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

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE - Ma­jor General Vi­jay Singh

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 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.

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