system. The MÄK Data Logger supports After Action Review.

“MÄK’s VR-Forces and VR-Vantage combination of providing out-of-the-box capabilities with a powerful API for easy customization made them the ideal choice as the simulation and visualization component of the ADOS System. The technical capabilities of MÄK’s products coupled with their excellent reputation for unsurpassed customer support made the decision to team with MÄK an easy one,” said Ledin Charles, ADOS Program Manager, Rheinmetall Canada.

Air Defense Battle Management – DSTO Australia

Air Defense Battle Management

What's At Stake?

The Air Defence Ground Environment Simulator (ADGESIM) was developed by the Defence, Science and Technology Organization (DSTO) to evolve Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) training systems and prepare personnel for network-centric operations. ADGESIM, a network-centric aerospace battle management application, is a major component of the RAAF strategy to adopt distributed simulation technology.

How MÄK Helped

ADGESIM is comprised of three applications developed by DSTO and YTEK (DSTO engineering contractor) in C++ and closely integrated with VR-Forces and VR-Link. The ADGESIM Pilot Interface is used to create and fly simulated aircraft entities. All high resolution entity modeling is done in the background by VR-Forces and ADGESIM entities have been proven compatible with both Australian and US Navy distributed simulation environments. The RAAF routinely runs scenarios with eight Pilot Interface workstations simultaneously without taxing the PC-based ADGESIM system.

Jon Blacklock, Head, Air Projects Analysis, Air Operations Research Branch of DSTO, explained that “his research program had identified VR-Forces and VR-Link as the only products with a sufficiently open architecture and useable programming interface to support rapid prototyping and development. Using a mixture of MÄK’s COTS tools and custom-built “thin client” applications, we were able to create ADGESIM in less than six months, for around half the original budget.”

“VR-Forces’ flexibility secured its place in our development,” said Blacklock. “The ease of customization and the API were among the biggest reasons we chose it. At the start it lacked a few features on our wish list, but MÄK’s outstanding tech support helped us fill in the gaps. During the six-month development, MÄK redeveloped their applications and added features in parallel with our development. It is a testament to MÄK’s professional approach that when we got the release version of VR Forces, we needed just two weeks prior to installation in the first Regional Operations center. We plugged in our applications and everything just worked.”

 

Experimentation with Command & Control Systems – Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI)

CST Experimentation - Norwegian Defence Research Establishment

What's At Stake?

The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) has established a demonstrator for experimentation with command and control information system (C2IS) technology. The demonstrator is used for studying middleware, different communication media, legacy information systems and user interface equipment employed in C2ISs.

How MÄK Helped

MÄK’s VR-Forces, computer generated forces simulation toolkit is a component of the demonstrator serving as the general framework for rapid development of synthetic environments. It is used for describing the scenario and representing the behavior of most of the entities in the environment. The demonstrator’s flexible and extendable HLA based synthetic environment supporting VR-Forces participation as a federate in the HLA federation, allowing it to exchange data with entities and systems represented in external simulation models.

Networking Simulation Environments to C2+ Systems

Networking Simulation to C2 Systems

What's At Stake?

Large investments have been made developing simulation systems that model and simulate various aspects of the military environment. Networking these together enables building systems-of-systems that model larger and more complete operational scenarios. Connecting these to operational C2, C3, C4I, and Mission Command systems allows commanders and their staff to have experiential learning opportunities that otherwise could not be achieved outside of actual conflict.  

How MÄK Helped

MÄK’s VR-Link interoperability toolkit is the de facto industry standard for networking simulations. MÄK’s implementation of the HLA run time infrastructure (RTI) has been certified for HLA 1.3 and HLA 1516, and is currently being certified for HLA 1516:2010. The MÄK RTI has been used in many federations, some with over a thousand federates and tens of thousands of simulated entities. MÄK’s universal translator, VR-Exchange, has been sold as a COTS product since 2005 and was first developed for and used on the US Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) Distributed Test Event 2005 (DTE5) linking live, virtual and constructive simulations for the first time. Since then it has been used on many programs and at many sites to link together live (TENA), virtual (HLA), and constructive (DIS) simulations.

MÄK has interfaced Battle Command to operational Command and Control Systems including C2PC, Cursor on Target, and JADOCS for the USMC and USAF. Previously we developed an interface for FBCB2.

The US Air Force selected MÄK interoperability products for use on the Air Force Modeling and Simulation Training Toolkit (AFMSTT) program and we have successfully completed delivery. The MÄK tools include the new MÄK WebLVC Server, VR-Exchange, VR-Link and MÄK Data Logger. Based on the Air Force's Air Warfare Simulation (AWSIM) model, the AFMSTT system enables training of senior commanders and staff for joint air warfare and operations. MÄK's tools are being used to help migrate the AFMSTT system to a service-oriented architecture based on High Level Architecture (HLA) interoperability and web technologies.

Three ways MÄK can help you:

  • Use MÄK’s COTS products and standard support to develop your own CST solution. Our products will reduce cost, time, and risk on your project and provide a solid foundation for the creation of a CST system. Many customers use MÄK’s products out-of-the-box to meet their CST requirements. However, our open toolkits allow you to add your own content, modify the software as required, and continue to maintain and enhance the system going forward.
  • Purchase additional MÄK services such as customized software, training, and on-site integration support. We are experts in system design, simulation networking via HLA and DIS, interfacing to operational C2 systems, developing customized user interfaces, and adding user specific simulation content.
  • Contract MÄK to deliver a complete turnkey solution based on your customer’s specific requirements. Read the battle tested use cases below.

Our training systems can be run stand-alone or connected to operational Command and Control Systems. Our simulation technology natively uses HLA/DIS to interoperate with embedded and remote simulation systems, as well as live training systems.

We embrace modern IT architectures including thin-clients, web delivery, cloud distribution of data, and mobile devices.

 

Power and Flexibility

Our technology provides a strong technical foundation for your project

  • Modeling of mobility, logistics, engagement, combat engineering, sensors, communications, and the environment, including NBC, weather, and terrain
  • Flexible scenario authoring and execution GUIs with 2D tactical map displays, 3D scenes, advanced artificial intelligence, and Master Scenario Event List (MSEL) Editor
  • Built-in AAR support
  • Loads standard GIS data and maps on which to build your scenarios
  • Native HLA compliance and ability to stimulate external C4I systems
  • Editors to create new force structures, script new behaviors, and create complex tasks
  • Fully-documented and supported software development kits (SDK) for user customization and integration

 

The Technology Behind MÄK Command & Staff Trainers

VT MÄK has a complete line of simulation, visualization, and networking technology products that we, and system integrators, use to develop command & staff training systems.

 

 Our simulation technology provides intelligent tactical activity within training scenarios.  

  • VR-Forces is the computer generated forces backbone of successful command & staff trainers. It provides a strong foundation for developing CST applications. Its capabilities include: scalable simulation engine, flexible scenario authoring and execution, aggregate and entity level simulation models, native HLA compliance and ability to stimulate external C4I systems, MSEL (Master Scenario Event List), and reporting capabilities required for C4I integration.

link_small Our networking technology takes the effort out of linking simulation components together.

  • VR-Exchange is a protocol translation tool that makes it possible to connect the simulation environment to command and control systems and data links. With VR-Exchange, simple things are easy and hard things are possible.
  • The MÄK Data Logger records and plays back all the network simulation traffic for after action review and helps with analysis.
  • VR-Link is our application programmer interface (API) that makes connecting to the simulation network easy. You don't need to know much of anything for a given protocol and you can write a federate faster with less code. It works with all forms of HLA and DIS protocols.
  • The MÄK RTI is the runtime infrastructure needed to connect to HLA federations using any of these SISO standard protocols: HLA 1.3, HLA 1516, and HLA Evolved. Our focus is speed, on performance in complex network environments and high customizability to meet your needs.

 Our visualization tools show the trainees and the instructors what is happening throughout the training exercises. 

  • VR-Vantage supplies the 2D maps and 3D scenes used within the VR-Forces user interfaces. It can also generate compelling visuals for debriefings and after action review, as well as large multi-panel displays for command centers.   
  • VR-Vantage IG is used when realistic scenes or accurate sensor views are needed to support training. 

human_small For training environments where intelligent human character simulation makes the difference.

  • DI-Guy Enhanced Company Operations Simulation (ECOSim) teaches leaders how best to deploy troops, UAVs, convoys, and other assets. ECOSim layers artificial intelligence on top of more artificial intelligence to create a stunningly easy-to-setup tactical situation.
  • ECOSim is built from DI-Guy AI, which provides intelligent human characters and DI-Guy Scenario, which defines precise character behaviors. 
  • The DI-Guy SDK provides all the DI-Guy applications with code to animate the human character performances during training.
  • If you need special gestures to meet your training requirements, the DI-Guy Motion Editor can edit the thousands of character appearances that come with all DI-Guy products. You can also create characters from motion capture files.

terrain_small Filling your training environment with a terrain database has historically been an obstacle...

  • Our streaming terrain server connects operational map data sources directly into our simulation tools, giving you the ability to train on the same data used in your command and control systems.
  • You can also use hand-modeled, high-resolution sites as the location for your training scenarios.
  • MÄK can help guide you through the alternatives.

 MÄK is taking advantage of commercial trends and moving our technology to web and mobile devices.

  • Role players can have simplified but powerful browser-based interfaces, and observers can watch the simulation exercise unfold from a remote location.
  • You can experience our persistent online simulation exercises, right here. Yes, they're just demonstrations but with web and mobile, new opportunities are possible for designing the way we train.