3 December 2015, Orlando, Florida: Commandant Thierry Cadot has given exclusive insight into the use of simulation tools for training and analysis by the French Armed Forces at the international military training event, I/ITSEC in Orlando. Following twelve years of successful collaboration, the French Armed Forces have recently acquired a global license to expand its use of MASA’s flagship simulation software, SWORD.
At a joint briefing with the Paris-based training and simulation experts of MASA Group, Comm. Cadot described how SWORD is deployed at the Command Post Training Center with the objective of training division, brigade and battalion levels and is always used to train two levels at the same time. « In the French Armed Forces it is important to use simulation with a C2 (command and control) system… SWORD is at the core of this architecture« .
Comm. Cadot, who oversees the Simulation program for Combined Forces and Ground Logistics Units’ Operations (SOULT), explained how an automated wargame, such as SWORD, can provide a huge variety of training scenarios including high intensity conflicts (coercion), stabilization missions, operations with asymmetrical actors, as well as maneuvers in urban zones and in the open. The introduction of SWORD will also enable military training centers to reduce the number of operators required, freeing up staff for other vital tasks.
Despite its prevalent use among the world’s militaries, SWORD is not limited to training for high intensity conflicts but, as Comm. Cadot highlighted, the software’s flexibility has « a foreseeable extension… with the joint forces CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological & nuclear) center, the logistics training center and increases the possibility for training in other specialty areas« . One of the key benefits of working with MASA, he said, was the maintenance and human training for operators, « it is important that our Forces have access to new technologies and from MASA we receive close support as well as regular upgrades to the system« .
During his presentation, Comm. Cadot explained how his team « has always worked closely with MASA to adapt the database [to specific requirements]« , including for use by Reserve Forces, who can be trained to operate the system in just under three days. The high level of realism of SWORD was also commended, with particular reference to its « inclusion of different logistical challenges and environmental issues, such as changing winds » to authentically prepare officers for the reality of military operations.
Earlier in the week, the Commandant joined his military peers at an inaugural meeting of the SWORD User Group. Among others, representatives from the Brazilian, Colombian and French Armed Forces joined MASA to share their experiences of using SWORD and discuss additional roles the software can play.
MASA Group CEO, Juan-Pablo Torres, thanked Comm. Cadot for his participation, « we are very grateful for the support and cooperation shown by the Commandant and the French Armed Forces, as well as the great many of our other users that have joined us this week, making MASA’s participation at I/ITSEC such a success. The feedback and ideas that have been shared between our customers has proved highly informative and will be taken into consideration as we continue to evolve SWORD’s capabilities and applications for military operators« .