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MASA Sword in Belgium : The Defense sector pushes its virtual boundaries

The simulation center at Bourg-Léopold was testing the brand new CST (Command and Staff Trainer) software during the last week of May. This tool allows companies and battalions to train in a virtual environment. The Liberation/Line Battalion (Bvr / 5Li) subjected the system to a first practical examination.


« The main reason we bought the CST software was to make up for a shortage of functional training. We therefore tried to provide more opportunities for company and battalion command posts to practice their management of a combined arms maneuver, « said Major Kurt Vanderheyden, commander of the simulation center.

When our troops want virtual training with their companies or battalions, they still have to go abroad. Countries such as the Netherlands, France, and Switzerland provide the necessary infrastructure. The acquisition of CST will allow Defense staff to train on home soil.

CST also reduces the burden on units, in terms of personnel and equipment. « If we had to conduct such exercises in the field, we would be talking about deploying several hundred people. As of now, a team of twenty will suffice, « says Major Vanderheyden. Major Bert Smeets of the « Inter-Arm Tactical Detachment » cell added: « On Monday, we were preparing the order, and by Tuesday the exercise was in the starting blocks. Thanks to CST, we make significant savings in preparation and execution time. »

By the end of the week, the results spoke volumes. The software was stable and encountered no major issues. The Bvr / 5Li staff also sees a bright future.

Following lessons learned from these evaluations, CST will be ready-for-service next September, for training with companies. In early 2019, training with battalions will begin.


Read the full article in french here