MASA Group has concluded its second SWORD User Group Meeting that this year was held at the French Army Military School in Saumur (Les écoles militaires de Saumur). The event ran in conjunction with the SIMOPS conference and exhibition, the French Army led forum on operational simulation.
SWORD is MASA’s wargame with automated forces that is used to train command staff from Division down to, on occasion, Company level. SWORD is a highly flexible and scalable training tool that is customizable to reflect national doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures. SWORD is now in-service with 17 countries around the world as well as a number of defence integrators.
The SWORD User Group Meeting drew over 50 attendees that included current users and potential customers. The aim of the event was to discuss how SWORD is being used and to provide a forum where users and potential users could discuss case studies and national applications. User presentations were followed by demonstrations of SWORD by the French Army’s Tactical Training Centre staff that are based in Saumur. These demonstrations included a high-intensity warfighting exercise and an emergency services scenario based on a series of terrorist attacks in the center of Paris.
User presentations were given by Colonel (R) Gamaliel M. Ortiz Herrera from the Peruvian Army; Tecnico Primero Luis Estepa Florez from the Colombian Armed Forces; Major Thierry Cadot and Lieutenant Colonel F. Martinez from the French Army; Colonel Minhaz from the Bangladesh Army and Lieutenant Colonel Yordan Trendafilov of the Bulgarian Army who is currently serving with NATO’s Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence.
Lt Col Martinez from the Tactical Training Centre, Saumur briefs members of the MASA SWORD User Group
The speakers represented the first export customer for SWORD in the form of Peru (a customer since 2010), and the latest customer, NATO (who acquired SWORD in late 2015). Together, the wide spectrum of speakers highlighted the breadth of training uses that SWORD is now being applied to. As well as the obvious military applications, SWORD is regularly used to train emergency response teams that are employed to combat natural disasters; para-military teams challenging internal security and criminal threats; and increasingly, used as a tool to validate tactics and to provide decision support reinforcement.
One of the key themes that was highlighted by all of the speakers was the ease of working with MASA during the procurement and post-sales phases. One speaker told the audience that, « although we have a written agreement with MASA our relationship goes well beyond that. They are always there for us ».
Summing up the User Group Meeting, Juan Pablo Torres, MASA Group’s CEO said that, « it has been a real pleasure to meet some old friends today and hear how SWORD is being used across the globe by our growing customer base. We are very proud as a company how our customers continue to innovate and find new applications for the product. We continue to address and support these new requirements to ensure that SWORD maintains its position as the world’s leading automated wargaming system« .