Military Exercise Management, Military Experimentation, Military Lessons Management
Cerberus 22: Exonaut supports British Army’s largest European exercise in 10+ years
February 07, 2023
UK and Ireland
Military & Defence
Background: Exercise Cerberus 22 was the British Army’s most ambitious exercise in Europe for a decade. It provided the opportunity to test and validate five UK Brigades Headquarters within the Warfighting Division against a realistic scenario ensuring they are ready for warfighting operations. The British led exercise would see cooperation with 6 NATO partner nations: USA, France, Germany, Estonia, Italy and the UK.
Challenge: The expansive Cerberus exercise took place across 3 dispersed locations and saw 6 Brigades Headquarters from the UK and US Armed Forces take part, over 100 Exonaut terminals in use, 40 personnel collecting validation data, management of over 500 incidents with supporting documentation, and support from 4C consultants would be required to ensure smooth cooperation and execution across the exercise.
Solution: World-leading training and exercise management software, Exonaut, offered end-to-end exercise management. 4C’s team of experts were instrumental in supporting validation and data analytics in real-time, offering 24/7 collation of data against exercise objectives to simplify the vast data capture process and deliver meaningful insight on performance.
Exercise Cerberus 22 was a war fighting mission rehearsal exercise for the British Army’s only division at continual operational readiness. As such, testing, measuring and validating readiness – capturing accurate data in real-time from a broad array of sources – in this exercise was mission-critical.
The exercise provided the opportunity to test the five different Brigade Headquarters within the Warfighting Division against a realistic scenario in order to validate them and ensure they are ready to play their part in any warfighting operations.
This was a complex and challenging exercise to manage and control due to the need to support the cooperation and collaboration of so many different participants, locations, and headquarters.
4C’s Exonaut platform and experts were tasked with:
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Managing the live exercise main event list and main inject list and providing the common operating picture alongside simulation systems
Enabling the collection of observations of performance and validation assessments, supporting command decision-making
Collect lessons learned through the capture of observations by the validation teams by all lower and higher controllers
Provide a visualisation of the exercise timeline and status of all event incidents and injects delivered in the exercise
Provide 24/7 manning and support for the delivery of exercise Cerberus 22, including training for both the validation teams and EXCON prior to the exercise starting
“Exercises as broad and complex as Cerberus 22 are always exciting to be a part of as they allow us to push the limits of what Exonaut is capable of and prove what the platform can do for training and validation in real-time. We at 4C are proud to have played a key role in supporting the British Army’s largest and most ambitious European exercise in over a decade. It was fantastic to see such smooth cooperation between these 6 NATO member states.”
Graeme Mackay, Military Sales Director at 4C Strategies
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A complex, multi-tiered environment
Exercise enablement was split into two main areas: Exercise scenario management and testing and validating primary training audiences.
To enable the effective management of the exercise, there was a large hierarchical control element consisting of a Higher Control (HICON) with representatives from Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps – a NATO high readiness headquarters ready for deployment worldwide.
Lower Controllers (LOCONs) simulating the brigade combat teams and the operational sustainment brigade within 3rd (UK) Division.
Side Controllers (SIDECON) simulating allied flanking formations at divisional level.
All of these exercise ‘players’ required access to Exonaut – in all there were over 100 Exonaut terminals in EXCON.
The validations teams were provided by the British Army’s Collective Training Group and each primary training audience had its own validation team. In all there were approximately 40 personnel collecting validation data for the exercise.
Validation data was collated every 24 hours by the 4C team of experts and consultants. The exercise objectives were also collated by the 4C team to simplify the data capture process. This was deemed highly valuable for teams who were deployed around the clock.
Physical and digital exercise support
In order to provide the necessary support, 4C consultants Ian Stockton, Gareth Bennett, Andy Clark, Paul Culwick, Jack Hart, Paul Greenwood, and Ben Kinsella – all of whom had previous experience in the military and have a wealth of training and exercising knowledge – played an essential part in the assignment including supporting seamless use of our dedicated digital platform, the Exonaut Collective Training and Exercise Management System.
The combined delivery for the British Army’s Higher Formation Training Staff included:
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Training for all Exercise Control staff and validation teams on Exonaut use and capabilities
First line support during the exercise
Provision of subject matter expertise, ensuring observations were captured in the Observation, Discussion, Conclusion & Recommendation (ODCR) process
Liaison between the MEL/MIL mangers and LOCONS/SIDECONS
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