Infusing Technology to Enhance Training Processes for Modern Warfare
Advancements in fields of simulation technology, neuro sciences and sports medicine provide for the desired tools to make training effective and need to be extensively utilised
Advancements in fields of simulation technology, neuro sciences and sports medicine provide for the desired tools to make training effective and need to be extensively utilised.
MODERN WARFARE HAS TRANSCENDED extraordinary boundaries as a consequence of fast paced technological advancements in recent times. Highlighting the changed environment is a statement made by the Commander of the US Cyber Command who has predicted that “the next war will begin in cyber space”. The rapid expansion of war zone into the Space and Cyber domains and likewise the developments in battlefield transparency, enhanced weapon ranges coupled with high accuracy and lethality, information technology (IT) based system, Information Warfare (IW) tools have placed immense challenges on the military planners and executioners of war. The Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) demands an extensive and methodical approach to preparation modalities for such eventualities. The canvas of preparing for a modern war is vast and encompasses a range of activities; however this article purely focuses on the all important arena of training processes that would enhance the operational effectiveness of man and machine. In addition to the basics, the training today needs to cover high-tech weapon systems, specialist equipment and system related to surveillance, electronic warfare, information and cyber warfare. The importance of integrated and collective warfighting capability employing all available tools of modern-day war is also more pronounced than ever before. Likewise the physical and psychological preparation of all ranks as also training of leaders at all levels to cope with, understand and gainfully apply modern technology has also become an indispensable component of training. As of now, we have not fully exploited the available modern scientific tools and technology to train and there is immense scope for utilising these in a pragmatic and methodical manner. In the backdrop of contradictory constraints and requirement, in the form of shrinking training space, budgetary limitations versus need for realistic integrated training in modern weapons systems and equipment in all the domains of warfare, it becomes all the more relevant to gainfully employ tools made available by modern-day technology. The increasingly relevant psychological and physical preparation of the human resource that further compounds training requirements also needs to be addressed using appropriate scientific tools. Advancements in fields of simulation technology, neuro sciences and sports medicine provide for the desired tools to make training effective and need to be extensively utilised.
This article endeavours to identify the areas where this technology and other sci-
entific tools could be applied to train the men in uniform for optimal and effective application of military resources in a modern-day war.
Simulation Based Military Training
Modern day technology provides the capability to simulate the entire range and the depth of weapon systems and equipment in all the domains of warfare, including cyber and space. Simulation technology can effectively be employed for individual and collective training at all levels of warfare: tactical to strategic. Simulation, in military training, could be categorised into three types, namely live, constructive and virtual. In live simulation, trainees use actual weapons or equipment in real time and space but the effect of these weapons or equipment is simulation using a combination of technologies. The Infantry Weapons Effectiveness Simulation System (IWESS) would be an apt example in this category wherein the trainees, divided into opposing sides, engage each other using contraption fitted on actual rifles and the ‘hits’ are depicted by a sensor based alarm fitted in the specially designed jackets worn by all the participants. ‘Paint Ball’ technology for depicting hits in a similar collective training event would also fall in this category. Constructive simulation entails use or computer generated models to represent dynamics of combat wherein effects of human influence are represented through logical statements termed as combat rules. The system represents dynamic behaviour events occurring in battle and this provides participants an opportunity to train in effective employments of resources in various scenarios and levels of engagements from weapon on weapon level to formation and theatre level warfare. In virtual simulation the participants experience the use of actual weapon or equipment in a lifelike situation despite being in a computer generated virtual environment. A three-dimensional environment can be created through use of head mounted displays and feel of weapons or equipment through data input devises like the hand-operated sensors and gloves. The option of combining constructive, virtual and live simulations in various permutations and combinations via a networked system could also be exploited for optimising training that incorporates most or all of the domains of modern warfare. A combination of simulators for weapons, war gaming software and physical move of troops plus logistics could be combined for collective training purposes at formation level. In essence, combine live training with simulation technologies for best result. A mock up of large size modern village, as obtaining on our western borders, with live size strictures for training of troops using virtual simulators to practise use of weapon systems ranging from small arms to artillery to tanks and constructive simulation for training of commanders could be one example of such a combination creation of integrated training nodes using live, constructive and virtual simulation systems for specific theatre of operations would facilitated effective terrain and operation specific training at all levels.
To a very large extent simulators are being used effectively at various military training establishments, however these need to be regularly upgraded with high end technology and should be available in adequate numbers. It would be ideal if specialised simulators, custom built by the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are part of the procurement deals, for example, Tata Motors could be asked to provide high-tech simulators suited to train drivers both in peace and warlike conditions in all types of vehicles being supplied by them to the Army. Similarly these arrangements could be extended to artillery guns, tanks communication systems, etc.
Secure networking of all premier training establishments to share knowledge base and impart distant online education, including in specialised areas of modernday warfare, as part of an integrated approach is an arena that needs to be exploited. Developing models that facilitate joint training through a networked system incorporating all relevant training establishments would enhance training value. For example, Army War College could be networked with CDM, MCTE, AD College, School of Arty, CMM Jabalpur and others as also the appropriate IAF and naval establishments during the war gaming exercises conducted for the higher command course to enhance learning value in addition to promoting jointness. Similarly in formation level training, online integration of appropriate groupings of all logistics agencies, IW, cyber, air force and naval organisations could be examined.
Modern Tools for Psychological Preparation and Leadership Development
The modern-day warfare would be immensely staining on the mental well being of all its participants. The stresses and strains leading to mental fatigue transcending into some drastic actions having an adverse impact on outcome of battle or may be war is a possible reality in the future. Operators of lethal weapon systems or devices and commanders in field need to be mentally balanced at all times and it necessities mental robustness which needs to be developed through expert guidance and training where modern tools in the psychological domain need to be used for best results. The psychological preparation of a soldier, especially in the changed social environment from where the human resource is drawn, is equally essential as part of training and needs to be incorporated with an enhanced scope. In fact troops deployed in operational areas as of today also require psychological preparation as a norm. The advances made in neuroscience have now expanded it into an interdisciplinary science that collaborates with other fields including the allied discipline of psychology. It also exerts influence on other fields such as neuroeducation#. Today terminologies such as ‘Behavioural Neuroscience’ and ‘Neuropsychology’ have come into vogue and we need to exploit these developments for psychological preparation of men in uniform. Based on these developments in these fields there are online personality evaluation tests that have been evolved, for example, a test on website called www.scarf360.com. Such personality evaluation would facilitate understanding self and others and thereby enhance effectiveness of leaders and soldiers. A team of experts needs to study the modern tools in this area of science and suggest modalities of its incorporation into training at all levels. College of Defence Management, Secunderabad, that has the expertise in man management related subjects and presently not being exploited to its full potential is an ideal establishment for further developing capabilities in this field.
Training of leaders to face the modern-day war challenges also demands methodical and continuous preparation at the mental plane which entails acquiring professional military knowledge and psychological preparation to understand and lead troops. The developing field of neuroleadership which refers to the application of findings from neuroscience to the field of leadership. Neuroleadership, the term coined by David Rock, claims to bring neuro scientific knowledge into areas of leadership development, management training, change management education and coaching. Such modern tools if employed, after suitable modifications, can also be used for enhancing quality of leadership.
Medical Science Tools: Sports Medicine for Physical Training
The developments in medical sciences today provide a scientific approach in the domain of physical fitness and prevention of injuries. Sports medicine also known as Sports and Exercise Medicine (SEM) has emerged as a distinct field of health care. SEM physicians specialise in treatment of athletes and other physically active individuals and have extensive education in musculoskeletal medicine apart from knowledge in other related medical domains. SEM physicians also advise on managing and preventing injuries. Given the nature of profession, physical fitness is a key focus area of military training and SEM can play a pivotal in facilitating, enhancing and retaining the desired physical standards in defence services personnel for all age profiles. There is adequate scope to promote and adopt the expertise in SEM to not only train athletes but also for routine physical training in the all military establishments conducting pre commission and recruit training and other physical training related establishments. SEM expertise would assist in prevention of injuries as also early recuperation from physical stress and strains which would translate into timely availability of the trainee for the following activities. Application of SEM can also be well used by units and formations to retain and enhance physical proficiencies of soldiers. In fact in operational areas, it would be an effective tool to facilitate recovery from moderate musculoskeletal fatigue or injuries, for example, after long-range patrolling, counter-terrorist operations, etc, and making same troops available for tasks ahead in a faster time frame. Overall, it may be appropriate to state that use of SEM shall effectively facilitate training and thereby enhance operational effectiveness. A well analysed and suitably modified version of SEM needs to be adopted by the armed forces under aegis of the Medical Services to exploit its full potential in consultation with the military trainers.
Science and technology are the governing concepts of our age, they have enabled weapons capable of destroying mankind. Modern-day warfare is complex and demands extensive training for optimal gains and enhanced effectiveness. In light of budgetary limitations, shrinking training areas and the need to preserve modern high technology and expensive weapon system and equipment for actual operation it is essential to employ modern training aids that today’s science and technology provide. Creative and innovative use of simulation systems, developments in neurosciences and SEM need to be essential components for training in all domains and levels of warfare. The subject encompasses a vast and varied training requirement within each domain of warfare in addition to the integrated and joint training aspects necessitating a comprehensive long-term perspective plan at the highest levels. This shall also have to be an iterative process as the fast paced advancements in science and technology would continue to change the nature or warfighting and there by the training for it.