Extending a Battle-Training Instrumentation System to Support Emergency Response Training


Mirko Thorstensson,Magnus Morin,Johan Jenvald


The paramount importance of efficient training methods is becoming increasingly clear in most armed forces as the technical sophistication of weapons and communications systems grows while the resources available for training are being reduced due to budget cuts and environmental restrictions. As a result, force-on-force battle training on instrumented ranges has become an established means of improving the effect of training, especially at the company and battalion level of mechanised units. The purpose of the instrumentation system is twofold: it simulates the effects of the main weapon systems to improve realism and it monitors and registers the activities on the training ground to support subsequent analysis and feedback. However, as armed forces are facing new tasks, such as peace-keeping, peace-enforcement and humanitarian assistance, the raining requirements change as well. It is therefore important to investigate to which extent existing instrumentation systems for battle training can support other types of full team training involving both military and civilian forces. In this paper, we report on a successful attempt to use an existing battle training instrumentation system (the MIND system, used by the Swedish Army since 1993) to support an emergency response exercise. In this exercise a rescue force consisting of firefighters, medical personnel, and police responded to a simulated chemical warfare attack on a railway junction in southern Sweden. 90 minutes after the end of the five-hour exercise all 230 participants attended the after-action review. We use this case to compare the technical and methodological requirements on the instrumentation system in support of battle training and emergency response training, respectively. Based on this analysis, and the practical implications of our field trials, we conclude that even if the available data sources vary and the simulation requirements are very different in the two domains, it is nevertheless possible to support both types of training in a single framework. Furthermore, we discuss the support of integrated training of relief forces made up of both military and civilian units.